Preventing Thefts In Your Mobile Food Business

Preventing Thefts In Your Mobile Food Business

Tis’ the season for food truck and food trailer owners to get a much-deserved rest and break from the daily grind of the busy summer season. Unlike restaurants, chefs and caterers, who are well into the busy holiday season.

Unfortunately, this time of year has historically been when thefts spike. Thieves have to buy Christmas presents too, right? Here are some tips to help avoid becoming a victim of theft in your food business.


When you are not able to secure property in a closed off or secure area, lighting is a great tool to deter would-be thieves! Lights help increase the chance someone will see a theft.  That reason alone is enough for thieves to move on to their next target.

Parking near overhead lights works great, but if that is not an option, this Solar LED light with Motion Sensor can easily be installed and a great way to illuminate the area around your property.

Locking up

It’s good business practice to let customers know when you are open or closed, but that makes it easy for thieves to know when you are not around! Locking up is a good first step, but a determined thief that knows he has time when you are away might have tools to bypass basic locks.

A client of Insure My Food, Matt with Las Abuelas, recommends using a Shackle-Less Padlock like the ones found here on Amazon. By not having an exposed shackle it makes it impossible for bolt cutters to be used.

For food trailers, hitch locks are a must. While they might not be bulletproof, they are important! Yes, a lock can be forcefully removed or the thief could use a flatbed tow truck to bypass the hitch, but for under $30 dollars it’s well worth the investment and enough to give a thief a reason to move on.

For food trucks, a steering wheel lock is a great idea. Most of the step van trucks used to build food trucks date back 20-30 years ago.  They lack the update ignition protections that modern vehicles have. This makes it easy for thieves to hotwire and drive off with your truck.  

Make some noise

Noise is a great way to draw attention to your property so others around look and know something is not right. Sounds can be very annoying, as Jim Carey taught in Dumb and Dumber.

Alarms that are loud and also report to a monitoring service are great but can require a constant internet or phone connection and that can be difficult for a mobile food vendor. They require a monthly service cost increasing your business costs. If the connection or the cost is prohibitive, having an audible alarm is inexpensive (GE makes a wireless door alarm for under $12) and an effective solution.


Visible cameras protecting your business let crooks know they’re being watched and are very helpful in deterring theft.  Cameras help you review suspicious activity so that you can be proactive prior to a theft occurring.

If a theft does occur, the footage can be used to help catch the culprit. Laura of Bananarchy uses and recommends ZModo cameras. In a break-in that affected her and several other nearby food trailers, the camera footage given to police resulted in the arrest of the suspect.



Trackers are a great way to keep tabs on your property, but they do require a monthly subscription for services. GPS trackers are also not a replacement for other theft prevention practices because they only help when your entire truck or trailer is moved offsite.


Take cash to the bank

Having a lot of cash attracts attention not only from outside threats but from employee theft as well. Making frequent trips to deposit cash and never leaving cash overnight is a great step to limit theft of your hard earned money. Hope of Emoji’s Grilled Cheese took it a step further and now only accepts credit and debit, eliminating the risk altogether. She states that she has had very little pushback from customers.

With a little effort and investment, taking the some of all of the above steps will go a long way in reducing the risk of becoming a victim of a grinch during this season. Check out our loss prevention blog post for more tips on How To Protection Your Food Truck’s Bottom Line.

Want an insurance quote? Click here or give us a call at (800) 985-7859.

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)


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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.”