The Pros and Cons of Going Mobile
Chefs and restaurateurs weigh in on how food trucks stack up against bricks and mortar.
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Running a food truck is more than heating up some hot dogs and selling them from a vehicle. Startup costs and regulations can be daunting, Angelus said. Ongoing expenses include the cost of the truck itself, many of which are custom-designed, plus insurance, licensing, and gasoline; propane for cooking, a secured location to lock the truck at night as mandated by health codes, and a licensed commissary kitchen somewhere for prep and product storage. In addition, a food truck needs a licensed driver—a driver with a clean record, Angelus emphasizes—which can be a challenge to find and hire. Add to that the cost of keeping up a website or social media to inform patrons where the truck will be on a given day, and fees, plus a percentage of sales when participating in a food pod or event. The costs add up.
“It’s more of a challenge sustaining a food truck over the long haul,” he said. “You kind of don’t know until you do it.”
“I love the trucks,” Angelus added. “They help me do my own thing. It’s opened the door to help me open my own restaurant. The range and diversity that a truck gives you keeps me excited and interested; the café provides stability.”
Embracing trucks as well as bricks and mortar seems to be the sweet spot for Angelus. “I think that’s why my model is working. I’m getting more revenue out of the same square footage. I think there are other trucks that find what works for them. They’ve figured it out for themselves.”
How to Find Them
In search of the mobile and stationary players.
Bacon Bacon: www.BaconBaconSF.com
Liba Falafel: www.LibaFalafel.com
No Worries: www.FilipinoVeganFood.com
Croll’s Pizza: www.CrollsPizza.com