Insure My Food 2017 Mobile Food Conference Schedule

Insure My Food 2017 Mobile Food Conference Schedule

2017 Mobile Food Conferences

**UPDATED 2/2/17**

2017 is shaping up to be a great year to attend a mobile food conference!  Three different states are hosting expos this year. Joel will be speaking at ROAM and the Columbus Mobile Food Conference.  He will also be on the panel for insurance, trademarks and employment law at the Capital City Convention.

Columbus Mobile Food Conference and Expo

Taking place February 25-26, The Columbus Mobile Food Truck Conference and Expo is back with new topics and more exhibitors. The conference will have over 20 workshops and seminars including an opportunity to attend a separate Food Manager certification course and exam.  The conference will also include some non-food related seminars covering topics such as “Mobile Boutiques”.

Capital City Food Truck Convention

Taking place June 3-4 (NEW DATE!), The Capital City Food Truck Convention is unlike any other conference and trade show in the food, beverage and hospitality industries. This conference gathers together under one roof the industry’s brightest chefs, entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders for two days of education, professional development and networking. The convention features workshops for aspiring and current mobile entrepreneurs, event and meeting planners and local government agencies who license and permit food trucks.

ROAM Mobile Food Expo

Taking place October 6-7, Roam Mobile Food Conference is the premier industry event for all things mobile food vending. From food trucks to carts to kiosks, and beyond, ROAM is the first of its kind serving North America’s mobile vending professionals. The perfect event to attend if you own or want to start your own food truck! You will learn about best practices, innovations and trends in mobile vending technology and operations. Also, grow your network with fellow professionals. Suppliers are located in the conference exhibit area to support your growing business!

Proper Food Trailer Insurance Coverage Basics

Proper Food Trailer Insurance Coverage Basics

Proper Food Trailer Insurance Coverage Basics

proper coverage basics for food trailer insurance

Standard restaurant insurance policies can, unfortunately, leave gaps in coverage for a mobile food vendor.  All too often, insurance agencies don’t fully understand your unique needs when searching for proper food trailer insurance coverage. At Insure My Food, you should know we get mobile food vendors and understand proper food trailer insurance coverage needs.  We offer a competitive insurance policy for food trailers, food trucks, and mobile food vendors.  Due to our experience insuring mobile food vendors, we’re confident we can help you avoid gaps.

Common Mistakes

  • Having property coverage that is limited to just the business address (this is standard practice). Meaning if you go to an event away from your primary location, you lose coverage.  Food trailer insurance coverage needs to be treated differently because you are a mobile business.
  • Using a business owner policy designed for a restaurant, and not for a mobile food vendor operation.

Types of risk Food Trailers and Food Trucks are exposed to are as follows:

In the following examples, you would be responsible for these bills and losses!

Bodily Injury:

Let’s say a customer buys a hot dog from your stand. While eating the hot dog, the customer suddenly chips a tooth on something hard contained inside the hot dog. The customer incurs $700 in medical expenses and $6,000 in corrective dental expenses.

Premise Liability:

Customers are within the premises you occupy choosing the perfect meal. A customer trips over an extension cord lying on the ground and sprains a knee. The customer incurs $1,200 in medical expenses for x-rays and $3,500 in lost wages.

Theft:

In addition to the above, you also need to cover your bases if a theft occurs.  Say the day is over and your trailer is stored for the evening. While you sleep peacefully, thieves are at work!  You awake to find it has been stolen. Therefore, you will now need to spend $15,000 on a new food trailer and equipment.  What a major bummer!

The above are just a sample of some of the situations you can be exposed to as a mobile food vendor.  Don’t settle for food trailer insurance coverage with someone who doesn’t understand this business.  It may seem like a “good deal,” but the gaps in coverage are not worth the risk!

The Insure My Food advantages included:

  • Options for standalone General liability coverage (or package coverage to include property coverage)
  • No liability deductible
  • General Liability limits up to 2 million
  • Security of “A” rated carrier or better
  • Coverage for your trailer or truck
  • Competitive pricing
  • No charge for adding additional insured’s (commissary kitchen, events, etc.)

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Insure My Food offers affordable insurance, made easy!  We cover insurance for food trailers, food trucks, and mobile food vendors. We offer a one page quick quote form, or check out our other blogs and resources created for you.  Joel brings over a decade of insurance experience in helping you determine your proper food trailer insurance coverage.

What is the value of your food truck or trailer?

What is the value of your food truck or trailer?

food truck valueYou have poured countless hours and money into getting your mobile food business off the ground, and you want to make sure your investment is protected, right?  The first question we will ask you is “What is your food trailer or food truck value and what do you want it insured for?”

…crickets! What a loaded question! Let’s dive into how to find the appropriate food trailer or food truck value for you.

Step one:

To determine what you should insure your food trailer or truck for, you need to know a little insurance lingo in determining your food truck value.

Insurance companies pay property claims two main ways:

1) Actual cash value (ACV) covers your property at the current market value. Meaning what the property worth is today.  This takes into consideration the age, condition, and “useful life” left. This is how most insurance companies cover vehicles, trailers, and equipment.

2) Replacement cost (RC) covers your property to buy brand new like kind and quality regardless of age and condition. This coverage is typically only offered on buildings and their contents.

Step two:

Now that you understand how insurance companies value food truck and trailer property at actual cash value, we have a target in mind.

Below is a formula to get you closer.

What you paid for the trailer/truck + What you invested after you bought it (Labor and Parts) = The value.

I know you are saying right about now I did most of the work! However, you do need to add this “labor cost” into the calculation.

To get more comfortable with the value you calculated above; it helps to look on eBay.  You can also look at a truck for sale sites such as Used Vending or Roaming Hunger’s Directory of Trucks for sale.

Ross of Ross RV and Food Carts has also offered to help if you want to discuss with him.

Step three:

Now is not the time to round down to the value of your truck or trailer.  Insurance companies require you to insure to value.  If you don’t, you can be subject to coinsurance penalties, come claim time and nobody is into that!

For example, if your trailer is valued at $35,000, but you only insured it for $20,000. The insurance company will only pay 57% of the claim because you only insured 57% of the value. Ouch!

The reason insurance companies take insuring to value so seriously is without this constant, there is no way to accurately rate insurance cost.

 

We hope this helps you as you are determining your food truck or food trailer value.  As always, we are happy to answer any questions you have in this process.  Give Joel a call at (800) 985-7859 or shoot an email to info@insuremyfood.com.  With over a decade of experience as a Certified Insurance Counselor, he has seen it all!

 

How To Start A Food Trailer or Food Truck Business in Austin, TX

How To Start A Food Trailer or Food Truck Business in Austin, TX

So you’ve decided that you are going to open up a food trailer or food truck, congratulations! We have created a basic outline to help you with the necessary steps needed to open up your business. Although the outline is intended specifically for mobile food vendors in Austin, TX, the process and regulations are often similar in different cities and states.

 

Food Truck Sales Tax.jpg

Step 1: Filing a Limited Liability Company For Your Food Trailer

It is very common for food service businesses to form an LLC. You can find out more info here.

 

Step 2: Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit

Before you can receive your Mobile Food Vendor Permit you will need to have a Texas Sales and Use Tax Permit. You can find out more information here.

 

Step 3: Join The Austin Food Trailer Chamber Google Group

This is a free and open email group that a few industry heavy hitters in Austin (Trish from Capital Kitchen, Case from Trucklandia, Phyllis from Cheesecake experience and I) started. There are currently over 200 trailer owners in the group. You can ask questions, post answers and tips for others or can search the archives. Send an email to be added to the group.

 

Step 4: Buying a Food Trailer or Food Truck

Although you may be able to find good deals on Craigslist for used food trailers or food trucks, there are also many great food trailer and food truck builders in Texas. One benefit of buying a newly manufactured food trailer is that the builders are usually knowledgeable about what is required to pass a City of Austin Health and Fire Inspection. You will also have the peace of mind knowing that all of your equipment is new and not damaged or aging.

Here are a few local builders to consider:

Smokin Joe’s Trailers

Sanchez Trailers

Custom Made Trailers

 

Food Trailer Insurance.jpg

Step 5: Buying Insurance for Your Food Trailer or Food Truck

We recommend purchasing $1,000,000 worth of liability insurance and property coverage on your food trailer or food truck as soon as you purchase so that you are immediately protected from accidents or theft.

With a food truck, you will also need commercial auto insurance before you drive the truck on public roads.

We can help here! Get a quote for your food trailer or truck

TIP: Many landlords require you to have $1,000,000 worth of general liability insurance before they will let you sell food on their property.

 

Step 6: Registering Your Food Trailer or Food Truck with the DMV

Before you can apply for an Application for Mobile Food Vendor Permit, you will need to register your trailer with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles here.

 

Food Managers Certification.jpg

Step 7: Get Your Food Managers Certification For Your Food Truck

In order to pass your health inspection, you will need your Food Managers Certification displayed inside of your food trailer. You can find out more information and testing options here.

 

TIP: We suggest paying a bit extra to have your Food Managers Certification stay valid for 5 years because the class takes a full workday day to complete.

 

Step 8: Get The Application For Your Mobile Food Vendor Permit

This is the application packet that you will need to submit to the Health Department before they will inspect your food trailer or food truck and issue you a Mobile Food Vendor Permit.

TIP: The Health Department has a How To Start A Mobile Food Business Guide and a resource webpage for mobile food vendors.

TIP: All applications must be walked-in to 1520 Rutherford Lane, Austin, TX 78754 only on Tuesdays and
Thursdays from 7:45am-11am. After the application is approved then a physical mobile unit inspection is scheduled.

If you have questions call Health Department at (512) 978-0300 or visiting at (1520 Rutherford LN, NE corner of Rutherford LN @ Cameron RD, Building 1 East Entrance).

 

 

Finding A Central Prep Facility

In order to complete page 2 and 3 of the Application for Mobile Food Vendor Permit you must find a Central Prep Facility to use. Many food trailers and food trucks use their CPF strictly to dump grey water, get fresh water, and dump grease.

Here are some local CPFs in Austin

Capital Kitchens

Just Add Chef

Hudson Bend Commercial Kitchen

Manon’s Shared Kitchen

TIP: By using a CPF that specializes as a commercial kitchen to many different food businesses, the Sanitarian will be acquainted with the facilities, which will likely speed up the application process.

City of Austin Restroom Facility Agreement

In order to complete page 5 of the Application for Mobile Food Vendor Permit, you will need permission to use a restroom within 150 feet from the location of your food trailer.

 

fire inspection.jpg

Passing Your Fire Inspection

AAA Fire & Safety Equipment

Longhorn Fire and Safety

Ace Fire Equipment

Please refer to the Application for Mobile Food Vendor Permit for more details about the fire inspection. We suggest calling the Austin Fire Department at (512) 974-0160 if you have any questions regarding the safety of your food trailer because the requirements listed in the packet are not exhaustive.

 

Step 9: Finding a Location for Your Food Trailer

Congratulations on passing your inspection! Finding the right location for your food trailer will be one of the most important decisions you will make. Make sure that you understand the rules and regulations regarding certain neighborhoods.

This map shows areas of the City of Austin that have adopted additional ordinances. Ordinances may affect your hours of operation or proximity to certain structures.

Find out more info here:

Mobile Food Establishments Codes

TIP: Don’t be shy about asking other food trailer owners questions about their food park. They will often be happy to share advice with you and give you the “inside scoop” about their location! Or join the Austin Food Trailer Chamber and ask around there (It’s free!) Send us an email to add you to the Google group.

 

Helpful Links

Propane Delivery Companies:

Absolute Propane

Garnett’s Propane

Grey Water and Grease Removal Companies:

Texas Disposal To have grey water removed from your trailer OR portable restroom servicing

Diesel Green Fuels To recycle used cooking oil

Kitchen Towel/Laundry Delivery Companies:

Admiral Linen

Linen Service

Food Parks in Austin:

Austin Food Park

Mueller Trailer Eats

The Picnic

The Thicket

The University Co-Op

Insure My Food was designed by an insurance agency that gets food trailers and food trucks

We understand the challenges and needs of your business and are committed to supporting the mobile food community.

Not only do we offer food trailer and food truck insurance in almost every state, we insure many types of mobile food vendors including concession trailers, food carts, pop-up vendors, street vendors, food stands, and catering trailers.

 

Contact Us for a free, no obligation quote or if you have any further questions.  From our small business to yours, we’re here to help you succeed!

How to Protect Your Food Truck’s Bottom Line – Loss Prevention

How to Protect Your Food Truck’s Bottom Line – Loss Prevention

As a Food Truck owner, growing your business is key to success, but preventing unforeseen losses or damages is an important part of getting your business going and keeping it profitable. By managing your risks, you can lower the frequency and cost of losses that will directly impact your bottom line.  Unfortunately, you can’t control every risk in your business.  However, you can take steps to protect your assets and prevent what could be a business ending loss!

To put into perspective how preventing accidents on your food truck can help the bottom line, consider this example: Let’s say you have your generator stolen, and even though you have coverage for the loss on your insurance policy, your deductible is $500. How will you pay the extra $500?  Sell more food!

Breaking down the math, if your average order is $10 and your profit margin is 40% (being generous!), it will take 125 more orders to make up for the loss or $1,250 of sales. From this example, you can see how it might be worth while to practice prevention to protect and grow your bottom line!

We put together the following checklist to get you started (Click to download the full pdf here)

 

Loss prevention check list - Food TruckLoss prevention check list - Food TruckLoss prevention check list - Food Truck  Loss prevention check list - Food TruckLoss prevention check list - Food TruckLoss prevention check list - Food Truck

The comprehensive checklist covers Food Operations, Food Handling Practices, Vehicle Safety, Fire Prevention, Electrical Equipment, Cold Storage, Walking Surfaces, Exterior Areas, General Safe Practices and Crime Risks.

Phew! Quite an exhaustive, yet important, list of things to think about when running your business.

The list will help get ideas flowing about what risks your food truck business faces.  It also shows how to reduce or remove those risks. We designed this checklist based on industry standards for the restaurant industry and adapted it specifically for Food Trucks.

Also important is keeping track of near misses.  Near misses meaning a loss almost occurred, but you fix the issue before a real loss occurs. For example, did someone trip on a cord you left out but caught their balance? Or, did the awning on your trailer blow off when you weren’t serving customers so it didn’t hit anyone?  When you have safety guidelines in place, you greatly reduce your risk opportunities.

We admit this topic can be a bit overwhelming.  We can’t stress enough the importance of a loss control program for your business.  Risks are all around us, but the sooner you identify and address them, the less likely they will be to cost you money in the long run.  As the great Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Why You Need Mobile Food Insurance

Why You Need Mobile Food Insurance

Coffee Jon

As a mobile food vendor, your day likely begins before dawn as you carefully procure ingredients, prep food, hand letter your menu board and ensure everything is ready to go before greeting your first customer. Your schedule is far from a traditional 40-hour work week and you know a thing or two about what it means to dedicate your life to the culinary arts.  Insurance is probably one of the last things on your mind!

There is nothing quite like owning your own business; the sweat equity you’ve poured into your creative pursuits is priceless. A satisfied smile from a happy customer makes it all worth it, and when a line forms and someone takes the time to tell you how much they enjoy the day’s special, you know the heart you’ve put into your work has translated beautifully.

With a long list of to-do’s and responsibilities, it can be hard to find the time to research the best options available to insure your mobile business. Thankfully, we “get” the mobile food industry! We know how full your schedule can be, as well as the unique nature of your office on the go. Often, your desk is your food prep area and your computer is your smartphone…we get it!

Why insure your business?

Yeti - Storefront and Employees

Not only is a level of insurance often necessary to do business (such as the general liability required by most commissaries, landlords and many events), it is a critical step in protecting your food business investment. Things like collision, theft, vandalism, extreme weather and more have a way of making an unwelcome appearance at the worst of times; we tailor your Insure My Food coverage to work well with your needs and your budget. In fact, we even offer a no liability deductible!

We streamline the process!

man working at laptop

Instead of wasting time on tedious applications or trying to explain how your workflow is structured, we are trained to make the process smooth and headache free! We know and work with food vendors in a range of areas, including concession trailers, food carts, pop-up vendors, hot dog carts, street vendors, food stands and catering trailers.

As the leading mobile food vendor insurance company, we insure in nearly every state and take pride in supporting this community all over the country.  We promise working with us is affordable and easy!

Request a quote online or call us at (800) 985-7859.