LA Food Trucks – No City Tops These Wonders on Wheels

LA food trucks are almost a sort of wonder to those coming from smaller cities in the United States. No city tops Los Angeles, Calif. when it comes to variety and quality in the restaurant business, and those of the mobile type are of no exception! Based on our research, we’ve compiled a list of the top rated food trucks in the city, and what sets them apart from the “average joe’s.”

Best Food Trucks Los Angeles

El Chato Taco Truck – Acclaimed by most locals as the best of LA food trucks. Freshly chopped vegetables in a food truck? The mobile chefs at El Chato Taco won’t mind if you glance through their oversized window to see them serve up fresh meals, as they’re known by the locals for having one of the cleanest, freshest and most delicious food trucks in the city. Locals say its food tastes healthier and less greasy, and many just can’t say no to the special sauce. They serve a variety of meats in burritos, tacos, quesadillas and more. They even serve up old fashioned Coca-Cola in glass bottles. A big hit for students at UCLA, the food truck seems to be an undisputed favorite. As with many of the best food trucks, its most common complaint (and perhaps the only complaint) is that the truck just isn’t always there when your cravings hit! Secret tip: We heard this truck was cash only, so keep cash on hand if you’re heading down to LA. You may not forgive yourself otherwise.

LA Food Trucks - El Chato Taco Truck

El Chato Taco Truck Rates #1


Kogi BBQ – Serving Korean marinated meats and tofu, customers are given a choice between tacos, quesadillas and sliders for the savory meats. The dish receiving the most chatter, the Kimchi Quesadilla, has locals confused over how Kogi BBQ manages to melt all of its unique flavors for a delicious and somewhat Korean-Mexican experience. One of the few top trucks who accepts debit and credit cards, this is a great place to hit on a whim with no cash in hand. Locals complain about the long wait for this truck, although service is pretty fast. Kogi does a great job at handling what sometimes appears to be unmanageably long lines. With its cultish following, Kogi is a close tie for favorite among LA food trucks.

Mariscos Jalisco – It’s no secret Los Angelenos love Tacos. While researching different food trucks in Los Angeles, we quickly found the city’s most common food truck dishes are tacos. That doesn’t mean they are all the same, however, as one would quickly find simply traveling from El Chato Taco Truck to Mariscos Jalisco. Mariscos Jalisco serves a local favorite: shrimp tacos. In fact, this truck’s entire specialty is seafood tacos. Some have a kick of hot flavor, but locals don’t seem to be complaining about it!

Curbside Cravings – Heaping portions of Filipino food set this truck apart from other LA food trucks. Locals say the owners are some of the friendliest in town, and their menu includes an assortment of barbecue items, some of which are seasonal. Lobster balls, barbecue sticks, tocino burgers and tocino plates are some of the truck’s hottest selling items. Their fresh, cold mango juice is refreshing for hot LA days, and some claim it’s a secret recipe.

Curbside Cravings

Heaping portions of Filipino food set this truck apart from other LA food trucks.


Slanging Corea – This melting pot serves burgers, grilled cheeses (some with pork), dumplings, burritos, vegetables and more. Described well as a Korean fusion truck, fresh Kimchi is a must have at this local hot spot. Long lines are an obvious plague for most of these big hit restaurants, but service here is quick, so you have more time to enjoy things like their fabulous Korean Beef Barbecue Rice and friendly, down-to-earth customer service.

LA food trucks are almost a sort of wonder to those coming from smaller cities in the United States.


Arroy Food Truck – Thai Wings, Pork-belly Sliders, Thai Curry Chicken, Garlic Fries and even Thai Tea set this food truck apart from several in the area. Considered an Asian Fusion food truck, this truck changes its menu as often as daily, so locals come back for more and more, never tiring of the dishes. Humorously, yet oddly commonly, described as “Heaven in your mouth,” the only complaint locals seem to have about Arroy is the wait. The wait, of course, is caused by its loyal customers who claim to be addicted to their Sliders.

Arroy Food Truck - a Food Trucks Los Angeles Fav

LA Food Trucks Fav : Arroy Food Truck


The Lobos Truck – Who can resist an All American Burger? Not Los Angeles customers. At the Lobos Truck, they take a traditional sandwich to another level. Fried eggs on your burger? Check. Multiple cheeses? Absolutely. A fresh bun? Of course. It’s difficult to call anything American without adding bacon, so the Little Lobos Burger hits all of your favorites, piling them onto a fresh bun with their big smiling faces and friendly attitudes. This truck falls under the “Traditional American,” category, and we think among LA food trucks, it’s one of the best in its category.

The Grilled Cheese Truck – Almost every restaurant or fast food establishment in LA has a specialty, and LA food trucks are no exception. The All American grilled cheese has met its match, as the Grilled Cheese Truck offers a number of bizarre, though delicious, improvements. Whether you prefer rib meat on your grilled cheese, or macaroni and cheese with barbecue pork, you’re sure to find it here. While most food trucks skip the famous side dish of tomato soup with their grilled cheeses, the Grilled Cheese Truck conquered it. After what may be the world’s most unique grilled cheese, the staff will likely invite you to add a desert – a S’mores Sandwich.

Gus’s Lunch Box – Carne Asada fries, Burritos, Enchiladas, Mulitas and Chicken Tacos keep this Mexican food truck’s customers loyal. Customers say it’s no secret this is old-fashioned greasy, stick-to-the-hips kind of delicious. We think there’s a reason it’s a compliment and not a complaint. Secret tip: According to our research, of all the LA food truck locations this location charges a small fee if you aren’t paying in cash.

LA Food Trucks Were First

A Smithsonian columnist traced the food truck industry back to its origins in Los Angeles. Each neighborhood has its own feel and its own interpretation of the cultures around them. The food trucks Los Angeles have a great way of reflecting that. In a city with five star restaurants, world renowned cuisine and gourmet meals served daily, the food trucks reflect all of the fine foods that are available in LA in an endless number of ways. A food trick business can be quite successful in an area so passionate about its food. LA food trucks are in a competitive market, but the market can also very rewarding.

The Great Food Truck Race

The Great Food Truck RaceCourtesy of

Hosted by Tyler Florence (of “Food Court Wars”), the Great Food Truck Race is a reality competition show that follows a number of food trucks to see who earns the most. Aired on Food Network, the lowest earners get “booted” off of the show. The show is now in its fifth season with a devoted following, and has even inspired some to open their own food truck business. Airing on the Food Network, the show depicts several real challenges of food truck owners. Some “Speed Bump Challenges” are races to see how fast the trucks can get running and open to customers, and the winners usually earn a bit more for their time spent open while others are left behind. “Truck Stop Specialties” often challenge food truck owners to serve local dishes. Other real life battles include location issues, space obstacles and equipment issues.

The Great food Truck Race 2014

This season, the Great Food Truck Race 2014 features :

  • a Beach Cruiser Truck,
  • Chatty Chicken,
  • Gourmet Graduates,
  • Let There Be Bacon,
  • Lone Star Chuck Wagon,
  • Madres Mexican Meals,
  • Military Moms and
  • Middle Feast.


The Great Food Truck Race contestant

Chatty Chicken Food Truck


The food trucks travel throughout areas of the United States each season, and the show’s website even details the schedule in case you’re hoping to visit one of the contestants. This season features Tucson, Ariz., Southern Calif. and Austin, Texas, among others, which means contestants have an abundance of cooking and driving to do in order to win the race. Last season, the trucks traveled through D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and even locations in South Dakota and Idaho.

The Great Food Truck Race contestant

Lone Star Chuck Wagon


The trucks featured in the network’s Great Food Truck Race shows aren’t all just ordinary trucks. Previously, a modern Singaporean style truck served sweet and salty crab cakes in Irvine, Cali. A delicious and popular Belgian waffle trucks won over fans on a prior season. Los Angeles got to enjoy cheese filled tater tots while Austin cooled off with an ice cream sandwich truck. A former film set decorator even had the opportunity to serve up delicious tacos in Hawaii. Whether you’re looking to find fish tacos, a latte with hormone-free milk, authentic Italian or pizza, there is certainly a food truck somewhere just waiting on your order.

The show presents a number of obstacles for food truck “racers,” including truck swaps, budget challenges, location competitions and even shifts of closing periods that affect when the trucks can be open for business. At times, the host even mandates that each truck sell the same foods to see who comes out on top!

The Great Food Truck Race contestant

Beach Cruiser Food Truck


Though some of the struggles presented on the Great Food Truck Race show aren’t reflective of struggles that common food truck owners face, they can prepare the business owners for virtually anything that could go wrong. Common food truck owners do face location dilemmas, though they aren’t specifically planned as they are in the show. However, owners do have to look for prime locations to maximize profits. Owners have to plan more than regular restaurant owners, as stocking areas are limited, and sales need to be accurately forecasted. Not only will a truck owner need to choose a location, but he will need to choose several. Especially if one plans to increase his customer base by visiting festivals, carnivals and other areas that typically profit the most from food trucks, he will need to stay current on local events.

Food trucks are held to the same health standards as a restaurant, so keeping equipment maintained is key. While the show has some “speed bumps” that mimic these scenarios, in real life, it could cost the owner several day’s revenue and a portion of their customer base.

“More information on The Great Food Truck Race may be found on the show’s website,”

Tyler Florence

Tyler Florence (Photo :


Overall, Tyler Florence delivers a somewhat realistic, although more thrilling, insight into the food truck industry. When contestants battle issues such as going over budget and having to return items to the local markets, they represent a real struggle that can happen to any restaurant owner who isn’t prepared enough. The show also represents, however, the devoted customer base that a food truck can obtain. During the challenges that force all food trucks to prepare the same meals on the show, one can instantly see disappointed customers as they approach their favorite truck.

In summary, the Great Food Truck Race allows the best insight available on television to those seeking to enter the food truck industry.

10 Reasons to Write a Food Truck Business Plan Before You Buy a Food Truck

A food truck business plan is a vital part of your journey towards mobile kitchen success. Before you put down any money on a set of wheels or food truck equipment, you must completely understand the needs and direction of your business. The easiest way to do this is to write and apply a strong, straightforward and detailed plan. It’s extremely irresponsible to venture out on a sales trip without a predetermined route of leads. The same thought process applies when starting a business, especially before investing any significant amount of money.

Buy a Food Truck

When you’re looking at food trucks for sale, remember that the deal of a lifetime comes around about once per week!


Here are ten good reasons to buckle-up and commit your plan to paper before you buy a food truck.

  1. Your food truck business plan will outlive your truck.

    If you build your business around a single vehicle, it is much more difficult to change things when you eventually have to upgrade, trade-in, or otherwise retire a food truck.

  2. Purposefully branding your business is easier.

    This means that you can find a truck that genuinely fits your logo or design style. That typically works better than forcing your logo to fit, or designing one around a non-permanent business asset.

  3. Your business needs to adapt to different trucks.

    This is especially important for the day when you eventually expand your food truck business plan to include more than one truck. The trucks may or may not have identical characteristics, making it essential to have a solid plan that can accommodate many different variations.

  4. Getting a great deal on the fly does not always mean getting the greatest value.

    It’s important to shop around and understand the market before you invest in your mobile kitchen. Keep in mind what attributes of a vehicle help improve the cost to operate or the resale value. This will make sure your purchase is truly valuable in the big picture of your business.

  5. A plan lessens spontaneous expenses.

    When you know your budget, it’s easier to decline offers from pushy salespeople and resist temptations on well-designed websites. Making sure you have a food truck business plan first also helps you to prioritize purchases and achieve future enhancements.

    custom food trucks

    New food trucks for sale will be very appealing.

  6. You’ll know that you can easily house and repair your mobile kitchen.

    What happens if your garage is too small? Perhaps you’ll run into trouble if your landlord or neighborhood association does not allow commercial vehicles onsite. Also, to whom would you bring your rig for repair if it broke down? These issues would all have their place in a food truck business plan and that would save you from stressful, on-the-spot decisions.

  7. There’s more time to work towards your ideal rig.

    With a plan in action, you’re free to find the mobile food truck that feels right to you and fits all the needs of your business. This means less hassles and less time between a large investment and revenue generation.

  8. You’ve already designed or envisioned your websites and marketing materials.

    This means you’re ready with decals or paint designs for your truck. It also means that all you have to do to start promoting your business is add some incredible pictures of your setup to your web presence.

  9. You know how to get the proper licensing to lawfully drive and operate your lunch truck.

    While you typically won’t need a commercial driver’s license to operate a mobile kitchen, your food truck business plan will ensure you’re well versed in every license, permit and inspection you’ll need to make sure there’s no red tape keeping you from your profits.

  10. Impulsiveness is a bad business habit.

    If you’re making such a huge purchase without a plan, take a look at some of your other behaviors. While it’s good to jump on a sure thing at the right time, a long track record of costly, erratic and reckless expenses lead to nothing but a closed up shop.If nothing else, a good plan yields good results. The future of your business is sure to hold a ridiculous amount of unknowns. You can take control and lesson the amount of future stress factors when you put your goals down on paper and map out a realistic way to achieve them. You deserve to take your time writing a food truck business plan that will ensure you experience success far into the future and well past your first rig.

“A food truck business plan is a vital part of your journey towards mobile kitchen success.”

Why Entrepreneurs Should Consider the Gumball Machine

Since the early 1900’s, the gumball machine has reigned supreme as an ultra-fun and convenient way to enjoy a sweet, chewy treat. Over one hundred years later, the gumball machine is still a great way to create impressive passive income. Read on to discover this easy way to enhance, or start, your vending business.

Antique Gumball Machines

Antique Gumball Machines are highly collectible – bidding on this one pictured exceeding $1000 on !

Gumball Machines are Awesome

It starts with just a simple coin and ends with a burst of highly anticipated happiness. Which color will I get? What flavor? I hope I get that one! With the turn of a handle, a prize drops from a glass globe and plunks against a metal door. Exhilaration flashes across your customer as they retrieve their gumball and walk off, happily chewing away the stress of their day.

The scenario is joyful to imagine. It’s even better if you imagine that every time someone gets a happy experience from your gumball dispenser, you get to collect a whole quarter!

Besides acting as great sources of passive income, these simple vending machines are extremely easy to operate. Once you place and stock your machine, it’s a simple matter of keeping it clean, refilling it and collecting your money. Whether you choose gumball machines to enhance your current business or act as a standalone business, the opportunities for expansion are virtually limitless.

People of all ages enjoy a good vending machine, especially since the machines aren’t just limited to actual balls of gum. The choices of candy and trinket fillers are endless for a savvy entrepreneur, and so are the available locations to house your moneymakers.

Candy Dispenser

An assortment of modern gumball machines located in a Dallas storefront. (

While it takes a great deal of machines to guarantee a substantial income, owning just one serves as wonderful supplemental income. Here are a few common challenges that gumball newbies sometimes face, as well as some helpful tips to overcome them.

  • Machine Maintenance– Some machines are flashy, electrified pieces of treat-dispensing technology. Most are fairly simple gear systems. Either type you choose, it’s important to understand how they work, and have the ability to fix them should the need arise. An abundance of research material is available online from which to learn on your own. Alternatively, you can always find a certified service technician in your area.
  • Choosing Product– The beginning stages of any business venture are often fraught with trial and error. The most common quandary for a gumball machine owner is which filler to choose. Lessen your frustrations by observing these factors:

o   Climate- Excessive heat or freezing cold may damage product.

o   Culture- Some products are better suited for specific groups of people.

o   Price- Ensure that the product you choose has the highest profit margin possible.

  • Few Ways to Market– Other than visibility, there are few ways to successfully market this type of business. One definite strategy is to increase the amount and quality of your vending array to increase traffic.


The challenges of this type of business are few and manageable. If owning a gumball business makes you all bubbly, follow the following steps and get vending!

, do your research. Laws that regulate vending business vary by state and location. Always check with your local government for specific licensing and health permitting. Also, make sure that you have valid tax ids.

, shop for a good machine and good bulk pricing. Try to keep your product cost lower than 20% of what you charge.

, scope out good locations. Approach businesses with a lot of foot traffic. Offer a percentage of your sales in exchange for a cozy spot in their lobby or waiting room.

, purchase, study, understand and set-up your machine.

, place your vending machine at a predetermined location. Machines normally live in highly trafficked areas, so crime is rare. However, if you’re worried about your investment going missing, secure it to a pillar or other permanent structure.

Sixth, continue to keep track of your machines. Refill and clean as necessary, and always test to make sure they are in proper working condition. Also, do not neglect to have an option available for rolling all those coins for a bank deposit.

 “Besides acting as great sources of passive income, gumball machines are extremely easy to operate”

How Many Coins?

That depends on a lot. To simplify it, if each gumball costs you two cents to buy and they each sell for one quarter, then you’ve made $0.23 per gumball. If your machine holds an even 100, you’ve generated $23.00 in revenue. If you pay the host location 15%, you’re rolling up $19.55 in shiny passive income each time you refill. If you already operate a mobile business, such as a food truck, then adding a route of gumball machines is the perfect way to pad your pocket. Purchasing a candy machine – or two, or three, or more –  could start you off on a delicious, new, financial path.

The Secret of a Successful Lunch Truck

In its most basic form, the secret of running a successful lunch truck is locking down a regular route of reliable customers to whom you can serve delicious dishes that won’t undo their diet, drain their debit card, or leave them lethargic for the second half of their day. Sounds simple, but it’s a task easier said than done. Here are a few tips to help you apply this secret to your own successful lunch truck business.

Scope Out Locations for Your Lunch Truck and Network the Right People

It should go without saying that vending lunch trucks should park in a place that is convenient to a large number of people in the middle of the day. A great location is heavily populated, yet fairly isolated from other ready-to-eat food sources, like a suburban office park or outdoor recreation area. A key to gaining a firm grip on a prospective location is to make initial contact with the actual property owners, as opposed to the owners or managers of the surrounding businesses. This ensures you have complete permission to do business on the grounds, which can help with access to restroom facilities for you and any employees. Solidifying yourself with the property owner, or management company, also allows you to approach local businesses, and their hungry employees, as a legitimate and symbiotic business addition to the immediate area.

Stay Cooperative in Competition

Depending on your area, other catering trucks can serve as valuable assets in maintaining your profitability at a specific location. Few people want the same flavors and options day after day, month after month, for years. While you want customers to patronize you regularly, you do not want them to burn out on your products, especially since revamping a menu is often costly and time consuming. Instead, engage another mobile food vendor to take your place on certain days of the week, or for a week out of the month. Set up ‘special events’ that feature a few lunch trucks to drive even heavier hungry traffic to your spot. Cooperating with other business owners in this way opens up more locations for you to operate when they trade you established spots, and your customers don’t fall out of the lunch truck habit.  If you are finding your business to be successful enough, perhaps starting a second business, run by employees, with a different menu will allow you to dominate an area…it’s a thought.

Go Social

A key to any successful modern business is a good web presence. As a mobile food vendor, allowing your customers to know where you’ll operate on any given day is a great way to lock in business. Offer discounted or free items for customers when they join you in social media. Once they have made contact, you can send out messages in the morning or the night before to make sure you sell out at high noon. Allowing customers to post comments and pictures of your truck make the interactions more meaningful and allow you to create a community that surrounds your business and helps it thrive.

Maintain Simplicity with Predictable Variation

Choose locations for your Lunch Truck carefullyKeep a lunch menu on the light side. There’s a lot of junk available on the food market these days. If your truck serves food that won’t send your customers to the hospital or give them an ultra-full and unproductive feeling, make sure you communicate that. Keep options few and easy to remember. Consistency doesn’t necessarily mandate that nothing ever changes. If you make it a habit to offer a new special every week, the change will interest customers and keep them checking back with you on a regular basis.

“A lunch truck might not pay all of your bills with just a few hours of operation per day. Try looking into different ways to maximize a lunch truck business.”

Spread Out and Stay Affordable

A single lunch truck might not pay all of your bills with just a few hours of operation per day. Try looking into different ways to maximize your business. Company picnics and private parties are a great way to generate extra revenue, and you can do these gigs during non-lunch hours. Use social media and printed marketing materials to inform customers of your offers. Try arriving to your spot early and visiting the local businesses yourself to raise awareness of your services. Bring samples or coupons, and never forget your menus. Many offices might happily place large orders with catering trucks and pay for delivery before regular hours. Remind clients exactly where your parking spot is by offering tiny maps on a brochure or on your website. Remember, the best businesses succeed when happy customers tell their friends. So, keep a smile on your face and happily promote your lunch truck.

Pros of a Taco Truck Business and Three Potholes to Avoid

A taco truck is a great choice for a spicy entrepreneur deciding to go into the mobile food cart business. Mexican cuisine is widely enjoyed across all of North America, making it a really easy market to dig into. As a niche, the taco cart world is roomy enough to keep a newbie from growing discouraged, yet established enough to ensure a good chance for traction. Taco carts allow you to offer your customers a familiar, yet slightly exotic, fun food. If you’re dedicated enough to deliver quality product that’s priced to sell with a strong dash of quickness, then a taco truck business might work for you. Read on for some pros of the trade and some potholes to avoid along the way.

A taco truck business might work for  you.

Everyone Loves Tacos. Everyone.

Everyone loves Tacos. Everyone.

If a fast food titan, like Taco Bell, isn’t proof enough, just take a look around your town or on the menu of your favorite restaurant and notice how Mexican food options are more prevalent today than ever before, no matter where on the continent you live. It’s simple to understand; the cuisine is delicious, even if you don’t care for super-hot foods. Ingredients are uncomplicated to procure at a good price, and the structure of some well-known dishes, specifically tacos, make them portable and easy to eat.

Super Versatile

A creative chef can produce endless permutations of taco fillers, allowing them to tailor their menu to a defined local customer base. This goes further than ensuring you offer chicken instead of beef, or pork instead of seafood depending on the preferences of your clients. Tailoring your menu can even include changing things up for different times of the day, all while remaining true to your taco truck roots. Think savory breakfast burritos or flaky, cream cheese and fruit filled sweet tacos. The Kogi Korean BBQ truck offer a menu that is a fusion of Mexican and Korean flavors…who would have thought?

Little, if Any, Onsite Cooking

Making a taco mostly consists of combining already prepared ingredients. This means that you can do most, if not all, of the cooking in your kitchen beforehand. Onsite, all you have to do is put everything together, heat press or fry if you choose to, and hand the taco over to your paying customer. This makes a business based on a taco menu ideal for one or two man operations. If you forgo frying and heating, you only need to make sure your ingredients maintain proper holding temperatures. This significantly lowers the amount of equipment needed to get a taco truck up and running.

Taco Truck Tacos

Caution; Taco Truck Road is Not Made of Glass

Once you’re up and running, it’s important to remember that not all surfaces are smoothly paved and bump free. Here’s a guide to a few potholes that you might encounter along your way to taco bliss, and some smart ways to avoid them.

Licensing & Permitting

Unfortunately, this part is reportedly the most difficult. Often, regulations regarding mobile food venders vary significantly from one place to another, even within counties and individual municipalities. The process is lengthy and time consuming. However, diligent research and making sure you fill out forms properly combine for a winning recipe when starting your business. A good way to use the down time while waiting for bureaucratic approval is to create a strong and detailed business plan. Make sure to leave a lot of cushion in financing and deadlines.

Underestimating Workload

It is true that a mobile food business is a smaller expense than a full service restaurant. However, a food truck owner has just as big a workload and time investment as his brick and mortar counterparts. Beyond actual time spent serving customers, owners of food vending trucks also spend time preparing food in a distant kitchen, traveling to and in between vending spots, completing office work and marketing tasks, as well as networking to find the next best place to park. The rewards are great, but so are the demands. Make sure you think of every need your business may develop, no matter how far-fetched, to keep a decent perspective on profitability and life balance.

“…think of other service you could offer, like taco truck catering to office parties, and have marketing materials available to pass out as you invite people to partake of your south-of-the-border goodness.”

Limiting Exposure and Revenue Sources

Once you have your truck, your food and your cash register, you are ready for business, right? Well sure, if you want to ensure you have a financially difficult road to travel. Consistently high profits in a taco truck business mean consistently high sales volumes. Typically, business comes in spurts even during large events like fairs and festivals. Use the time you have in the public eye to attract more income. Make sure your truck displays a highly visible and attractive brand. Have a printed list of locations you frequent available for patrons. Also, think of other service you could offer, like taco truck catering to office parties, and have marketing materials available to pass out as you invite people to partake of your south-of-the-border goodness.

Starting a taco truck business is exhilarating, even if it’s also exhausting at times. Once your profits start rolling in, though, the fight to serve the streets is well worth the effort.


Starbucks Leaks Secrets to Coffee Cart Entrepreneurs

In June of this year, a Starbucks Frappuccino coffee truck hits the streets of Los Angeles, CA, and sets the stage for a new revolution in the coffee cart business. During the two-week tour, the colorful truck gives the people of LA even more opportunities to score their caffeinated sugar rush, as if the 100 or so brick and mortar storefronts in the area were not enough. Perhaps there is more to this stunt than meets the eye. Read on to understand the secrets Starbucks spilled with its foray into the mobile coffee business, and then get in on this trend.

A Coffee Cart Works for Starbucks

Attribution given to Starbucks and the Frappuccino truck

Sneaky Starbucks

It seems unlikely that Starbucks has an urgent need to expand its customer base in the LA area. Nevertheless, the Starbucks Frappuccino truck is rolling around and serving customers. A closer look at the operation reveals at least three reasons why this technicolored truck is a smart move for Starbucks.

  • Market Research– The coffee truck only sells Frappuccinos. What’s more is that the truck only sells a select variety of flavors and has plans to debut brand new Frappuccino flavors during its time on the road. This allows customers a fun way to experience new products while Starbucks studies the data.
  • Immersive Social Media– Once a customer samples a new Starbucks creation, they can instantly tell the world of social media all about it. Offering the coffee giant even more insight into their customer base. In addition, interacting with a brand on social media creates a sense of exclusivity, a feeling that modern consumers covet which, when felt, increases the likelihood that they will continue as customers.
  • Nostalgia– The colorful coffee truck is reminiscent of the ice cream man who drives around in the summer to supply neighborhood kids with delicious, frozen memories of happiness. Starbucks is pulling on these heartstrings and creating an experience for its clientele.

The benefits Starbucks may reap with this marketing experiment are probably limitless. The biggest fact that their choice reveals to the modern entrepreneur is that mobile food vending, especially the mobile coffee business, is experiencing strong growth.

While a full-sized, custom-painted, brand-new vehicle is a significant investment for the modern entrepreneur, a mobile coffee business is really a very simple, viable option for people looking to go to work for themselves. Here are a few of the ups and downs of starting a mobile coffee business of your own.

 Advantages of a Coffee Cart

  • Built-In Customer Base- Around 80% of American adults drink coffee. That means that eight out of the ten people you see walking down the street are your potential customers.
  • Low Start-Up Costs- You can design and build your coffee cart yourself, or buy a pre-packaged kit. There are also used coffee carts for sale.  Either way, your initial investment is generally less than $10,000.
  • Simple Operations- Making coffee is easy. The supplies are straightforward, and a business-owning barista can make their recipes as basic or complex as desired.
  • Easy Adjustment- If the location you picked is deserted, move to another. If it’s raining outside, go inside. If your customers like a stronger brew in the morning than in the afternoon, change it. The point is, a coffee cart business gives you extreme flexibility.

And the Disadvantages

  • Not Exempt- Even though a coffee cart is rather small, it still serves food to the public. That means that you must ensure you fully travel the channels to proper licensing and health department permitting.
  • Little Space- People are cranky before they’ve had their coffee, and they tend to be picky about the exact proportions of cream and sugar, or lack thereof. A cart does not lend itself well to a self-serve area, so understand that attention to an individual customer’s preferences is of the utmost importance.
  • High Volume- In order to generate decent income for its owner, a mobile coffee business must do a high volume of sales. Keep in mind that your prices must remain competitive, especially if your business may survive on the spontaneity of a customer’s spending.
A coffee cart can turn up anywhere

A Coffee Cart can go anywhere!

Ready to Roast?

“This is probably not the last time the Starbucks truck will hit the streets, and the coffee cart business is only getting stronger.

Here are a few tips on how to start a coffee stand to get in on this trend now.

  • Scope out locations in your town. Look for heavy foot traffic with predictable rush hours. Make sure to find a few possible spots, all with great visibility.
  • Do your due diligence and look into the process of starting a business in your area. Doing the right thing first saves headaches later.
  • Get your coffee cart, choose your blend and turn on the burners while you smile and man your cash register.


The Famous NYC Food Trucks

NYC Food Trucks are Famous Nation Wide

One of the most well-known cities in the country, New York City, is also one of the best known for its food trucks. NYC food trucks are considered to be some of the best in the country and some of the most varied as well. These food trucks are often some of the most profitable, because the areas that they are located in have some of the highest levels of foot traffic of any area throughout the entire country. As a result, New York City food trucks continue to flourish.

If you’re looking to become one of the next NYC food trucks you need to understand some of the basic success factors and important rules. These include rules on allowable NYC food truck locations, what licenses you need in order to operate and what types of food you are going to serve. There are many things that are necessary to understand thoroughly if you are setting out to work anywhere in New York City and if you don’t understand the NYC food trucks rules you could end up with a big fine or worse.

The Top 5 NYC Food Trucks

What you need to know is how to emulate some of those greatest and most successful food trucks and that’s precisely what we are going to tell you here.

The top five in the area are Korilla BBQ, Milk Truck, El Olomega, Calexico and Souvlaki GR. These trucks are touted by several different sources as offering some of the best there is in NYC food trucks and there are several reasons for those rave reviews. Sure you’re looking to open your own food truck but in order to have success you need to make sure you know what’s giving other trucks their success.

Korilla BBQ is not just a typically BBQ truck. It actually serves Korean food, BBQ style. You are able to create your own chosun bowl or you can get tacos made with different types of meat and fried rice. They also have their own barbecue sauce and, what really draws in more of the crowd is the fact that they serve 100% vegetarian meals as well. New options for vegetarians are always a good idea because of the limited choices normally offered to them.

Korilla BBQ. One of the most popular NYC food trucks today

Korilla BBQ. One of the most popular NYC food trucks today


The Milk Truck is a small dairy style truck. From this truck you’ll get something you might not expect from a food truck, grilled cheese. You’ll also get milkshakes and breakfast sandwiches made with eggs and specialty cheeses. What seems to draw people this truck is the difference between it and what’s offered everywhere else. Not in many places can you find specialty breads and cheeses at a food cart, and definitely not a lot that are serving grilled cheese and homemade milkshakes of high quality while you’re on the go.

El Olomega is a seasonal truck but it’s always located in the same spot, next to the Brooklyn Ballfields. This truck serves Salvadorean food and is well known mostly for their pupusas. These are a family recipe that has been made and sold for over 20 years. They contain tortillas with shredded pork, chicken, plantains and zucchini as well as loroco flower (yes we did in fact spell that properly). These pupusas seem to keep people coming back again and again and even seem able to compete with the soccer games going on beside them. The key is to have something different and unique that tastes great and keeps people loyal to you.

Calexico is a California style food truck serving Mexican cuisine. It parks near Flatiron or SoHo typically which makes it easy to find when you want the food (always a good idea) and boasts a smaller cart outside the Barclays Center. They boast a menu of carne asada, ground beef, chipotle pork and other spicy ingredients all rolled into a tortilla for a hearty Mexican meal on the go. This is also one of the few trucks of its kind as Mexican food isn’t as prominent in New York City. It’s always a good idea to be easy to be found by your customers, especially if you want regulars.

“The top five in the area are Korilla BBQ, Milk Truck, El Olomega, Calexico and Souvlaki GR. These trucks are touted by several different sources as offering some of the best there is in NYC food trucks…”

Finally we have Souvlaki GR which actually has become so popular it was able to open a true restaurant as well as the traditional food truck everyone knows and loves. This truck serves pitas with your choice of veggies, spicy dip and meats and has been found on many different streets (as well as the physical location in the Lower East Side). If you’re looking to follow this truck’s success you need to know where to stop and where your best customer base is going to be. Develop a routine that you will be known for and more people will be able to find you when they want your food. NYC food trucks schedules can be found on Twitter by following your favorite trucks or on NYC informational sites such as

The Souvlaki GR food truck also has a Restaurant

The Souvlaki GR food truck also has a Restaurant


The novice mobile food vendor has the opportunity to gain a huge competitive edge by studying the details of the most popular NYC food trucks. Patronize as many popular food trucks as you can and study their success secrets – even ask them questions about why they think so many people love them, if you dare! And make sure you attend the NYC Food Trucks Festival, now in its second year.

Easier Profits From a Hot Dog Cart Business

One of the most popular and best-recognised types of food trucks is the hot dog cart. These carts are pretty much present in just about any city depending on the size, but even small towns and cities will probably have a food cart out and about during special events or occasions. If you’re looking to just start by dipping your toe in the water of running a food truck then this option might be something you want to try out for yourself. Food trucks come in all different types after all and some will do better than others with specific kinds of specialty food – but who doesn’t love a good hot dog?

hot dog cart in the old days

The Hot Dog Cart is a Well Recognized Fixture in Some Places – and Has Been for a Very Long Time!

Reduce Your Risk With a Hot Dog Cart

The hot dog cart business is one that you can easily check out for yourself. You may start just by chatting to a few vendors to ask how they got started and how business is going for them.  By starting out with this type of food vending business you actually decrease your costs and decrease the amount of risk involved, because like we said, who doesn’t love a good hot dog? You don’t have to worry about choosing the right cuisine for the right crowd.  That means you shouldn’t have to worry too much about whether or not people will like your food and you will be likely get the business that you need wherever you go. Instead, you just have to worry about where to put your cart so that you get the most business possible.


Modern Hot Dog Cart

A Modern Purpose Built Hot Dog Cart

As well as simplifying the choice of cuisine being served from hot dog carts and grills, we mentioned cost and there’s a good reason for that.

A hot dog cart is typically not the same as a full size mobile food truck. In most cases a food truck will be much larger and will have fairly serious cooking equipment of some kind. They will generally also produce more than just one kind of food or will produce several options for that type of food, with the possible side-effect that you’ll be likely to have more wastage than if you served a narrow selection of foods on your menu.

On the other hand a hot dog cart is generally a smaller cart that can simply be pushed around by the owner. You don’t need a big truck because you’re selling a small product. You’re selling the one kind of product, so don’t need a wide variety of basic ingredients so this makes life simpler, keeps running costs down and wastage to a minimum.

Because you’re only selling one product you’ll also have less money invested in inventory. Purchasing large quantities of hot dogs and condiments doesn’t have to be expensive at all and you’ll be able to start making a profit much faster by not having to recoup all those costs that most mobile food vendors incur. There is still going to be a bit of a risk – there’s risk in any business – but it’s going to be far less of one than most other types of this business.

So think about it long and hard and figure out what’s going to work best for you : low entry cost and running costs?  or the whole kit and kaboodle?

So as you’ll have worked out for yourself, a smaller cart will cost you far less money than purchasing a large food truck. And a used hot dog stand will be just fine to start with. You’ll also have less money involved in start-up costs and permits because you don’t actually need to ‘park’ in any one specific place. Don’t get us wrong of course, you do still need to get a permit, but you don’t need to get one that allows you to park for extended periods of time, unless you want to set up a permanent area. You can actually walk up and down the street or through a park even to sell your wares.

“Who Doesn’t Love a Good Hot Dog?”

If you’re looking to give mobile vending a try but aren’t entirely sure, then this is possibly the best option to try it out without having to spend a fortune and then attempt to recoup the money when you decide you don’t like it, can’t make it work, or decide to do something else. You and your family may be eating hot dogs for a year if you can’t get the business rocking, but at least you won’t be out a fortune on a food truck and equipment! You’ll just be out the price of the cart and you’ll have food for your family for a while. After all, hot dogs never get boring right?  (We’re kidding, of course!)

A food truck can be a fun way to earn an income and a this type of entry level hot dog cart can be even more so. Just because you have the freedom to move around so much more and you have the ability to meet more people, the hot dog cart business can sometimes be even better than operating a large mobile food truck. The opportunities are endless and who knows, you may end up with other products in your hot dog cart and you may end up with some excellent regular customers – it’s a great way to get started in your own business.

Rules and Regulations for Your Food Truck Business

If you are preparing to venture into the food truck business you’re going to need to be up to date on everything that’s happening in the government regarding your potential business and that could possibly impact on your food vendor license. It’s important to know that changes to the laws regarding the food truck business are being proposed in many cities and states across the country. These laws will affect the way that your business is able to operate from defining the hours, to defining exactly where you are able to park your food truck. Since you are looking to turn a profit from your business it’s essential that you know what’s taking place in the legal environment before you jump in with both feet.

Could Your Food Truck Business Cope With Imposed Restrictions?

As an example of what can occur, one of the proposed changes in Libertyville (a suburb of Chicago) is limiting the open hours of a food truck business to the hours of 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Another proposed change is where a food truck is allowed to be parked. It is proposed that food service vendors would be able to stay in one location for only eight hours and would only be able to sell in one zone a total of four times during one calendar year. This regulation would also require a $500 permit and a background check before that permit would be issued.

Before you start thinking that you don’t live in Libertyville Chicago and you don’t have to worry about these proposals – think again. Many cities and states across the country are proposing similar regulations and changes for mobile food vendors. It is believed that these changes will help to limit the vast number of food trucks that have been popping up all over villages and cities of all sizes. Libertyville has noticed a drastic increase in the number of mobile food trucks in their area and they are not the only ones.

So How Does This Affect You?

So how does this affect you?  Well the first thing you need to know is that purchasing a permit will cut into your bottom line. This will cost you more money right up front which can be difficult when you are just starting out. On top of that, if you will only be able to sell during specific hours that can make a big difference in your profits and your flexibility as well. Think about when you would really like to sell your products if given the choice. Chances are you know the area that you want to sell in and you know what times of the day that area is the busiest. Those are the times when you want to sell and if those times do not fit into the specified hours being proposed, this is a challenge to your livelihood and such facts need to be reflected in your food truck business plan when you’re setting up.

Busy cities like New York never sleep and the busiest hours for mobile food vendors may be after midnight. If they were to adopt regulations like this it could be more difficult to earn the best profits. This also means that you need to work set hours which takes away from the flexibility of being your own boss and working when you want to work. Having to stay in certain areas for only certain amounts of time during the year can also cut into your flexibility and your profits. As a result, you could have more trouble getting what you want out of your business.

Can Your Food Truck Business Influence These Regulations At All?

This can happen anywhere around the country which is why it’s important to know about. But once you know you can plan around these changes. You’ll be able to locate the best areas to be in at certain times of the year and of the day. You’ll also learn how to maximize your profits during the hours that you are allowed to sell. It’s all about understanding what’s available to you and what you can do about it. But is there anything that you can do to change these regulations?

“Talk with other food vendors about how the new regulations affect them and then talk with the people who frequent your food truck
and find out how the regulations affect them as well.”

If you really want to make a change in any community the best thing to do is start a petition for your local government. Talk with other food vendors about how the new regulations affect them and then talk with the people who frequent your food truck and find out how the regulations affect them as well. The government is more likely to listen to the complaining public than they are to listen to the group of food vendors – which is why these regulations end up getting proposed in the first place. If you can get feedback from enough people who frequent your food cart at times or in areas that don’t fit the mold of the regulations you may be able to keep these rules from being passed at all.