A clean truck is a happy truck.
Opening and running a food truck while you’re in the dream stage seems glamorous and exciting.
Yet, it’s good to remember that your successful food truck needs you to step out of the dream stage and into the real world where you must put in long hours, work hard and efficiently and with willful determination to succeed.
You can have a successful food truck, and we want to give you a good head start.
In this article, we look at the ideal daily food truck checklist to help you succeed.
Food Truck Maintenance Checklist
First, we look at food truck maintenance. Why do we start here? Simply because without a food truck that is running well, you’ll never get your delicious menu to your customers, especially if your food truck isn’t moving.
The number one issue to stay on top of when it comes to your daily checklist is food truck maintenance. (tweet this)
Put together a daily maintenance schedule to avoid any last-minute truck failures. Here’s a checklist to get you started. Please note that you should read your owner’s manual for checks specific to your truck.
- Walk around your truck every day and check for flat tires, dents and window cracks. Do this daily.
- Inspect your windshield wipers. Do this daily.
- Check your fluid levels – oil, engine, steering and wiper. Add more fluid as necessary. Do this daily.
- Clean your windows inside and outside. This is important to the overall appearance of your truck as clean windows indicate a clean cooking area. Do this daily.
- Weekly, you want to check your belts, hoses and lines as well as the air pressure in your tires. Get a tune-up as recommended by your truck’s owner’s manual.
- Add regular maintenance to your schedule and make sure that during each oil change you rotate your tires and add to washer fluid for your wipers. At the same time, check your air filters.
- You also want to do a periodic battery test, especially during the winter.
It’s a good idea to keep a stock of supplies on hand as well to fix problems that might occur. These include:
- An extra quart of oil and a funnel
- Additional wiper fluid
- Tire jack and items needed to repair flat tires
- Jumper cables
- Flares and flashlights
- Ice scrapers and road salt
- Emergency tool kit
- First aid and blankets
Food Truck Daily Inspection
In addition to your truck maintenance, it’s up to you to maintain your food truck daily so it’s looking its best and stocked with everything you need.
Either assign someone this job or do it yourself. Make a list of all the supplies that should be fully stocked on your truck at all times. This includes:
- Cups, plates, napkins, silverware and whatever else you need to serve your food
- Cleaning supplies
- Menu ingredients and food necessary for the day’s meals
Your food prep is easier in a clean space.
Food Truck Cleaning Checklist
It can be difficult to keep a small space clean, so you want to have a checklist for whomever is working. This ensures your area stays perfectly clean.
While you do want a daily food truck checklist when it comes to cleaning, add to the bottom of it things you’ll do weekly and monthly.
Let’s get started:
- After each shift (this means breakfast, lunch and dinner if you serve them), the prep and cook areas should be thoroughly cleaned. Wash all dishes and cutting boards, clean the sink, counter-top area and cooking area. Empty the trash.
- At the end of each day, after you are done, clean all cooking tools and appliances. This means wiping down the outside of the oven and microwave, cleaning the grill area and steam table, and wiping out all of your fryers. Sweep and mop the floor and clean the floor mats. Empty all trash.
- On a weekly basis, you want to clean and sanitize your coolers and ice machines. Take a look inside your refrigerator and freezer and wipe them down. Thoroughly scrub your coffee maker and clean inside your microwave and oven.
- Monthly (or more often if you are a messy cook), you want to wash and sanitize the walls, back-splash and ceiling areas. Clean the inside and outside of your refrigerator, including the coils. Move your heavy appliances and clean behind and underneath them. Make sure to get rid of any built-up grease and clean your exhaust hoods.
Food Truck Checklist for Your Sanity
Owning a food truck is tough, and the hours are challenging. It’s a good idea to set some boundaries right from the start. (tweet this)
Take a look at this checklist to help you stay grounded and have enough energy for each day.
- Take time for yourself. Running a food truck shouldn’t be your life 24/7. Take time away from your truck. Do something completely unrelated to take your mind off your business. Exercise, meditate, read, go out with friends – just do something that helps you de-stress so you can meet the next day full of energy.
- Network with other food truck owners. It can be helpful to have like-minded people to joke around with or bounce ideas off of. You’ll find that other food truck owners can be a valuable resource, often knowing new and lucrative paces to park.
- Take it to the next level and network with your customers. Your customers are a great place to meet people who might need a caterer for their next event.
- Make something new every week. This challenges your brain and stimulates your creativity. It can give you something new and different to look forward to each week. Be sure to test it out and ask your customers what they think.
The most successful food trucks are ones that are well-maintained and clean. You can bet these owners perform daily inspections so they aren’t caught off guard.
Be prepared with a truck in good working order and a food truck fully stocked with the day’s needs.
Make routine food truck inspections part of your day, and you’ll find that each day moves smoothly.
This not only helps you maintain your sanity, but you enjoy higher profits as you aren’t losing time fixing a truck or purchasing last minute items.
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Images: Lluís Domingo on Unsplash and vexrobotics via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-ND