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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 07-09-2013, 06:20 PM   #46
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You should be fine then, your biggest obstacle (and mine) will be finding reliable help that you can count on.
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Unread 07-09-2013, 06:29 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmoney7269 View Post
where you live again? Oh yeah that's right CA. We were doing a job there a few years ago and rented a lull telescoping lift and it popped a hydraulic line spilling about 3 gal of hydraulic fluid on a aspalt parking lot. Before we knew it there was police and a hazmat crew that we had to pay for to dig up the parking lot surface and repave it. Talk about a crock of ****! Wtf is in asphalt? Petroleum hot oil! Needless to say we never accepted a job there ever again. Anywhere else you just sprinkle a bunch of absorbent granules on it, scoop it up and dispose of it properly, but noooooooo we had to do it the $10k
Way. Just pokin at ya a little lol
You did it wrong.

I have worked in and around site construction for almost 30 years, popped a lot of lines, never once had the police called.

Chris, I always find the two windows for a tent to be kinda funny, last time I vended, which was a few years ago, they made us put screening over the service and money windows. What a bother that was. On the other hand, I have been looking at the food truck business quite a lot recently, a friend is a part of the Mobi Munch company up here, and the two windows actually works quite well for flow. One window up front for ordering and money, then the line clears and pick up is mid truck. To be honest, even if I didn't have to, I would be sorely tempted to do that. I think it cleans up the crowd, organizes the line and keeps one person out of the kitchen mix. It works especially well for mobile events, with multiple trucks.
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Unread 07-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #48
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My trailer is set up with two windows, we take orders and payment from one and put the food out the other and it works very well this way.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 12:01 AM   #49
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Quote:
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You did it wrong.

I have worked in and around site construction for almost 30 years, popped a lot of lines, never once had the police called.

Chris, I always find the two windows for a tent to be kinda funny, last time I vended, which was a few years ago, they made us put screening over the service and money windows. What a bother that was. On the other hand, I have been looking at the food truck business quite a lot recently, a friend is a part of the Mobi Munch company up here, and the two windows actually works quite well for flow. One window up front for ordering and money, then the line clears and pick up is mid truck. To be honest, even if I didn't have to, I would be sorely tempted to do that. I think it cleans up the crowd, organizes the line and keeps one person out of the kitchen mix. It works especially well for mobile events, with multiple trucks.
All true - Allows for the cashier to concentrate on the order/money/credit card transaction. Less confusion for the customers, when they see the Order Here, and Pick Up here sign. Also eliminates same person handling money and food. More of a problem than you'd think lol!
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Unread 07-10-2013, 06:21 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Fooskey View Post
That could seem like a throwaway line, but it is surprisingly difficult. I could not meet that, even with the trailer being max DOT width.
Could you explain this a little better?
What do you mean "throw away line"?
All of the equipment going in is supposed to be high quality restaurant grade.
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Unread 07-10-2013, 06:51 AM   #51
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Quote:
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Could you explain this a little better?
What do you mean "throw away line"?
All of the equipment going in is supposed to be high quality restaurant grade.
I believe he means that it could easily be taken for granted, but it is hard to keep a 34 inch clearly defined aisle (without obstruction).
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Unread 07-10-2013, 10:05 PM   #52
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I believe he means that it could easily be taken for granted, but it is hard to keep a 34 inch clearly defined aisle (without obstruction).
Correct. The average food truck is what 86" wide on the interior? If you have a 30 inch chef base on one side and a 24 inch counter on the other, you are already short.

Another issue I have been experiencing is that packing all the refrigeration in that tight of a space makes getting them fresh air a challenge. Brand new, they might work like champs, but let them get some age under those conditions and try to get them to proper temp. I have the equivalent of 7 refrigeration units and it is extremely difficult to not have their venting or fresh air obstructed.

Many of those things are not meant to operate in the conditions a food truck experiences. They are designed to operate in spaces that are already climate controlled. I am learning this the hard way.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 10:05 AM   #53
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Here is the new setup. Ditched the soda machine and have a steam pan now
There will be a gloray next to the fryers. Will also have one tea brewing urn.
Any other suggestions will be helpful.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 11:56 AM   #54
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The set-up should be determined by your menu and the volume. I would start by asking what each piece will be used for, and how often it will be used. Are you going to serve such a diverse menu that you need a griddle, charbroiler, fryer, and cooktop, while serving BBQ?

Space is so tight in these things, and if you expect high volume, you can't expect to be running that diverse array of equipment. Think about the number of people who will be working on the inside, and the number of people that your window can accommodate.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 12:42 PM   #55
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Quote:
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The plan he stated is to have a trailer rig that can be towed. That would allow more flexibility. I can see problems with that as well, but, the ability to either have the smokers or not, that actually makes sense, especially if you get into a situation where your vend site is smaller than desired, or you end up having to vend something other than Q.

I do wonder, at least out here, all trucks and tents need to have separate money/order windows from food/serving windows. Have you either built in the ability, or determined that you will not need separate windows?

Is that enough refrigeration? Are you going to be vending other than BBQ? If so, that looks a little less than optimal for meats and other items.
This is how we do it.



air conditioned self enclosed trailer. Smoker on the back screened in and doors facing inside the trailer. The only way to get health department approval here in Florida.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 03:52 PM   #56
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I keep thinking about an observation you mentioned in your earlier post, about watching the Food Truck Race and noticing the trucks were all too small for what you wanted to do. I would really think long and hard about that statement. Most of those trucks are very successful as far as food trucks go. NYC has a great food truck scene, along with LA prolly the best in the country. I have been to most of them, especially the best ones. From Belgian waffle trucks, to Asian dumpling trucks, to grilled cheese trucks, to Korean taco and lobster roll trucks, there is a diverse selection of cuisines, but they all have one thing in common, specialization. They all target a small menu and do it very well. These are the trucks that get all the press and do all the business. Then you have the traditional trucks that do everything, want a burger, a steak sandwich, a breakfast sandwich? Those trucks have all the equipment and make it all. The quality is usually less and nobody cares about those guys. They grind out a living without any fanfare and any great success. These are usually the immigrant guys, not the young creative chefs.

You have a flat top so you can make burgers, you have a char griller so you can do ribeye sandwiches, you have a fryer for fries and onion rings, you are towing a smoker for the whole bbq thing, you have a six burner stove for general cooking (6 burners is a lot, I have a 6 burner vulcan range in my basement and can't see how I would ever have more than 4 going in a food truck) as well as an oven.

Now, look at the Mexicue truck, a very successful food truck in NY that puts out a great product,http://www.mexicue.com. Look at that menu and you can see how little equipment is needed. Lots of options with few ingredients and pre made sides using little in the way of equipment.

My suggestion, forget about being able to make everything for everyone, figure out some stuff you are great at, can make mostly in advance or in the truck using a small equipment footprint. If you want to do bbq, think pulled pork and shredded brisket and chicken. Get rid of some equipment, downsize some equipment like go to a 4burner stove instead, and get an FEC120 inside the truck and forget towing the smoker.

I would say if I were going to tow a smoker behind a food truck, then I would prolly just forget a food truck and instead do a vending trailer towed behind a pickup.

Just my opinion, I am a very big believer in specialization, makes it easier to pull off and easier to get some marketing and press. As someone who feeds 200-400 people for 4-5 hour all-you-can-eat parties, I have gotten good at being quick and paring down unneeded stuff while putting out some great stuff.
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Unread 07-12-2013, 05:10 PM   #57
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I agree! This was my one Item rig...Pizza

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Unread 07-12-2013, 07:03 PM   #58
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Dropping the fountain was a good move .... But you still have the interference problem with your service window being directly across from your fire line... Shift that gen set center and your fire line fore or aft. (Actually scratch that idea and read on.)

Also...That wasted space across from your driver's seat....Make that your cashier's cage. Then you can shrink your service window and keep money and food separate. Maybe even move your service window aft and your fridge and freezer opposite your fire line. That also moves more of your weight distribution to the center of your chassis. Ever ride in the back of the school bus and go over a bump? The fridge and freezer are going to get that same catapult effect aft of the axle. Talk about tossed salad by the time you get to location.

Just some layout thoughts I am not being critical.... But then again... If you want to go big and have the budget.... forget the truck and be one midway tomorrow with this.. http://www.ebay.com/itm/One-of-a-kin...item43bd4e905c

If I had the budget and it wouldn't cost another 8K to ship it here.... I would be on it yesterday.

Last edited by PanamaExpat; 07-12-2013 at 08:09 PM..
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Unread 08-11-2013, 04:26 AM   #59
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jumped in late on this, however first post was about BBQ and the last lay-out does not say BBQ, just fast food in a confined space. Chared Apron's trailer looks identicle to mine and EVERTHING is cooked on my SP 700, on busy events I have to stay on top of the re-stocking for the servers, which one person on cash/orders, one on sandwiches, one on sides. I use table top steam units, this way it is versitile, as some events I serve under a tent and use trailer as support plus very veratile as some menus change...
and to have a deep frier behind a busy serving window???? The sugested menu will be hard to keep up on a busy day and you only can re-heat left overs once..
The hardest thing is to keep the flow moving both inside and outside
and to establish your identity, I believe in doiing what you do, do it well..and to have so much equipment in a confined space looks dangerous, however that is me and I am a clutz...
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Unread 08-12-2013, 06:32 PM   #60
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scour your HD requirements. In NY, well, at least suffolk county. Food trucks are considered "mobile fast food trucks" where minimal prep and cooking is actually done in the vehicle. Towing a smoker is good in theory, but when a tire blows, or someone sideswipes it, you're out for the day. We almost pulled the trigger and bought a food truck this year second hand from someone who's got a very successful quick serve restaurant, wanted to try the food truck out, and quickly realized it wasn't what they expected. If you're the only thing around, you'll probably do fine, if you're competing for other vendors spots, who have cheaper food, it's going to get tough. Best of luck, keep us posted
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