Food trucks are hot right now, and today we had the distinct pleasure of sampling from the panini-inspired Pressed For Time‘s roaming restaurant. I had a chance to try both the California club panini and the vegetarian favorite portobello sandwich. Both could hold their own when compared to a sit-in restaurant’s similar offerings. Other items on the menu included blackened chicken raspberry panini, an Argentinean cheese burger (I was told it was quite good), and a bacon “marmalade” panini that was sold out by the time I got there. The bread was lightly crisped and the ingredients tasted fresh. Each sandwich was served with a choice of bottled water, Coca Cola, or Sprite. Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal, a rare feat considering the choices were limited to just five sandwiches.
A Modern Business Model – “Just Enough”
Food trucks arrive at a perfect time in our culture. We want things to be snappy. Our lives are defined by how fast we can communicate, order products, and consume information. Food trucks offer mobility in a traditionally brick-and-mortar industry. There is something uniquely modern about the business model; focus on making a niche food (in this case paninis), invest enough to cook and serve it, then set up shop anywhere. Simplicity + Efficiency. This is a concept every consumer can appreciate: “Just enough”. You’re not getting the plethora of options you’d get at Outback Steakhouse, but let’s be honest – you usually order the same thing when you go to your favorite restaurants anyways. By focusing on being good at one kind of food these businesses are able to thrive on word-of-mouth attention. It’s easier to remember “Tasty Taco Truck” than it is something more like “Pamela’s”.
Food Trucks Are Here to Stay
A recent explosion in the Atlanta area has led to a gathering every friday night of food vendors dubbed the “Atlanta Food Truck Park”. Here you can sample from 25+ vendors that range from Barbecue to Jerk Chicken. You’ll even find Nana G’s – a chicken and waffle stand inspired by two staples of southern cuisine. After today’s lunch I may have to check it out. An appropriate date night? We’ll see.
Ever considered opening your own restaurant?
Whether it be an Italian, Mexican, Americana, or good ole fashioned sports bar you will need some bare essentials if you plan on doing it the right way. Having the right equipment means that you’ll be ready when your restaurant explodes in popularity, giving you the peace of mind when you need to ramp up your cooking and dining efforts.
A Comprehensive Restaurant Equipment Buying Guide can be found on our main site where it lists all of the things you need to open your own restaurant. Among these essentials items:
- Commercial ovens: Convection ovens, electric ovens, fryers, gas ovens, griddle top ranges, and microwaves.
- Restaurant seating: Bar stools, chairs, high chairs, booths, and tables.
- Commercial walk in refrigeration units: Walk-in coolers, walk in latch replacements, and strip curtains.
- Plastic cutlery: Plastic cutlery kits, plastic forks, plastic knives, and plastic spoons.
- Food preparation: Aprons, blenders/juicers, can openers, chef knives and utensils, kitchen utensils, food warmers, gloves, heat lamps, measuring cups, storage containers, toasters, trays, work tables, 20 quart mixers, condiment bottles, and condiment pumps.
- Office supplies: Clipboards, desks, tape & dispensers, files & filing supplies, message pads, cash bags, mounting tape, forms- record keeping, safes, time clocks & time cards, and time racks.
- Pots and pans: Baine Marie pots, stock pots, sauce pots, bake pans, cast iron, crepe pans, stir fry pans, and fry pans.
- Tableware: Bowls, China, flatware, glassware, linens, Melamine dinnerware, pitchers, plastic tumblers, and table top accessories.
- Glassware: Disposable cups and lids, coffee cups, styrofoam cups and lids, and plastic tumblers.
- Beverage Essentials: Coffee makers, coffee filters, specialty brewers, drink dispensers, and straws.
- Ice Machines: Cube, flaker, nugget, and dicer ice machines, ice scoops, ice machine storage bins, and under-counter ice machines.
- Freezers: Reach-in freezers, solid door freezers, under-counter freezers, chest freezers, pass-through freezers, remote condenser freezers, and ice cream freezers.
- Refrigeration: Air curtain refrigeration, glass door refrigeration, milk refrigeration, reach-in refrigeration, underbar refrigeration, restaurant merchandisers, under-counter refrigeration, deli cases, refrigerated wine cabinets, and refrigerated bakery cases.
- Cleaning Supplies & Equipment: Brooms & brushes, cleaning supplies, dust mops, bathroom cleaning supplies, paper towels, paper towel dispenser, soap and soap dispensers, sponges, trash cans, liners, and toilet paper.
- Sinks: Bar sinks, bathroom sinks, and hand sinks.
- Dish Machines: Conveyer dishwashers, high temperature dish washers, low temperature dishwashers, round dish machines, under-counter dishwashers, and upright dishwashers.
InstaWares offers a complete restaurant equipment buying guide that lists all of the essentials. You can also buy this equipment directly from the InstaWares.com main website.