I spend a lot of time trying to get to know and learn about the food trucks that are listed on FoodTrucksIn.com. Often it is through email, Tweets, phone calls or texts. I have also been fortunate enough to meet 100's of small business owners of carts, stands, trailers, and food trucks in person. I always ask "How can we help you?” Our goal is to build the best website and platform to connect food trucks to customers and potential customers. Many of the tools and features currently on our site have come as a result of contacts and conversations that have started with the simple question "How can we help you?”
This past weekend, however, "How can we help you?" meant that I helped two local food trucks by working on their trucks. One of the challenges that all small business owners face is how to properly staff. For most mobile food vendors having a staff of 2-5 people is enough to handle most events and day to day operations. However, during very busy times and large events there is often a need to bring on additional or temporary help (think about all of the short term hiring retail stores do during the December holiday season). For many food trucks fall weekends are packed with big events back to back and a need for extra help. This past weekend some of the local area trucks were at the weekend Cyclo Cross Festival bicycle race in Providence. And, two of those trucks needed a little extra part time help. So over the course of the weekend I joined Fancheezical and lent a hand with their fantastic grilled cheese sandwiches while some of the staff was taking breaks. I also helped out at Mijos Tacos keeping their line moving by passing out burritos and doing odds and ends as needed. Being on those food trucks for just a few hours reminded me how hard everyone in the industry works every day.
It also reminded me of the other fun and unexpected things I have done in the past year while being around food trucks. I've been able to provide a hand to a truck by restocking items including bread delivery to a food truck at a music festival, onions to a taco truck at a college campus for late night service after a super busy lunch service and food boats (plates) to a burger truck at an art sale. I've delivered food to customers that have been unable to get out of their offices to pick it up and, maybe most memorably, I dropped off a case of beer to the staff of a food truck after they completed a 12 hour day, only to find out that they could not start their truck to go home and had to wait for AAA to arrive.
The answers to "How can we help you?" have led to many great enhancements and features that have improvedthe FoodTrucksIn.com website, but it has also led to other unexpected, fun and great ways to lend a hand, leaving me with good memories and happy and worthwhile experiences.
In fact, maybe it's me that's benefited the most!