Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"?

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Vic Cardenas
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2012/04/01 14:05:34 (permalink)

Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"?

I need to start finding spots to sell my wares, and I have no idea where to start. I'd like to get an idea of what we're all paying for our vending locations. Please be specific, i.e. One day a week, sitting there 6 days a week, etc... if you have any special deals, like feeding the property owner, include that too. Are your spots free? Include that too.
 
I've heard all types of crazy "deals" for food truck owners to sell at that spot. One place wanted 40% of the gross!!!
I would consider that about the craziest it would get, but who knows.
#1

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    chefbuba
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 14:38:11 (permalink)
    Go in low.....They will always counter, meet somewhere in the middle.
    I know that some people just free style, don't pay anything, but have no rights to the spot that they set up at, and have to move every day.
    Others like me, pay for a spot, I'm in a small community that is tourist driven, and also has about 30% snow birds & weekenders. The population swells greatly during holidays, summer, special event weekends, etc. I am also very limited as to where I can even place a mobile rig, but believe that the spot I am at is a winner.
     
     I have water, power and sewer, the trailer does not move. I have my propane delivered, and most of my food from a broadliner too.
    I have built in foot traffic from the business that I am set up at.
    I also have access to walk in refer and freezer if needed on occasion.
     
    I looked at a place in a car wash that has a taco truck set up there, with room for three more trucks, all the utilities in for each, covered patio with tables and bathrooms. The guy wanted $1200 a month!....I passed on that one.
     
    What type of food are you doing?...Who's your audience?
     
    Never mind, just remembered your doing Peruvian.
     
    post edited by chefbuba - 2012/04/01 14:46:17
    #2
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 21:15:47 (permalink)
    The rules have most likely changed here in town because I fought the old law (on my current location) in court and won. I have not gone down and looked at the new ordnance so I'm not sure how it currently  reads. What ever changes they made currently don't effect me because I'm grandfathered in at my current location.
     
    But I may have to move in the near future.My current landlord is and has been going through a ton of financial problems and there is a good chance he may lose ownership of the property.
     
    I have considered doing a schedule of several office buildings (one each day of the week) and then a regular spot from 2:00 pm until close. But I have also seriously considered closing during the winter months. And there is a chance I may sign a contract to do a bunch of events with one company across the country and not have a regular daily spot.
     
    Now the funny part of all those options is "It is maddening to not know what may happen next week let alone in the near future".  
     
    I have new customers every week that stop and buy food all the while complaining that the access to my current location is way to difficult. I have been in this location for 6 years and yes it is slightly difficult to get in and out but the next step (location) just around the corner would cost me right at 2 and 1/2  times what I'm currently paying. Is it worth it...hell who knows until you try it for a year.
     
    I think getting a good location along with fair rent is number 3 in the list of the most important decisions in our business. I'd rate them as follows:
     
    Menu - Quality of the food
    Equipment - appearance
    Location - Parking
     
    I know people say location, location, location. But I have watched restaurants in Springfield do extremely well in the worst neighborhoods in town.We have a restaurant here in town that has to have a security guard in the parking lot to keep the cars  and  customers safe while they eat.
     
    BBQ is not hamburgers and if I did sliders ( White Mana style) I think I could make a killing anywhere. And I mean a killing.
     
    BBQ is at best a once a week item, and I think Peruvian may also be a once a week item. But what I think is not important and I have been wrong many times in the past. So don't worry about my opinion. LOL.
     
    #3
    Sapphirebistro
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 21:44:22 (permalink)
    Currently I have a spot lined up with an owner of a pay to park in the middle of bar nirvana for fri and sat night.... 4-5 hours each night beginning when the brick and mortar stops serving to when the bar crowd fades. Right now it's $300 a month, he will also take a percentage off for every new food truck I can get in the spot.... Des Moines has little to no food truck traffic so that's a moot point so far!!!
    #4
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 22:05:03 (permalink)
    "He will also take a percentage off for every new food truck I can get in the spot..."
     
    Is that a good idea? I'm not sure unless it's like 20% or higher per truck. That would be like inviting competition  to come take away your business. I don't think I'd do that.
    #5
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 23:19:03 (permalink)
    Before you seek or agree to a location...check with the city and/or county to make sure there are no laws that go way back...and may eventually apply to you.

    Here it is usually about public streets connected to sidewalks connected to parking meters connected to parking laws that can come into play.

    Jersey City had a law that (for several decades) only applied to Mr. Softee (ice cream truck) that states he had to move to a new location...every 2 hours. Maybe because music by Mr. Softee will work on your mind and senses over time. The old lunch trucks were never really bothered by anyone. But...when the new food trucks arrived in Jersey City they got Mr. Softee'd... out of the clear blue sky.

    Hoboken just passed new laws that are going to be a headache. It included food trucks having to be outfitted with GPS while in Hoboken...because there are new hourly time limits for operating (and hefty new permit fees). They will track trucks rather then look for them.

    NJ also has some blue laws that go way way way back...but still apply.

    You can easily be Mr. Softee'd on private property...and the landlord will still expect the music to play...and the rent to be paid...if there is an agreement reached...when you don't know what might be on the books.
    post edited by CCinNJ - 2012/04/01 23:28:18
    #6
    Sapphirebistro
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 23:26:54 (permalink)
    Oh I am inviting more competition.... I'm begging for it I'm trying to create a culture change the paradigm of consumers create a destination.... I'm confident in my product and my ability to adapt. To me having multple well run and creative food truck creates an ambience creates a place unique and creates excitement...

    Im not just opening this truck to be a truck im planning to create a culture and it takes more than just me to create a culture I want to be on the right side when it takes off. :)
    #7
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 23:35:35 (permalink)
    "food trucks having to be outfitted with GPS while in Hoboken...because there are new hourly time limits for operating (and hefty new permit fees). They will track trucks rather then look for them."
     
    Boy that sucks! And in most cases the trucks won't unite and hire a good, expensive law firm to fight the city. But instead will try to comply and at some point go out of business. That is sad. The trucks pay taxes, contribute to the overall economy, provide a service that is welcomed by the community, and most important of all provide jobs in an era of high unemployment.
     
    But of course there are a few restaurants that got together hired a good attorney and pushed the powers to be to force the competition out of business.
     
    #8
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 23:40:03 (permalink)
    Sapphirebistro

    Oh I am inviting more competition.... I'm begging for it I'm trying to create a culture change the paradigm of consumers create a destination.... I'm confident in my product and my ability to adapt. To me having multple well run and creative food truck creates an ambience creates a place unique and creates excitement...

    Im not just opening this truck to be a truck im planning to create a culture and it takes more than just me to create a culture I want to be on the right side when it takes off. :)

     
    Or goes down read the post above yours. One truck won't bother the local restaurants several will unite them and create a power struggle.
    #9
    Sapphirebistro
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 23:44:31 (permalink)
    Exactly the reason I welcome competition .... If I can help other entrepreneurs with stumbling blocks I can help create a unified front which we will need here in des Moines believe me.
    #10
    Sapphirebistro
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 23:47:26 (permalink)
    Sorry I should create a new thread sorry to derail this one.
    #11
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/01 23:50:38 (permalink)
    "help other entrepreneurs with stumbling blocks I can help create a unified front which we will need here in des Moines believe me."
     
    Sorry no disrespect meant but your not even open yet right? And your going to .............
    #12
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/02 09:44:05 (permalink)
    @ DR    I am going to do sliders, ( White Mana ) style... For $1.50 each. I'll let you know how it goes after I open in a couple of weeks.
    #13
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/02 10:05:07 (permalink)
    If you do sliders you'll do well really well. It will be a struggle because they can't be held but that said with the right meat mixture of fat to lean, and even a decent bun you'll do well.
    Have you figured your food cost yet?
    I noticed one of our day old bread stores sells slider buns, so I tried some and they were excellent. I don't remember the price though.
    Wow I'm happy for you getting that close to opening and doing Americas Favorite Food "THE SLIDER KING" !
     
    Very Cool.
    #14
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/02 10:56:57 (permalink)
    We pay $0. Thought we were going to pay $25 to plug the AC unit in but the outlet was dead and they are afraid to mess with the breaker box. So we will be buying a small generator.
    #15
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/02 11:06:50 (permalink)
    I have to recalculate my costs now since the cost of beef is going up 40% which is crazy to think. If memory serves, my food cost was around .25 including bun. I created a spreadsheet to calculate everything. I'll have to check it out again. I lost my generator keys and had to order new ones, so they came in about an hour ago and i'm gonna go fire it up and check it out. says it's a quiet 72Db   I don't know how quiet 72Db is really gonna be but we will see.. Examples on the web say passing traffic or a refrigerator in a quiet room will be the best example. LOL
    #16
    Vic Cardenas
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/03 12:10:36 (permalink)
    chefbuba

    Go in low.....They will always counter, meet somewhere in the middle.
    I know that some people just free style, don't pay anything, but have no rights to the spot that they set up at, and have to move every day.
    Others like me, pay for a spot, I'm in a small community that is tourist driven, and also has about 30% snow birds & weekenders. The population swells greatly during holidays, summer, special event weekends, etc. I am also very limited as to where I can even place a mobile rig, but believe that the spot I am at is a winner.

     I have water, power and sewer, the trailer does not move. I have my propane delivered, and most of my food from a broadliner too.  ..........



     
    Care to divulge how much that spot is? It sounds pretty sweet.

     
    Dr of BBQ
    I think getting a good location along with fair rent is number 3 in the list of the most important decisions in our business. I'd rate them as follows:

    Menu - Quality of the food
    Equipment - appearance
    Location - Parking

    I know people say location, location, location. But I have watched restaurants in Springfield do extremely well in the worst neighborhoods in town.We have a restaurant here in town that has to have a security guard in the parking lot to keep the cars  and  customers safe while they eat.


    BBQ is at best a once a week item, and I think Peruvian may also be a once a week item. But what I think is not important and I have been wrong many times in the past. So don't worry about my opinion. LOL.


    I gotcha. I agree with your order of importance list. Menu-quality of food. Check! For sure this is the most important. I got this! Equipment, I'm still accumulating, but almost there. Appearance, Also working on this. Getting my graphics finished soon. Trying to fix little rusty and broken things all the time. The wife made a comment yesterday saying "The truck is looking pretty good" She's the last one that would say that. Believe me! I was surprised. So, now location and parking are on my to-do list.
     
    "Location, location, location" I know it's a bunch of BS for restaurants and food vendors. Just look at how many restaurants fail and turn over again and again at one spot. Then one will come in and be there forever. Or vice versa; an old, well liked restaurant will finally close down, then that spot becomes a black hole. Look at many of these cities that have food truck pods. They usually occupy an undesirable part of town and draw in a crowd and make it vibrant.

    As far as "Peruvian being a once week item". Yeah maybe, for some people. Not me, I eat it everyday. With McDonalds, Arbys, Burger King, etc... being an everyday item for most people, I don't see how Peruvian can't be an everyday item. It's much more healthy and filling!!!!
     
    And you know we all appreciate your advice Dr.! What would this forum be without experienced folks like you?
    CCinNJ

    Before you seek or agree to a location...check with the city and/or county to make sure there are no laws that go way back...and may eventually apply to you.

    Here it is usually about public streets connected to sidewalks connected to parking meters connected to parking laws that can come into play.

    Jersey City had a law that (for several decades) only applied to Mr. Softee (ice cream truck) that states he had to move to a new location...every 2 hours. Maybe because music by Mr. Softee will work on your mind and senses over time. The old lunch trucks were never really bothered by anyone. But...when the new food trucks arrived in Jersey City they got Mr. Softee'd... out of the clear blue sky.

    Hoboken just passed new laws that are going to be a headache. It included food trucks having to be outfitted with GPS while in Hoboken...because there are new hourly time limits for operating (and hefty new permit fees). They will track trucks rather then look for them.

    NJ also has some blue laws that go way way way back...but still apply.

    You can easily be Mr. Softee'd on private property...and the landlord will still expect the music to play...and the rent to be paid...if there is an agreement reached...when you don't know what might be on the books.

    For sure, most cities here are exactly like this. Some don't even have ordinances written yet and have me falling under a "vending cart" but I'm automatically disqualified because I'm too big! It's pretty lame here right now but they're trying to change things for the better in SLC right now.
    #17
    Vic Cardenas
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/03 12:12:00 (permalink)
    lornaschinske

    We pay $0. Thought we were going to pay $25 to plug the AC unit in but the outlet was dead and they are afraid to mess with the breaker box. So we will be buying a small generator.

    Is this a friend or family member? Why $0?
    #18
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/03 15:04:27 (permalink)
    Vic,
    you may be 100% correct and I hope you are. Even if your wrong the most important promotion you can do is keep your name in front of the public daily. I can't give you a how to on that it has to fit your personality and business practice. But if you make me think -Peruvian and I liked it the 1st time I had it I'll be back soon, and maybe today if the thought is strong enough.
     
    A good example is watching the food network as some chef is making tacos. Before he is done your hungry and by the time he is done you have to have Mexican food good or bad it has to be Mexican food.
     
    LMAO at this maybe your wife just wants you to stop working on the SV and go to work? LOL Just kidding.
    #19
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/03 15:25:21 (permalink)
    If she is anything like me...we are making refreshments when anyone is fixing anything.

    I will say do you need any help? Oh noooooooo. Hell no. Hell no.

    Ok good. Hurry it up huh. Lol
    #20
    Vic Cardenas
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/17 13:14:13 (permalink)
    Any advice on finding a spot, period? I've got one on tuesdays but that's it. I need more!
    #21
    lornaschinske
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/17 15:53:48 (permalink)
    Vic Cardenas

    lornaschinske

    We pay $0. Thought we were going to pay $25 to plug the AC unit in but the outlet was dead and they are afraid to mess with the breaker box. So we will be buying a small generator.

    Is this a friend or family member? Why $0?

     
    We pay nothing for our spot. We don't know anyone here in Roswell. David just asks if he can set up for free. This spot is MUCH, MUCH better than sitting out on Main Street. Traffic is slower which gives the drivers time to look at what's going on around them. On Main, when the light goes from red To green, it's like they dropped the flag to start the race! You do not pull out in front of these people. They are terrible drivers... must have something to do with the cellphones stuck to their ears. Even the cops run stop signs as a matter of course.... with a cell phone stuck to their ear.
    #22
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/17 16:19:43 (permalink)
    Vic Cardenas Any advice on finding a spot, period? I've got one on tuesdays but that's it. I need more!

     
    Vic,
    I assume your already doing this but I will mention it just in case,every time your in your car on any kind of trip even if your just going to the store for a loaf of bread keep looking. Write an add for CL and post it. Check with local realtors and offer some kind of a $$$$ reward for finding a really good spot. I offered to do lunch for 3 open houses and had a bunch of real estate type people looking for me before I found this spot. And keep talking to your customers about the fact that your looking for another location. Drop by your bank and talk to anyone there and explain what your looking for and before you leave give them two business cards one with a free lunch written on the back and another for them to keep to contact you. If I think of anything else I'll post it for you.
    good luck
    jack
    #23
    Vic Cardenas
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/17 17:27:35 (permalink)
    Good advice. I listed an ad in my local KSL equivalent (nobody really uses CL here). I did one once before and didn't get any hits. I'm doing it now but offering free lunch if someone gets me a good lead. http://www.ksl.com/index....;ad=20033776&cat=5
    #24
    Dr of BBQ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/17 17:54:29 (permalink)
    Yes that's a good idea, and if the KSL is well read may bring you some regular business at the same time.
    #25
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/17 18:07:07 (permalink)
    Talk to peeps like DJs....

    http://www.punchbowl.com/...lake-city/c-mobile-djs

    They usually know everyone...and everything going on in town. Caterers know as well. But...they might become competition sooner or later. The less they know the better until you are set.
    #26
    Vic Cardenas
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/17 18:59:55 (permalink)
    Good idea CC!
    #27
    CCinNJ
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/17 19:11:10 (permalink)
    People who know people who know people turn a cold call into a warm or hot call. Also an outgoing call into an incoming call.

    Sweeten the pot if your people really know people.
    #28
    Vic Cardenas
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/19 16:49:14 (permalink)
    CCinNJ

    People who know people who know people turn a cold call into a warm or hot call. Also an outgoing call into an incoming call.

    Sweeten the pot if your people really know people.

     
    I'm getting discouraged. It seems that nobody here knows anybody. I haven't gotten a single bite from my ad. Maybe I need to become a mormon????? :(
    #29
    chefbuba
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    Re:Food truckers and trailer (ers?): How much are you paying for a "spot"? 2012/04/19 19:44:01 (permalink)
    Something will pop.....tell everyone you come into contact with, the guy at the gas station, at the liquor store when you pop in for a pack of smokes or some beer, the hardware store, bring it up every time you talk to someone....
    I had 2 spots in the works for a stationary place, then I went into the place I'm at now for a coke, struck up a conversation with the guy behind the counter, he ended up being the owner......asked him if he was interested in having a food truck parked in his parking lot, he said well yes I am!
    It's not easy, I'm not a salesman but I had 3 spots within a month in a brand new town where I don't know anyone.
    #30
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