10 New York Food Truck DOs and DON’Ts

Image by New York Magazine

by Greg Morabito | Eater.com

Image by New York Magazine

We’re about three years into the NYC food truck craze right now, and it shows no signs of letting up any time soon. So, if you’re thinking about giving it all up for a life of mobile restaurant operation, here are a few hand DOs and DON’Ts to consider:

1. DO: Have a funny name/logo. Something catchy, even pop culture-related is best. 

2. DON’T: Have a precious name/logo. There’s nothing cute about a food truck operation in New York City, and people hate repeating dumb names. 

3. DO: Finish at least some part of the dish preparation in the truck. If the food isn’t cooked, reheated, iced, baked, scooped or mixed when a customer orders it, you should operate a kiosk, not a kitchen on wheels. [Photo]

4. DON’T: Charge a lot for your food because it’s served from a truck. If there’s no value to your menu, people will go to another cheaper place that has tables, a roof and no line. 

5. DO: Keep the area around your truck clean. If you don’t take care of the mess created by your operation, you could piss off the neighbors or get into trouble with the cops. Also: taco trucks, wipe down the salsa and shredded lettuce from the dining counter at least once an hour.

6. DON’T: Serve anything that requires a knife. If that’s the case, your operation is too fancy, and you should get a brick and mortar restaurant with tables and chairs. 

7. DO: Play music inside your truck. That’s always a good idea. 

8. DON’T: Play music outside your truck. That’s not always good idea.

9. DO: Make friends with your fellow food truck operators. Share the good spots, set up a schedule that works for everyone, and avoid turf wars and fist fights at all costs. 

10. DON’T: Be pretentious about your food or your operation. No matter how artisanal, hand crafted, super rarified or special your product is, people want to have fun when they’re eating off a truck.