6/2/17 at 07:46 AM 0 Comments

Hold the Mustard! 5 of the Best Cuisines for Food Trucks

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As more people seek to break away from the traditional nine to five grind, many foodies are turning to mobile food trucks as a way to economically get a foothold into the competitive food service market.

Starting a food truck can be a liberating lifestyle choice, or a smart first step into the exciting and lucrative world of the restaurateur.

Consider the Australian award-winning ethical fast food chain, Lord of the Fries, who began with a single mobile food van and now boasts sit-down stores in many Australian capital cities. From small things, great things can grow!

Not all cuisine however, is mobile van friendly. Attempting to peddle steak accompanied by plastic cutlery, or offer spaghetti and meatballs on a paper plate, is literally a recipe for disaster.

This then begs the question — “What are the most popular and suitable foods to sell from a mobile food van?”
The options below don’t have to be traditional or run-of-the-mill. You can mix and match your cuisine and add your own unique stamp to your creations, forging a brand and product which people will flock to sample.

In-A-Bun Fun
Let’s face it, if people want a traditional sausage or hamburger patty in a bun, there is no shortage of options. Whilst there will always be a place in the mobile market for them, serving commonplace food is never going to raise you above your competition.

Owning a food van furnishes you with the freedom to create a signature brand. It is a platform allowing you to stamp your individuality onto your fare, giving customers a chance to experience a blend of flavours and textures they may never have considered before.

The humble bun, can provide a ‘handy’ way (excuse the pun) to encapsulate your food, making it easier for customers to ‘eat on the run’.

With this in mind, consider a few of these delicious delights which can all nestle comfortably within the confines of your basic bun:

  • Traditional German sausages such as bratwurst and kransky — consider offering sauerkraut, chutney, relish or pickles, as a tasty and nutritious topping.
  • Vegetarian or vegan burgers — this is a fast growing market, typically with much lower competition.
  • Homemade hamburgers and sliders filled with creative delights as pickled vegetables, avocado, cheese and bacon.
  • Fish fillet or seafood burgers.

Seriously consider offering gluten free options. Whilst a small sector of the population have a serious allergy to gluten (celiac disease) — there is a growing number of people who just prefer a gluten free diet. Advertising a gluten free option can be a huge selling point and show that you are conscious of how dietary restrictions might affect your customers.

Mediterranean Diet
When it comes to Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, they appear to have been specially designed to suit the walk-up customers. After all, so many of their tasty dishes come ready-made with wraps — perfect for the mobile eater.

Consider these healthy and delicious parcels:

  • Kebabs
  • Souvlakis
  • Falafels — made with chickpeas so an ideal vegetarian option.
  • Spanakopita — spinach, onion and feta wrapped in pastry.
  • Shawarma — slow cooked lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, buffalo meat, or mixed meats blended with garlic and wrapped in pita.
  • Shish Taouk — marinated chicken on skewers.

Mmm… Mexican
As with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, Mexican cuisine seems designed for the moving consumer.
A wide range of Mexican dishes come ready wrapped in their own tasty coverings. Add to this the popularity and array of choices offered by Mexican food and it is a sure-fire winner.

Consider the following dishes which are all served tucked into their own wrapping:

  • Burritos
  • Enchiladas
  • Tacos
  • Quesadillas
  • Carnitas — a dish of moist, juicy pork blended with spices and wrapped in a corn tortilla.
  • Tamales — wrapped in corn husk or banana leaf which is discarded before eating.

Sumptuous Seafood
The rarity of seafood cuisine makes it a hot ticket for any mobile food business. As a starting place, it combines wholesome taste with a high protein and potentially nutritious meal.

Consider the following menu items:

  • Lobster and shrimp rolls.
  • Barbequed marinated octopus.
  • Calamari rings or crispy fried whitebait.
  • Chowder in-a-cup.
  • Crab or fish cakes.
  • Grilled fish with chips and salad.

The options for seafood are vast and many of them can be easily made gluten free. Served with a side salad, you have a healthy yet scrumptious meal.

Deep Fried Delights
The popularity of staple fare such as chips, donuts, homemade dumplings and potato cakes, has stood the test of time. For retailers they are always money spinners due to the fact that their margins are generous, they take very little preparation, and have always been sought after by diners.

Consider offering fresh quality handmade products, rather than frozen factory produced food. In this way, you are able to present customers with a healthier, tastier advantage over rival food vans.

It’s a fact of life that there will always be competition but it’s finding your special edge which can take you from the ordinary to the sublime.

Make A Meal Of It…
Never underestimate the value of offering sides such as fresh juices, salads, sandwiches and small desserts. This increases the chances of making you a ‘one stop’ meal solution. You could try offering a discount for a complete meal deal (main, side, and a drink). Keep in mind however that all extras should be seen as a complement to your main offerings, and should be quick and simple to prepare.

Whichever cuisine you choose, a large ingredient for success is making a cohesive brand, where your van, signage, logos and food all reflect a unique identity.

Chances are, wherever you set up shop, you will be competing with other vendors for customer’s attention. Standing out from the crowd and offering a wide range of healthy choices which are ideally suited for standing/walking eating, is the recipe for a successful mobile food van venture.
Best of luck!

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