Across the country, arctic temperatures have been sweeping through, as winter weather begins rearing its ugly head much earlier than we’d all like. Typically for food truck operators, this marks the beginning of a decrease in business. Few people are willing to stand outside in freezing temperatures longer than a couple of minutes to wait for food. A lot of food trucks will close up for the winter, but for those that try to stick it out, here are some tips and ideas to help survive the winter months ahead.
Winterize Your Truck
First thing’s first: if you’re going to use your food truck in the winter, you’ll need to make sure your truck is prepared for the colder weather. Food Truckr recommends investing in quality snow tires, maintaining your belts and hoses, check or replace your battery and keep your fluids filled. An emergency kit is a must. If your truck has trouble or breaks down, you want to be prepared while you wait for help to arrive. Include jumper cables, blankets, road flares and whatever you feel you need to make it through if your truck is incapacitated.
In addition, it gets COLD in a food truck. Dress warm if you’re going out for lunch and dinner runs. Trying to serve folks quickly with numb fingers and toes is a lot less thrilling than it sounds! You’ll want to rethink your food storage as well. During the spring and summer, storing non-perishables and cooking supplies in your truck doesn’t pose a problem. But in the winter, those items are susceptible to freezing. If you can, plan to store your food elsewhere during the winter, making sure you follow local laws and health codes while doing so.
Strategize Your Menu
If you’re going to serve during the winter, make sure your menu fits the weather. Consider adding more hearty and hot foods to your menu, such as chili, soups, and stews. These are quick to serve, so your customer isn’t left waiting in the cold. If you offer up made to order items, such as burgers, consider par-cooking them first, so that your wait time goes down. I’m sure most customers don’t mind waiting 10 minutes for a freshly cooked burger in the summer, but when it’s below freezing, they just want hot food in their hand as soon as possible. For beverages, don’t forget coffee, tea or hot chocolate. There are so many variations you can do with these beverages to really entice your customers.
Catering and Special Events
Obviously, business isn’t going to be as brisk as the warmer months of the year. If you decide not to go out as often during the winter, you can keep your brand active during the season by offering your truck’s services for catering or special events. These can be beneficial, as you can guarantee that you will make some money, rather than hoping someone will come out to your truck at lunch on a 10 degree day. If you can, partner up with brick and mortar restaurants to offer some of your items as well. The important thing is to keep your truck’s brand in the minds of customers until spring comes, and your truck is back on its regular schedule.
If you’re ready to brave the temperatures and take your truck out, don’t forget Central! We have everything you need to equip your truck for your cooking needs. Click here to shop now. You can also contact a Product Consultant at 800-215-9293 with any questions you may have about how to winterize your truck’s cooking equipment. Live chat is also available!