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Food and Culture: The Food that Makes Singapore

In a country, the food sometimes becomes its identity. The people living in the country are the first thing foreigners in that country look to for culture, but the food is what pops out. Foreigners also search for the food when they visit a country, as it’s one of the easily identifiable traits of that country.

Singapore is best known for its food, which has similarities to those of its regional counterparts. Take a look at some of the food choices and see how it evolved to become what people on the streets are looking for.

Singapore’s Island-City status

Singapore was only recently founded; the 60s was its official foundation day as a city. However, it has already traded with its Southeast Asian neighbor even before becoming a city-state. In those days, traders would trade spices and valuable food. It would then influence the food of Singapore into what is commonly seen as hawker fare these days.

The Food Hawkers

You can’t go to Singapore and skip trying out food from the street hawkers. Southeast Asia has its own flavor and it is found on the streets. In Singapore’s case, the street food here is a fusion of food from the city-state’s neighboring countries. Char mee, ayam buah kelak, and Indian curry puff is just a few of these different food.

A very proud citizenship

Because it’s already a part of their culture, Singapore’s citizens are very proud of their food. It’s just that the citizens are pretty proud of their food that they are criticizing it every chance they get—its presentation, how it tastes, and its price most of all. A dollar’s worth of price hike is already an issue to the people.

The Hawkers today

The modern street hawkers can also be very touchy at how people eat the food they prepare. The price hikes can also be justified when you look at it from a modernization perspective; Singapore is quickly becoming globalized and, when imported ingredients become a part of street food, the prices tend to soar.

What the future of street hawking looks like

behindthefoodcarts.com

Street hawkers evolve along with Singapore. With each younger generation taking to the streets, they have different inputs to already times and tested classics. Food being sold in the streets is already becoming a fusion of local and foreign ingredients. It can only mean good for the businesses and Singapore’s food culture as well.

A look at the past is good for your business’ future. If you think your street stall needs an injection of new ideas, take a look at how the evolution of street food hawking happened and figure out ideas from there.

Food Truck Essentials: Must-have Supplies

Starting a food truck business is not an easy one, there are so many things to prepare and so many things to oversee, sometimes it is easy to overlook some important items. Fret not, we have compiled a list of important items— cooking tools, consumables, cleaning and safety supplies — that you should always have on your food truck before you get started.

Cooking equipments are essential tools you should always with you. The tools you will need will depend on your truck and the type of food you serve. The following are some important items any food truck should have:

Image result for aluminium foil food
Aluminium foil is an essential on any food truck.
  • Disposable gloves are the number one item that you should have in your food truck. They are the lifeline to your business because they help you maintain food hygiene and keep your food safe for your customers.
  • Aluminium foil can be used for wrapping food for consumption at a later time and it can be used to cover food in the oven.
  • Cling wraps help keep your food fresh and protected from contaminants.
  • Plastic bags could be given to customers for their convenience or used to prolong the lifespan of your food.
  • Containers are an absolute must-have. You can use microwave-able containers to store and reheat food for later.

 

Use cooking oil spray to prevent your food from sticking onto grilles, ranges and woks. Trust us it will make your cleaning later on so much easier.

 

Disposable Serving Supplies

Image result for biodegradable utensils

There are many ways to serve food to your customers. Some food trucks use disposable plates and bowls while others use take-out containers. On top of that, you will need ample utensils and other disposables such as napkins. We highly recommend using biodegradable disposables as they are more environmentally friendly. You can absolutely do your part to help protect the environment while filling hungry stomachs.

Here is a list of serving supplies you will need:

  • Food-Serving Supplies: plates, bowls, take-out containers, trays etc.
  • Disposable Supplies: cutlery, bags, napkins, cups & lids, straws

Safety Shoes & Safety Supplies 

Apart from food-related illnesses, the most dangerous thing that can happen in food trucks are fire and accidents. Here are a few things you should stock in your food truck to prevent any major accidents or injuries:

safety shoe
A good pair of safety shoes will not only prevent slips and falls and toe stubs in the kitchen, it can also help ease foot pain from long hours of standing.
  • Safety Shoes a good pair of safety shoes will prevent slips & falls at the workplace.
  • Fire extinguishers — ensure that fire extinguishers are serviced regularly. In addition to its importance for safety, it’s also important for passing inspections.
  • First aid kits — accidents are bound to happen when working in a kitchen. Make sure to stock up on the proper equipment especially plasters!

Cleaning supplies 

cleaning supplies

Cleaning supplies is an absolute must-have. A clean food truck makes sure that nobody gets sick consuming food from your truck. Also, it helps to you maintain a high standard of food safety and hygiene. You don’t have to worry about food safety inspections if you keep your food truck clean and orderly.

Here’s a list of cleaning supplies you’ll need in your food truck:

  • Trash bags
  • Dish towels
  • Sponges and scrubbers
  • Foodservice chemicals (for equipments like degreasers)
  • Paper towels
  • Hand soap
  • Sanitising chemicals
  • General Purpose Cleaners
  • Dishwashing Detergent
  • Wet area floor mats
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Mop and mop bucket
  • Heavy duty gloves for washing dishes
  • Labels to keep organised

When starting a food truck, there are so many things to think about and sometimes it is so easy forget certain things. With this list, you can spend less time worrying that you may have forgotten something important. We hope that with this list, you can spend more time planning your menu and designing your kitchen space.

Food Truck Business: How to Hire the Right Food Truck People

They say that owning a business is a sure way to make your path towards riches. If that is the case, owning a food truck is a big help to crossing the threshold between salary-to-salary living and true financial stability. It can also be fun; you get to travel and you can also meet lots of new people.

When you run a business—even a food truck—getting the right kind of people can spell your success. It can also spell your doom if you don’t do it right. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re doing it right.

Be a Good Leader, not just a Boss

–        Ready to take on a new challenge? You should figure out becoming a better boss and an even better leader. The line separating it isn’t that thin, though; you work at it and, eventually, you learn by experience and watching examples.

–        Good leaders know what to do when pressure in the workplace arrives. Have a problem employee? Are the sales down? You know what to do when these arise and you should always think on your toes.

Be a good reviewer

–        Prepare to receive an influx of people who want to get into the food truck business. Some employees want to get experience so they can create their own food trucks later. These employees are the ones you should hire.

–        Competition is always a good thing. If you sense that someone is working for your food truck just to get experience about the industry, let them. They might also turn out to be the help you’ve always wanted and needed.

Be proactive for people who care for the community

–        There will always be skeptics. If an applicant isn’t good for the food truck community, you should not hire them. These people tend to always find something wrong about the community; that’s already a warning sign not to hire them.

–        Find someone not only willing to give, but also want the community to thrive. It can be easy to find these people through words, but you’ll always know them through their actions; they always put the people you serve and the community’s happiness above their own.

These three ideas are a big help in figuring out if the food truck crew you have right now can cut it. Surrounding yourself with like-minded people is the best way to make your simple business succeed.

The Food Biz: Knowing when a Food Truck Biz is the Right Biz

There are a lot of businesses you can start. You can start a home rental business if you’ve got some properties. You can start a shoe business if you’re knowledgeable with shoes. Whatever you do, you need the right kind of knowledge to create a business. If you want to enter the food truck business, you need to have the right thinking.

Food trucks always concentrate on the right kind of food. What kind of food will work for your food truck? These, and other questions you should ask, are here below.

On getting a food truck

Getting your first food truck is more important than you think it is. Some people, like those from ‘Not As Famous Cookie Company’, suggest getting a truck that gives you all you need. The people of ‘Kebab Food Truck’ prefers to have a food truck that’s the right size for them, while the people of  ‘Johnny Donuts’ suggests choosing one that’s easy to keep up.

On starting your business

Once you’ve got your food truck, jump starting your roving diner should be simple enough. The challenge is to keep it working; the people of ‘Braizen Food Truck’ suggest you should learn more about your base of operations. Doing this, as ‘Linkz Express’ suggests, is as simple as knowing who your competitors are in an area. The owners of ‘The Green Olive Food Truck’ add that roving around the neighborhood is effective too.

On choosing a food theme

One of the most important things you should figure out when starting in the food truck business is the food you’re selling. The people of ‘Meat on the Street’ vouch for simplicity while ‘Engine 1 Pizza’ has a sure-fire formula; sell food which is popular with the people. The food truck ‘Cool Beans’, meanwhile, settles on having a survey find the popular food they will sell.

Some questions you should ask are also:

On the hours of operation

Will you always be parked on the road, actively seeking out customers? Will you stay in one area? This is an important question because you can always test out new things and possibilities. You could figure out whether you’re going to sell in one area, never going away from it; you could also roam around and always find new customers, keep things fresh.

On how long you intend to keep your business running

Why did you choose to go into the food truck business in the first place? That’s one of the many questions you should ask. Knowing the purpose of your food truck is going to help in making long-term successes in your business. You’ll also develop an identity for your food group.

When you find that most of the answers you give these questions are positive, that’s the time when you take the risk. Putting up a business is one thing; making that business work is another.

Rise of the Machines: How the First Food Truck Came to Be

Food has always been a profitable enterprise. People need to eat and so they will always flock to vendors hawking food. However, that’s where the profit ends and business begins; you can’t always expect people to flock to YOUR food business if you don’t do things to innovate and offer something new.

People will always find something to attract them to your business. That’s how the first food trucks came to be; coming from the search for something new. Here’s a look at the early beginnings of food trucks.

No motors yet

 

The first food truck of modern times was founded 2008 in Los Angeles. However, there were already similar businesses that survived even before that; food wagons existed all those years ago (130 to be exact) that sold food. It was started by a man named Walter Scott who found his first market—the workers of a local Providence newspaper.

Another claimant

That’s just one side of the story; like many inventors, there will always be someone else claiming to be the first. Another story tells of Charles Goodnight, a Texan who claims to have started the ‘food truck’ concept, using his chuck wagon as a mobile food store. His store catered to Western cattle herders in the days of the Old West.

Push carts makes their case heard

They might be a little too small to be considered as ‘trucks,’ but push carts have been around since time immemorial—during the 1600s, to be exact. The New York colony had just received an influx of immigrants and times were hard. A few enterprising locals decided to make extra money by selling food out of push carts being peddled along the beaten path.

From small to big

Today’s modern food trucks range from small ones to big sizes, but they all are competing for a prime chunk of the public’s consciousness. To that end, some of them took to making interesting gimmicks; some food trucks have catered to create dessert masterpieces while others seem to have gourmet offerings catering to the common people.

The future of food trucks

The world became smaller because of the Internet. While food trucks will never run out of business because people will always need to eat, they also need to constantly reinvent themselves. The presence of social media as well as exposure to the world will play a big part in their continued survival.

Food Consultations: Becoming a Food Truck Consultant

From the outside, running a food business seems like a pretty easy thing to do. It could also look like a fun business to pursue because food is easy to sell; that’s aside from all that happens behind the scenes. The sheer logistics added to the effort of maintaining a food business, whether mobile or permanent, can be pretty taxing.

If you want to become a food consultant of some kind, you have to know which skill sets you need so you become effective.

Knowledge of outside vendors

When you’re running a business, it’s important to have a place where you can source supplies for cheap. This is one reason why you hire a consultant. A consultant is someone who knows places as well as people who sell at a discount. If your consultant knows markets well enough, you’re in a place to make more profit than net losses.

Knowledge of filling positions

A food truck needs to be a well-oiled machine. This doesn’t only mean you buy worthy equipment; this also means you fill up your positions with worthy people. A good consultant knows how to sift through people applying for positions in your crew to get the best. Aside from that, your consultant will also find for you the best appliances and vehicles for your business.

Knowledge of the right questions to ask

You’re paying your consultant to help you with a lot of hard questions in your business. You have to ask a few of them to be successful. Questions about staff, vehicles, food, and the logistics of the business will always rise up. Your consultant is the answer to at least one of these questions; he or she is the help you’re looking for.

Knowledge of contingency plans

In a business, you’ll be meeting up with one or more problems. When this happens, your consultant helps you be on top of the situation so you can focus on the profits. Your consultant will focus on the problem so he or she should address it correctly. When they do that, you’ve made a great investment.

All the knowledge in the world, however, won’t be much help if your consultant decides to play it safe most of the time. It’s important to get one that will be on the same risk-taking mindset as you are.

The American Connection: Asian-fusion Food Goodness in the US

Food trucks have become a big business since its boom way back in 2008. There’s something about Asian-fusion food that just gives people something more delicious. Americans appreciate the food most of all simply because they know good food when they taste it, aside from their preference for trying out new things.

If you want to discover the best Asian food out there, here are a list of Asian-fusion food trucks and what they offer.

Nong’s Khao Man Gai

Portland, Oregon

Behind the Food Carts

The owner, Nong Poonsukwattana, arrived in the US as an immigrant back in 2003, way before the food boom. She was in a great place to ride the 2008 boom. Her Thai chicken and rice (Khao Man Gai) is a simple fare from Thailand, but it became her bread-and-butter to the big time.

Kogi BBQ

Los Angeles

Food Truck Catering

This has become a big deal since it opened up. The LA/Orange Country taco truck became a big part of everyone’s menu thanks to Roy Choi, the owner of the food truck. Taking on Asian fusion, the food truck decided their theme as a mix between Mexican and Korean spicy food.

East Side Kings

Austin, Texas

eastsideking.com

Another Asian-fusion food truck but this time, they create mixtures of Japanese and Tex-Mex food. If you’re not an omnivore, you’ve got no problem; they also cater to vegetarians as well. The ambience as you eat—they provide great music as well—is a big bonus and a draw to customers.

BeanFish

Seattle

Seattle Food Truck Builders

This is one food truck taken from the streets of Japan itself. The BeanFish is a big food staple taken right out of the Land of the Rising Sun. The food truck’s main product is Taiyaki, a product that’s a lot like donuts, but only sprinkled with Japanese flavor.

Bian Dang

New York City

Bian Dang

Bian Dang isn’t found only in the Big Apple; they’ve grown to include food trucks in other parts of NYC as well. They bring with them a chunk of the food culture in Taipei. You can even follow them on Twitter; their best products are their pork and chicken meals, with vegetable meals also available.

Asian-fusion food trucks are just one of the many concepts available out there. Pick one out, figure out if it’s the right thing for you, then go for it! Businesses that succeed are often the ones who take the most risk.