Each month, Insure My Food shines the spotlight on a featured client doing big things in the mobile food industry. For February, we introduce Fire Truck Pizza Company based in North Royalton (Cleveland), Ohio. Are you a current client interested in contributing to our blog? Send an email and let us know!
Tell us a little about your truck and how you began.
We have been making pizza in a wood fired oven our entire lives.. it is how we do pizza! People started asking if they could have their parties at our house for the pizza alone and soon we were doing parties for 100 in our house! So, we decided to make it a business. Doing a food truck was less start up then a restaurant so went this route. We are in our 4th year and based in Cleveland, Ohio. We learned so much from the build process that we now also manufacture fire trucks with wood burning ovens! Fire Truck Pizza Fabrication Company began in 2013.
How did you first go about finding spaces and events to sell around? Do you have any tips for first timers?
The first year out you have to do a lot of public events, just start googling “Festivals in (your city)”. You have to get your name out there and this is a good way to do it. Even though private events are more lucrative, you need to start somewhere. Another way is to do promotional events at places that will advertise for you like radio or local TV stations, your local newspaper, etc.
Describe one of the major successes or memorable moments you’ve had since opening your trailer.
I attended a party as a guest where our food truck was doing the catering. As I walked up to the house I saw the truck, our crew and how it was operating as a well oiled machine. It was great feeling to see it in action!
What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve either been given or can give to people looking to start in this industry?
Don’t think you are going to start a food truck for less than $100,000. And don’t think for a minute if you want to survive off this business that it isn’t a full time job. Also, don’t think of other food trucks in your area as competition, if your city has a lively food truck scene it will only help you be more successful by working together.
What are some challenges you have as a food truck owner in your area?
There are A LOT of food trucks in our area, and every year there are more. So, we need to continue to come up with menu items and other things that differentiate us. It is a constant evolving business!
Networking within your territory can sometimes be a challenge – what are some of the best ways you’ve found to connect with people in your area?
Our city started a food truck association. It is a great way to connect with others in the same business. We have a Facebook page that we can throw out questions and get quick answers. There are local business groups you can connect with also, just search for when they have meetings and see if it is a good match for you.
Let’s talk about social media presence – where can we find you online?
Social media is such a huge part of this business. We have a FB page, Twitter and Instagram, and of course our website. People get very mad if your truck location is not kept up to date, so make sure you do this! IF you have to cancel, make sure you announce it on social media. Once you have a following they really rely on this as a way to find you. People love pictures too, not only of your food but just of the events you are doing, it helps engage customers.