any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there?

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acdc_fan1983
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2011/01/17 19:10:53 (permalink)

any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there?

Hi,
I am researching into starting a "roach coach" lunch truck business. I am not interested in the type of truck where food is prepared in the truck on site.
 
I am curious if any operators of this type of business use the forum if so I have some questions regarding the business
 
I apologize for all the questions but i've had the hardest time finding info on this type of business even searching through old posts and other websites. i'm sort of surprised no one has written a how-to book for lunch trucks.
 
-How do you build the route? I assume a good way to start would be contacting construction companies inquiring about operating at their job sites. However i'd assume most construction jobs start at roughly the same time in the morning and take their lunch at roughly the same time in the afternoon. how is it possible to hit a bunch of them in a day? 
 
 -What other type of business is generally good for this type of sales? is it primarily blue collar or is there any luck in cruising office parks or medical complexes
 
-Do you offer incentives/commissions to the business for allowing you to sell there? is it generally a free for all or do you get exclusive contracts to do the concessions for a construction firm's job site.
 
- Do you sell mostly pre-packaged foods, prepared hot foods, or both? Do you cook the food yourself or buy it from a catering commissary?
 
- Is there any kind of ballpark way of estimating revenue, like is there a rule of thumb based on # of workers, or anything like that?
 
- How do you figure your pricing, in other words whats a good % for COGS (mark up %)
- Are there any good resources to look at for someone wanting to start in the business?
 
Thanks in advance
 
Also hope no one takes offense at  my use of the term 'roach coach', no offense intended when i was a kid i used to eat at one when i visited my parents work, and everyone called it that even the lady who ran it did, she even had her horn on the truck play la cucaracha. 
#1

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    Buck & Vi's
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 07:01:35 (permalink)
    If you were concerned about offending some one  why did you use the term in the first place?? I for one (and I know many others on here) work very hard and keep my trailer spotlessly clean ! ( well okay my wife does most of it) we welcome any and all inspectors, and all our customers have remarked how clean our rig is !seeings as this is your first post you may be forgiven... we'll see.just my .02 worth
     
    Thats like saying all ac/dc fans are all arrogant, ignorant meth heads,
    #2
    acdc_fan1983
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 09:00:39 (permalink)
    Buck & Vi's

    If you were concerned about offending some one  why did you use the term in the first place?? 

    because im trying to explain the type of truck im talking about. i dont mean a trailer and i dont mean a step van when u say lunch truck most people think u are talking about those. for the most part when i use the term people know what im talking about.
    #3
    chefbuba
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 11:18:50 (permalink)
    To answer your question, no....don't think there are any "roach coach" operators on this site.
    I think what you are refering to is a "lunch truck"
    Typically a box mounted on a pick up chassis. One side hot, the other cold. Selling only pre packaged foods.
    The other  being an industrial catering truck, where the majority of the foods are cooked on board.
    Most of the folks on this site are either in a b & m setting or are operating "gourmet food trailers" or hot dog carts.
    #4
    David_NYC
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 12:15:03 (permalink)
    I haven't had anyone say the term 'roach coach' to me in thirty years, and the last time I heard it used was in reference to the lunch truck that parked outside of my high schoool in the mid-60's.
     
    Health Department inspections and mandatory food safety instruction have made that term obsolete.
    #5
    MobileCuisine
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 14:47:02 (permalink)
    David_NYC

    I haven't had anyone say the term 'roach coach' to me in thirty years, and the last time I heard it used was in reference to the lunch truck that parked outside of my high schoool in the mid-60's.

    Health Department inspections and mandatory food safety instruction have made that term obsolete.

     
    I wish that were the case with me. Any time I tell someone about my ezine (Mobile Cuisine Magazine), the first question raised is, "Oh, you mean "roach coaches"?" Unfortunately too many people in Chicago have yet to try the food coming from gourmet food trucks since our current legislation prevents them from preparing food on site. Even the few trucks we have that sell pre-packaged food get referred to with the RC term.
     
    The way I try to explain it to them is to take the old "roach coach", add a chef and gourmet food with the same cleanliness of most high end restaurants. I notice a glimmer in their eye, then watch as the light bulb goes on..."oh, that does sound good." 
     
    LOL
     
    -MC
    #6
    acdc_fan1983
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 14:54:11 (permalink)
    chefbuba

    To answer your question, no....don't think there are any "roach coach" operators on this site.
    I think what you are refering to is a "lunch truck"
    Typically a box mounted on a pick up chassis. One side hot, the other cold. Selling only pre packaged foods.

    yes thats what im talking about exactly. 
     
    do you know any resources for that business online (forums,etc..) i have not been able to find any myself.
     
    thanks
    post edited by acdc_fan1983 - 2011/01/18 14:58:07
    #7
    acdc_fan1983
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 14:56:37 (permalink)
    David_NYC

    I haven't had anyone say the term 'roach coach' to me in thirty years, and the last time I heard it used was in reference to the lunch truck that parked outside of my high schoool in the mid-60's.

    Health Department inspections and mandatory food safety instruction have made that term obsolete.

    its still pretty commonly used here.
    i dont think most people literally believe they arent serving clean/safe food its just a slang term. just like when u call the "geek squad" to fix your computer you probably dont literally expect a guy with a pocket protector and taped glasses to show up.
    #8
    MobileCuisine
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 17:19:30 (permalink)
    acdc_fan1983  just like when u call the "geek squad" to fix your computer you probably dont literally expect a guy with a pocket protector and taped glasses to show up.

     
    You don't? 
     
    -MC
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 17:44:00 (permalink)
    Some years back a woman we knew leased one of those mobile catering trucks (from Lee Catering in Hilliard, Ohio, I believe) that she would take from job site to job site. I recall one day we were at a fishing event (she was a bass angler) and someone who knew who she was came up and asked about her "roach coach." She slugged him right in the mouth.
    #10
    VenusPaw
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 17:45:16 (permalink)
    To me, "roach Ccach" is more a term of endearment than a slam. I didn't realize the term offended anyone.
    #11
    acdc_fan1983
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 17:49:34 (permalink)
    VenusPaw

    To me, "roach Ccach" is more a term of endearment than a slam. I didn't realize the term offended anyone.

     
    me either! i just wanted some info i guess i opened up some can of worms 
    #12
    VenusPaw
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 18:16:03 (permalink)
    Btw Acdc I have similar interests to you so thanks for posting your questions. I'll be checking this thread for new info.
    #13
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 20:19:31 (permalink)
    lemme know what you find, I'm having a hard time finding anything on the web myself.. roach coach is pulling up very little...
     
     
    WD
    #14
    Uncle Groucho
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 20:24:48 (permalink)
    How about Maggot Wagon?
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    ces1948
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 20:25:40 (permalink)
    I haven't worked on any construction sites since the late 80's but it was certainly the most common way to describe lunch trucks at that time. In fact I don't know if I've ever heard them called anything else.  But anyway I think the original poster came on here looking for advice and counsel and wasn't expecting people to get offended.
    #16
    THE WILD DOG
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/18 20:47:09 (permalink)
    the red truck front with the quilted shiny metal backs are indeed called " roach coaches" at least on the east coast they are. No one should take offense to this, It was really the first form of mobile food vending.  Some of the best street food I've ever eaten came from those trucks.
    #17
    farmboy236
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/19 08:47:49 (permalink)
    WildDog, buddy......... you need to get out more!
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    Tony Bad
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2011/01/19 09:28:57 (permalink)
    acdc_fan1983
     its still pretty commonly used here.
    i dont think most people literally believe they arent serving clean/safe food its just a slang term. just like when u call the "geek squad" to fix your computer you probably dont literally expect a guy with a pocket protector and taped glasses to show up.

     
    Don't worry about it...I hear it on a daily basis here in NY and have for the past 40 years. Many of the trucks I see and buy from also still have the la cucaracha horns too. 
    #19
    short fry
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2013/04/02 20:59:21 (permalink)
    acdc_fan1983
     
    It's 2 years later from your original post, but I found this on google today b/c I am looking into the same business and it is very difficult to find any routes for sale (I'm located in O.C. Southern Ca., and the Gourmet Trucks are now extremely popular). 
     
    Did you have any luck/success with this business since you posted this? I hope so!! 
     
    Thanks acdc! BTW the roach coach term still lives on, as an endearment... on the West coast too! 
     
    #20
    Lunchtruck
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    Re:any "roach coach" lunch truck operators out there? 2013/04/28 14:08:50 (permalink)
    Wow what a bunch of food truck snobs on this site...LOL
    I own a construction company and I'm looking to buy some Lunch Trucks "Roach Coaches" to deliver better food to our job sites and other than the rubbish that comes off the usual guys trucks.
    Did you ever get any information on this type of operation?
    Buy the way I'm a huge AC/DC fan lol
    Jay
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