L. Cargill, Medical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP. Retired Blood Banker and Laboratorian. Loves to write about a wide range of subjects. Enjoy!
Fine Dining at a Food Truck!
Clever Food Truck Ideas
Foodies actively look for new and unusual food trucks. They follow them around like groupies. The best advertising is always going to be word of mouth advertising. Even TV shows have food truck themes.
Here are some of the more interesting food trucks I have seen or read about:
- Bacon! - BLT's and other items made with bacon
- BBQ and pulled pork items
- Grilled Cheese - in about 50 flavors
- Crepes - Not just for desserts
- Soups and salads
- Chicken and Waffles
- Burgers, Hot Dogs, Sausages
- Fish and Chips and other seafood
- Tacos, Empenadas and Mexican/Cuban/Spanish
- Dessert trucks
Food Trucks are colorful with fresh made delicacies!
My Clever Food Truck Idea!
Out of all the food truck ideas that are popular, nowhere do I see Italian themed trucks.
One of the best meat concoctions in the world is a savory meatball, so my idea for a food truck is to serve great meatballs in various menu items.
The average menu list on a food truck has about ten items, usually based on one or two types of meat. Meatballs aren't just for spaghetti! Working with one basic recipe (see below), a good ten items can be made (see sidebar menu). Portion sizes will vary with the number of meatballs per item and priced accordingly. One could order single, double or triple balls!
The meatball recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight or prepared ahead as needed. The basic recipe can be easily altered to include spicy or plain. This recipe can be used in several different ways.
Using pre-made Italian sausages will allow for even greater menu variety. These sausages can be bought or made fresh and stored, refrigerated, until ordered.
Using an Italian theme means that sauces can be custom made and served as needed. These can also come in mild, medium or spicy for variety.
Balls to the Wall Menu:
Bowl of Balls - Sauced or not - mild, medium, spicy
Bowl of Balls with Spaghetti and Sauce - mild, medium, spicy
Balls on a Hoagie - Not yo mama's meatball sandwich!
Ball Burger - Just like a Hamburger, but not
Ball Burger with Cheese
Double or Triple Ball Burger
Double or Triple Ball Burger with Cheese
Italian Sausage - In a bowl, with spaghetti or on a hoagie
Cook Time for Homemade Meat Balls
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
10 meatballs or 8 meat patties
Ingredients for Homemade Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground beef or buffalo meat
- 1 pound lean ground pork sausage
- 3/4 to 1 cup dried bread crumbs, (Italian seasoned if preferred)
- 1 or 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt, (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon pepper, (or to taste)
- 2 - 4 teaspoons garlic powder, or 2 - 4 chopped garlic cloves
- 2 - 4 teaspoons onion powder, (to taste)
- 1 - 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, gives a meaty flavor
- 1 - 3 teaspoons red pepper flakes, optional - for spicy balls only
How to make the meat balls:
- Place all of the above ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly by hand. Don't overmix.
- For meatballs - shape the meat mixture into balls, making approximately 10 meatballs. For patties - shape the meat mixture into approximately 8 balls, then flatten these into patties - about 1/4 lb. each.
- Meatballs may be cooked in a skillet or in an oven. Use medium to high heat and cook for about 20 minutes until done. Turn frequently. Patties should be cooked on a grill or griddle as needed. Medium high heat to sear each side. Cook just the same as you would cook a hamburger patty.
Starting a Food Truck Business
Long ago, the only food that came in trucks was ice cream. We still have ice cream trucks for sure, and some are outrageously popular, but today, good mobile food trucks are quite the up and coming business idea.
The KISS rule should apply to any idea or food truck you would care to start as a business. Keep it Simply Simple! You don't want long lines that have to wait forever to get food. It's a fast food business. You do want medium length lines that you can serve within ten minutes tops.
First, you must research the best location for a food truck. Now that many cities are setting up food truck courts or parks, the best place to start would be to apply for a spot at one of these local places.
You would also have to get a truck and meet any city, state and other regulatory agency requirements. This will be very expensive, so make sure you are willing and able to follow an appropriate business plan. You will probably need a sizeable loan from a bank with the truck as collateral
Your food truck must be unique and become a dining experience for your customers. They will most likely have several choices available in a food truck park, so yours must stand out. Showmanship and marketing experience will be most helpful here. Follow the AIDA plan:
- Attention - Your truck must be colorful and catch the buyer's eye
- Interest - You must create interest in your product with unusual descriptions and photos. The most attractive and cleanest truck will probably get the most business.
- Desire - Offer tempting, mouth watering free samples or reward cards like "buy 5 balls, get the 6th ball free!"
- Action - Encourage people to 'buy now' with coupons, instant specials or extra helpings (until the sauce runs out)
You are going to need social media and your own web site. Make regular and frequent updates. Be sure to cover the who, what, when, where, why and how of your food truck business on every public announcement and web page. Build a brand image.
A food truck business is hard work, but it can be fun and rewarding. Do lots of research and always hire top notch employees and you will succeed. Life is fun.
How to set up a Food Truck business...
© 2013 Lela
Comments - Share your experiences with food trucks...
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on September 10, 2014:
@Relationshipc - I agree! Even upscale restaurants can't go beyond salads and broccoli, LOL.
Kari on September 10, 2014:
I wish there was a vegan food truck in our area. People who do vegan well, do it really well. It's amazing how good healthy can taste!
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 17, 2013:
Nothing like a good meatball, eh, drbj? I love Italian food!
drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 17, 2013:
I love that Balls to the Wall food truck idea, Lela. If such an option existed in my neighborhood, I would be eating balls with sausage and spaghetti every day.
Love your 'ballsy' recipe, too. Voted delicious and Up!
Ruchira from United States on August 14, 2013:
Food truck idea is flourishing in the west coast too.
They are becoming an inexpensive way to flourish, and surprisingly they have a good menu too.
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 13, 2013:
Well, one good thing about the meatballs, we diabetics can have them. In moderation of course.
There is just an explosion of food trucks everywhere in the states. Some of them get national attention. Most of them offer anything except healthy food, although there are some vegan ones.
It's very hard to find good food anymore. So much in the way of artificial ingredients and processed food is everywhere. If you try to do your own these days, it costs twice as much for 'natural'.
I do struggle to find things to write about on HP. All of my favorite authors are just about nowhere to be found. Hardly anyone comments on anything. I'm still scraping about a dollar a day, but it's looking more and more like that is the absolute limit here. I'll keep rattling on until I find something better.
diogenes on August 13, 2013:
WE have many of these in the UK, usually dull affairs. The food is OK, tho. As I am on a diet for high blood sugar, there isn't much in food trucks any more.
Good to see you're battling on, I have lost all interest in HP.