How to Start a Mobile Food Business: Expert Interview #1

27 Nov

Welcome to Boston Food Truck Blog’s “How to Start a Mobile Food Business: Expert Advice” series. This is the first post I will be doing in a series of interviews with some of the top food trucks in Boston.

In this series, I’ll be asking popular Boston mobile food trucks about what advice they would offer to those wondering how to start a mobile food business in Boston, or anywhere!

With so many people looking to start a mobile food cart business these days, I decided to gather together the best food truck start up advice for the foodie greenhorns. Who better to ask than our own resident food truck experts in Boston?

Starting a Food Truck: Expert Advice from Staff Meal

Our first interview is with the Boston mobile food truck Staff Meal.

starting-a-food-truck

1. Tell us a bit about Staff Meal – what are you guys all about?

We are all about cooking whatever we feel like eating at any given time. Just like staff meal at any restaurant, we cook what we want with ingredients that we have access to.

We change our concept every now and again. So far we’ve done sandwiches, soups, the Escoffier menu from the Titanic (1912 as street food), tacos and burritos and we’re changing up to serve Cantonese food within the next couple of weeks. 

2. What are some of the struggles you faced when starting your food truck?

Sooooo many struggles. Patrick and I aren’t very smart, so most of our struggles derive from that fact. Besides that, we find ourselves solving daily, if not minute-by-minute problems related to the street food industry in Boston.

We operate out of a shared kitchen in JP which frequently becomes tricky from a spacial standpoint, both parking and prep-wise in the kitchen. When the kitchen gets busy during the busy season, we find ourselves having to prep at all hours of the night in order to be able to serve food.

Also we frequently run into mechanical problems with our old truck and generator. And then there is the issue of parking in Boston, which everyone knows is difficult. Despite the “parking for food trucks only” signs that the city has put up in our rented spots, dumdums still seem to end up parked in our spots during vending hours. 

3. What is your favorite street location and why?

We love the Stuart st location behind the Hancock, in Back Bay. There are a ton of awesome regulars we serve there, who are tired of all the corporate chain eateries that plague downtown Boston.

We also love the government center spot, despite the fact that the city has decided to put plowed snow there for the winter.  

4. What is your most popular menu item?

 Tough to say since we change our menu so often. Once a menu item becomes really popular, we tend to get bored with it pretty quickly.

People have been going crazy for our Peking pig’s head burrito and taco. We knew people would be into that? We did, duh.

5. Any final piece of advice you’d like to offer aspiring food truck vendors?

Be prepared to work your ass off, with very little return. The same could be said about any type of food service business, but food trucking in Boston is particularly difficult due to the fact that we haven’t had street food here for very long.

And be aware that this business is very seasonal. The discrepancy in revenue between the warm months and cold months is drastic. That said, be prepared to have a shitload of fun. I mean, how seriously can you take yourself knowing that you serve food out of the side of a truck?

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Well, that concludes our first food truck expert interview!

Staff Meal was the first truck to take up my offer on the interview, and I’m so glad they did – Adam is absolutely hilarious. Thanks for the awesome interview and fantastic advice for those new to the food truck biz. And if you haven’t tried Staff Meal, obviously you will now. I mean right now. Go on, get going!

Be sure to check back – we will be posting more interviews with food truck experts soon!

Did you find this blog post interview interesting? Do you want to see more? Your opinion as a reader counts, so please let me know what you think of this new format!

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  1. Starting a Food Truck Business Interview #3 « Boston Food Truck Blog: Reviews and Ratings - January 15, 2013

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