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Ennis_TX

Food Truck Menu

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As many of you know I do chef work etc. I am working on a new business venture of starting a Paleo Food truck, need some menu opinions. This is what I am looking at right now. Feed back welcome. NOTE Policy is GRAIN FREE, DAIRY FREE, also avoiding soy, peanuts, and a few other foods.  I dream of doing this so I can work my dream job in a culinary business with a safe environment. Currently working with investors and a company designing the truck.

Menu Line ups
Each day will have a selected Meat, either hamburger longhorn, or steak version.

Toasted sandwiches like a meat and vegan melted cheese (thinking longhorn on toast with dairy free provolone throw in melter/toaster and melt it on then serve with tomatoes, lettuce etc. Other various sandwich options I think should also be done using prepackaged deli meats (No offense but they need to be sliced on a dedicated gluten-free meat slicer not fresh and CCed deli one) Fresh veggies, eggs, avocado, select gluten-free condiments and other dairy free cheeses.  These will be used on Julian Bakery bread loafs, they are nut based and grain free premade work great only when toasted. I am open to other options for any grain free ones.
SANDWICH Options Meat Melt, and Deli Club all sandwiches toasted (the julian bread holds up better this way)
Meat Melt is meat cut of the day, with choice of provolone, cheddar, swiss, or mozzarella Add more for $1 (Vegan Cheese is expensive) melted over it and your choice of veggies,
Thinking serving with a side of pizza sauce for dipping
Club will be standard deli meats, and veggies of choice and a kind of cheese they can opt to melt or not.  Sandwiches will be $8-10 plates.

Pizza, califlour foods plant based crust avoiding dairy and making it simple to add sauce, toppings and get them in and out. Topping will include a supreme versions with mushrooms, bell peppers, and longhorn , longhorn and cheese, turkey bacon cheese and just cheese using various dairy free cheese, I am unsure here on if to stick to lisanatti, Daiya, or julians.
Cheese review at bottom. Pizza will be $5 a slice

Pasta, made with my own sauce, longhorn hamburger, and Miracle noodle fettuccine or angel hair served up with my own grain free vegan cheesy garlic bread. $10 with garlic bread, $8 without

Stir fries will utilize mixed veggies, optional either Naked Jackfruit or Longhorn steak slices, and a blend of Coconut secret teriyaki sauce and garlic sauce.(sriracha packets will be given out with the meal). Veggies/meats will be kept in warmers then just added to finish off on the griddle and season minimizing oxidation and prep time. Other options are serving a yakisoba version with Miracle Noodle Angel Hair mixed in or a over rice version using Miracle Noodle rice.
Stir Fry Menu Options
SEASONING Garlic (coconut secret garlic sauce), Teriyaki (Coconut secret Teriyaki Sauce), Caribbean (Jerk seasoning and caramelized in rum)
MEAT None, Longhorn, Vegan Jackfruit, chopped deli
STYLE, Yakisoba (angel hair miracle noodles stirred in) Over rice (Over miracle Noodle Rice)
All stir fries $10 unless you opt out of meat then $8

Baked Sweet Potato Fries, with rosemary herb and tossed in nutvia butter flavored coconut oil then convection baked/air fried. for a nice buttery herb fries, I also make my own seasonings for Vegan Chili Cheese, and Vegan Ranch that might be used as a seasoning.
USED as a side or can be a main dish served topped with cheese and a side of pizza/pasta sauce for $8

Grilled Swai with grilled veggies
SEASONING Garlic (coconut secret garlic sauce), Teriyaki (Coconut secret Teriyaki Sauce), Caribbean (Jerk seasoning and caramelized in rum)
$10 Fish Plate

Lisanatti, contains casein protein, great blend of protein and fat and melts great perfect flavor
Dayia, shreds are Meh at best with a bad taste and iffy melt, Block bases are much better with a epic Havarti jalapeno and smoked Gouda. The Gouda might be nice on the cheese pizza,
Daiya also makes a swiss and a provolone perfect for melt on sandwiches.
Julian bakery makes a more stable cheese, with decent/great melt, tad greasy melted

Potential For Breakfast Lines
Either Julian Bakery or Simple mills pancakes Stack of 4x 4" and 2 slices of bacon or a side of eggs.
Bacon and Egg Sandwich with avocado
Bowls of Eggs and sausage topped with a slice of turkey bacon and a slice of toast


We also have plans to run soup kitchens off of donations for the community on Sundays.

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Have you priced some of this food out?  You will be a small business, so you probably won't get huge discounts.  That vegan cheese can be expensive!  Also - insurance, permits, spaces you could actually park and sell - sometimes they aren't in a good location to get the customers who would appreciate your food.

You might want to see if your local community college runs any entrepreneur/small business classes.

 

Any desserts?  Muffins/"bars" for breakfast?

 

I really hope this works out!

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1 hour ago, kareng said:

Have you priced some of this food out?  You will be a small business, so you probably won't get huge discounts.  That vegan cheese can be expensive!  Also - insurance, permits, spaces you could actually park and sell - sometimes they aren't in a good location to get the customers who would appreciate your food.

You might want to see if your local community college runs any entrepreneur/small business classes.

 

Any desserts?  Muffins/"bars" for breakfast?

 

I really hope this works out!

Yes my standard Paleo Cinnamon Cake, Paleo muffin options will be there from my current bakery, along with my almond butters for breakfast. I am working out trying to choose a iced product to use also.   

I have priced out most everything and priced my goods to get enough income off them to pay for the permits and fees. Yes I even calculated the license fees for hte business, the fees for our POS contracts, health permits, insurance, business fees etc. I am setting up with a local food truck group that list various food trucks and finds and books you venues. I have already set up several whole sale accounts and gotten great discounts, even working on sponsor ship deals with a few companies to get additional savings. -_- I been working on this for quite awhile.

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50 minutes ago, Ennis_TX said:

Yes my standard Paleo Cinnamon Cake, Paleo muffin options will be there from my current bakery, along with my almond butters for breakfast. I am working out trying to choose a iced product to use also.   

I have priced out most everything and priced my goods to get enough income off them to pay for the permits and fees. Yes I even calculated the license fees for hte business, the fees for our POS contracts, health permits, insurance, business fees etc. I am setting up with a local food truck group that list various food trucks and finds and books you venues. I have already set up several whole sale accounts and gotten great discounts, even working on sponsor ship deals with a few companies to get additional savings. -_- I been working on this for quite awhile.

:D

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On 5/4/2017 at 10:12 PM, Ennis_TX said:

I have priced out most everything and priced my goods to get enough income off them to pay for the permits and fees. Yes I even calculated the license fees for hte business, the fees for our POS contracts, health permits, insurance, business fees etc. I am setting up with a local food truck group that list various food trucks and finds and books you venues. I have already set up several whole sale accounts and gotten great discounts, even working on sponsor ship deals with a few companies to get additional savings. -_- I been working on this for quite awhile.

A family member runs a similar, but not identical business and this attention to detail is absolutely critical in making sure that it turns a profit. Make sure your budget can support a slow start and always watch your cashflow. A lot of businesses fail in the first months even though they have a good product because of cashflow issues. Try and negotiate good terms with suppliers as you've indicated above. A good relationship with them is key. 

Some other ideas...

Give some thought to marketing as well if you've not already done so. Set aside some budget for cards, leaflets, website etc. Give them out with the food at the outset to increase your profile. 

A good logo is helpful as would be an attractive decal/paint job for the truck. You're offering a unique product (I imagine) so stand out from the rest.  Give some thought to how you dress/present yourself as well. 

Make social media accounts and set up a plan for how you're going to use them. Get them on your truck and literature.

Incentivise people to follow. 'We're in Area X tomorrow from 1pm. Retweet for chance to win free gluten-free brownie' etc. etc.

If you can get people following you they will see an update when you check into their area and they'll know you're around. You can also publicise your schedule in advance if you know it. 

Don't be afraid to share related content that's not directly related to the business. Show that you're passionate about healthy eating and good food. 

Interact on local paleo / food discussion groups. Make sure you don't break any site rules on advertising. Sharing recipes, photos of food preparation and reviews from happy customers can all be a part of your content strategy. 

Best of luck with this :) Hope you're sitting atop a paleo truck empire in the near future :P

 

 

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Yeah I really need some help with that part of it. My mental issues from the mix of brain damage, ADHD, and Autism lead to some odd issues with the legal, money, and advertising department. I think I spent like 3-5 hours yesterday trying to figure out how to program a sandwich into the point of sale software, just to realize I was doing it wrong.  Seems doing all the options in and everything requires certain kind of set up and I approached it from the wrong item listing and category.    Also this whole do I go Sole proprietor with DBA or LLC with it is confusing. I personally am thinking of having a family member set it up under their name and deal with the legal/tax side of it.

Actually sorta hoping for one of the potential investors I approached to offer me a lease and run deal and simplify it all. I have two of these companies that might do this and 3 others that might sponsor part of the truck in exchange for advertisement and use of their product with my truck. Down side to these is it limits what I can do with it and would potential limit other brands, items, and things I can do with the truck and they would probably require me to meet certain requirements and forbid some things.

On another note looks like I might need help with the kitchen part of it and I know for a fact I will not be able to pay anyone for the first year or more. Been asking friends etc. if anyone would help out in exchange for free take home at the end of the day or something lol. If only I had a fellow celiac foodie near by with a bunch of free time would be perfect.

Currently have 3 companies doing quotes and bid for the truck design, All new equipment almost identical builds, seeing my options and what they think.

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8 minutes ago, Ennis_TX said:

Yeah I really need some help with that part of it. My mental issues from the mix of brain damage, ADHD, and Autism lead to some odd issues with the legal, money, and advertising department. I think I spent like 3-5 hours yesterday trying to figure out how to program a sandwich into the point of sale software, just to realize I was doing it wrong.  Seems doing all the options in and everything requires certain kind of set up and I approached it from the wrong item listing and category.    Also this whole do I go Sole proprietor with DBA or LLC with it is confusing. I personally am thinking of having a family member set it up under their name and deal with the legal/tax side of it.

Actually sorta hoping for one of the potential investors I approached to offer me a lease and run deal and simplify it all. I have two of these companies that might do this and 3 others that might sponsor part of the truck in exchange for advertisement and use of their product with my truck. Down side to these is it limits what I can do with it and would potential limit other brands, items, and things I can do with the truck and they would probably require me to meet certain requirements and forbid some things.

On another note looks like I might need help with the kitchen part of it and I know for a fact I will not be able to pay anyone for the first year or more. Been asking friends etc. if anyone would help out in exchange for free take home at the end of the day or something lol. If only I had a fellow celiac foodie near by with a bunch of free time would be perfect.

You need a small business lawyer. I know it costs money but you seem very confused about the legalities.  If you have your company set up as if it belongs to someone else - then it belongs to that person - not you.    If I were that family member - I would not want to be legally responsible, as the owner, for "your" company.  But they can take money out or sell the truck at any time.

 

People "working" for free can be a legal issue, too.  You will want to check with your insurance company.  If they cut themselves, burn them selves, or just fall on their head - paid employees get worker's comp & payments from the company's  insurance.  

Edited by kareng

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That's a really good point Karen. Liability is a big issue, particulary when working with people and with food. 

Ennis it's a few years since I've used it but one way to work through some of these issues in a more structured way is to use Microsoft's business plan software. I think this may be one example:  

There's probably better ones available now or free ones come to that. It's just a good way of listing all your assets and potential liabilities and getting you thinking as a business owner rather than a customer.

You need to be on top of all the hidden costs, all the potential liabilities etc and the structure needs to be right before you start incurring costs. Even more so with a venture like this because once it starts there will be a lot asked of you and of course the more successful you are the more demands there will be.

Please don't let the above discourage you, just be aware that this preparation time is important and that anyone can start a business, but it's the people that do a thorough plan and have some contingincy options in place that tend to be around after the first years trading.

Also make sure you take full advantage of any help available over there for entrepeneurs. A quick google threw up this site:

https://uschambersmallbusinessnation.com/start/

and there looks to be some good stuff there. 

I'm sure there will be plenty of people on here who will be willing to lend advice and moral support. I'm certainly rooting for you over here in the UK. :)

Matt 

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4 minutes ago, kareng said:

You need a small business lawyer. I know it costs money but you seem very confused about the legalities.  If you have your company set up as if it belongs to someone else - then it belongs to that person - not you.    If I were that family member - I would not want to be legally responsible, as the owner, for "your" company.  But they can take money out or sell the truck at any time.

The whole sell the truck at anytime is a option I told them. As the base quotes for everything are under 75k with me giving it room and asking for a 85k from investors to set it up. I can potentially recoup the whole thing by selling as a turn key business for over 120k as I see them going for down here. 

I honestly just love to cook, I love helping others, I dream of working in the culinary business, and provide safe foods for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance that taste great. -_- Having someone else manage everything else seems like my optimal plan at this point otherwise I will drive myself insane.  I have a plan layed out I have profit calculated and a very large amount of room to work with for incurred expenses. If I get everything on the investment side of it I should be ready and even have multiple plans A, B, C for contingents. I actually ran several what if scenario it played out how to handle them (I do this kind of thing when I am bored)

Checked with health code people on requirements locally this weekend, looked up how to book venues and setting up with a company that would feature my truck among other trucks for booking food trucks in this area (Mine would be the only dedicated gluten-free option in the area) Everything looks good now I just pray it all comes together lol.

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I don't know if they're in your area but SCORE was quite helpful to me when I was working on opening my store.  SCORE is an organization of retired business people that help out new businesses on a volunteer basis. 

One thing I learned the hard way was that I really did need to hire someone and I didn't budget for it in my business plan.  Unless you are premaking everything It may be difficult to prepare orders and take them. If someone is on their lunch they go to a food truck cause they want their food quick. If your premaking stuff you may find you have more waste than you like until you get popular. The food business is tough. I was a head cook for years and loved the creative part of it but it is a lot of work. Wishing you the best. If I lived in Texas I would be looking forward to trying some of the many things you have posted about.  

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2 minutes ago, ravenwoodglass said:

I don't know if they're in your area but SCORE was quite helpful to me when I was working on opening my store.  SCORE is an organization of retired business people that help out new businesses on a volunteer basis. 

One thing I learned the hard way was that I really did need to hire someone and I didn't budget for it in my business plan.  Unless you are premaking everything It may be difficult to prepare orders and take them. If someone is on their lunch they go to a food truck cause they want their food quick. If your premaking stuff you may find you have more waste than you like until you get popular. The food business is tough. I was a head cook for years and loved the creative part of it but it is a lot of work. Wishing you the best. If I lived in Texas I would be looking forward to trying some of the many things you have posted about.  

Yep before my diagnosis and major issues I had worked in a concession stand for 8 years. I have plans and know how for getting foods out quick. 

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Tried test menu options today serving some people for free. On feed back most the menu is staying but the sandwich got some bad reviews, the bread being too small, off taste, few other complaints, When used as toast for a side it came off well received......SO I am going to remove the sandwich option and go for bowls, pasta, stir fry, pizza, and breakfast bowls. all which were well received.    On a positive note the sandwich had the least profit out of all of my items due to the cost of a grain free bread.

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30 minutes ago, Ennis_TX said:

On feed back most the menu is staying but the sandwich got some bad reviews, the bread being too small, off taste, few other complaints, When used as toast for a side it came off well received...

It's rare to come across a gluten-free bread that would've been anything other than mediocre in my gluten eating days. 

If you find your losing sales to the people that want something they can eat on the go maybe try a variation on one of these: http://gethealthyu.com/16-breadless-sandwich-substitutions/ 

 

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1 hour ago, Jmg said:

It's rare to come across a gluten-free bread that would've been anything other than mediocre in my gluten eating days. 

If you find your losing sales to the people that want something they can eat on the go maybe try a variation on one of these: http://gethealthyu.com/16-breadless-sandwich-substitutions/ 

 

Only 1 comment on taste, the others were "Sandwich is too small" "It falls apart to easy"   "The sandwich is messy"   on those 3 the taste was give a range from good to "Had a odd nutty flavor but not bad"    I think I might use it instead of for sandwiches but use it for topped breads, like toast it with 2 ingredients and cheese.  and serve it as topped toast instead of as a sandwich thougts on this? Issues it the bread is small, soft, and hard to load with stuff and top to then the small surface area. hmm

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Grainless Baker makes a long Baguette that is great for sub type sandwiches. It is kept frozen and can be refrozen after being thawed (no waste). It holds together well and has a nice crust. it is tapioca based and is 'airy' on the inside but that makes it easier to stuff lots of goodies inside.  A half is like a whole of regular sub rolls. I zap them unfilled in the microwave even if thawed to make them soft and chewey.

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6 minutes ago, ravenwoodglass said:

Grainless Baker makes a long Baguette that is great for sub type sandwiches. It is kept frozen and can be refrozen after being thawed (no waste). It holds together well and has a nice crust. it is tapioca based and is 'airy' on the inside but that makes it easier to stuff lots of goodies inside.  A half is like a whole of regular sub rolls. I zap them unfilled in the microwave even if thawed to make them soft and chewey.

The amount of sheer carbs and starches in it put it against what my truck stands for and against my cooking ethics. I have certain rules I will not break in my cooking or foods I give to others. I am going with a new marketing idea of "Loaded Toast" Toasted the bread put a condiment, 2-3 toppings and melt cheese over it. I will try these out for sampling tomorrow at the college next door and see what I get.  Thanks for the idea, I did look at grain less baker, good options but the amount of starches and carbs, no (I have a huge obsession with low glycemic foods for years due to some issues in the family)

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1 hour ago, Ennis_TX said:

The amount of sheer carbs and starches in it put it against what my truck stands for and against my cooking ethics. I have certain rules I will not break in my cooking or foods I give to others. I am going with a new marketing idea of "Loaded Toast" Toasted the bread put a condiment, 2-3 toppings and melt cheese over it. I will try these out for sampling tomorrow at the college next door and see what I get.  Thanks for the idea, I did look at grain less baker, good options but the amount of starches and carbs, no (I have a huge obsession with low glycemic foods for years due to some issues in the family)

Its called an open face sandwich!  You could use 2 pieces of toast and pile stuff on top.  Stick a little lettuce/spinach on top.  Or a bread salad - salad and sandwich ingredients on top of bread or with big toasted bread cubes on top.

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