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Top 10 Best Food Trucks in Los Angeles.

The Best Food Trucks team has compiled a list of the Best Food Trucks in Los Angeles. Using data derived from the Best Food Trucks app, they’ve based their list on sales, reviews and requests. From Pizza’s to BBQ, there is something for everyone on this list.

To read about the trucks on the list go here:

Here is a quick look at the list:

Oaxaca on Wheels: Mexican

Wise Barbeque Food Truck: BBQ

The Fix on Wheels: Hamburgers

Maravilla Latin Cuisine: Latin

StopBye Cafe: Indonesian/ Asian Fusion

8E8 Thai Food Truck: Thai

Love Bird: Chicken Sandwiches

Pasta Sisters: Italian/

Tokyo Style Food Truck and Catering: Japanese/Hot Dogs/Boba/Asian Fusion

Vivace Pizza: Pizza

These are some of the Best Food Trucks for catering and daily service in Los Angeles. Find them on BFT and don’t miss out!

The $25 Food Truck Meal

The $25 food truck meal.

Have you ever been at a festival with food trucks and wondered, “How on earth is my burger, fries and a drink over $20?” Answer: it is not the food truck. Event organizers are now charging up to 40% of a food truck’s gross sales to participate in their event. Participation fees for food trucks used to be 10%.

Food trucks, like many restaurants, operate on very small margins. After a food truck owner pays for food, employees, food truck and commissary rent, propane, gas, insurance and incidentals they’re typically left with about 10-15% profit. Well attended events with big sales numbers will increase the margins a bit, but not enough to justify a 40% fee. So what happens? Food trucks must pass along a portion of the participation fee to the customer so they don’t lose money on every order. The public, understandably, sees these higher prices and mistakenly assumes the food truck is taking advantage of the customer’s attendance. We’ve seen terrible Yelp reviews that start off with: “I used to like this truck, but then they overcharged me at an event and now I won’t go back…”

Customers who are already paying the high costs for a ticket shouldn’t have to pay exorbitant prices to get a meal while enjoying an event. Food trucks provide a great service to outdoor festivals. The eclectic food options and the ability to serve anywhere makes them the perfect choice for large scale events. But the food truck industry is successful because food trucks bring great meals to the public at reasonable prices. Unfortunately, when food truck owners are forced to pay 40% to be part of an event they have to raise their prices to a level that most food truck owners find unacceptable. The question I hear most often is, “why don’t food truck owners just skip the high fee events?” Food trucks have to get out and do business. They can’t pass up events, especially in the areas that have a short season. Food truck owners have to get while the getting is good. They would most definitely prefer to do the events and charge their normal prices.

So what can the public do? If you see an awesome food truck event, why not try asking the organizers via social media how much they’re charging food trucks to attend? Currently, organizers aren’t blamed for the high cost of food because it’s not clear how much they’re charging the trucks. Instead, the blame for high prices falls directly on the food truck owners. If the public joined with food truck owners and demanded that organizers lower their fees, food trucks could charge their normal (or close to normal) prices. Let’s bring down the price for food this upcoming event season. #driveforfairness

By Matt Geller
SoCal Mobile Food Vendors’ Association, National Food Truck Association

Food Truck Events: Working with Organizers

Food Truck Events

Working with special events organizers can be one of the more profitable segments of your business. A special event, or a food truck event that is well organized and attended can make the difference between profitable month and just getting by.  However, an event that charges you a large fee and ends up being a dud can seriously impact your bottom line for the month.  So how do you protect yourselves from the bad organizers while focusing on the great ones?  We’ve put together a list of tips:

Has the organizer worked in your area before? 
1.  If the organizer is established, ask them about their previous experience with events locally.
2.  If they’ve worked with food trucks, reach out to food trucks that have experience with them.
3.  Read reviews of their previous events on yelp or other review sites.

What type of social media presence does the organizer have?
1.  Check their facebook, twitter, instagram and snapchat accounts to see how many followers they have
2.  See how often they post about their events or events in general.

Are the organizers easy to get a hold of?
Communication is very important when going to an event. Make sure the organizers are good at getting back to you before you commit to doing an event with them. If they don’t get back to you in the setup process, they’ll be less likely once they have your money.

What permits will they be pulling for the event?
Will they be pulling a community event permit? Has the fire department approved the organizers layout plan? Do they have a business license to do business in the city where the event takes place?

Will there be clean and accessible restrooms for the food and food truck vendors?
It’s important to make sure that there are accessible bathrooms with handwashing sinks for all of your employees. All health departments require that you wash your hands after you use the restroom and BEFORE you go back to your truck. It’s important the the organizer understand their responsibilities to you and your crew.

What are they charging, a flat fee or a percentage?
Make sure that you can afford what they’re charging. 10% used to be the standard percentage rate, however some larger events are charging up to 35% and asking trucks to raise their prices. Percentages can protect you from a bad event by eliminating a large flat fee, but can also end up costing you big time if the event is a huge success.  Ask the organizers charging a flat fee if they have a refund policy for inclement weather or other forced cancellations beyond your control. Ask them via email so you have it in writing.

How will the organizer be promoting the event?
Be cautious if the organizer only plans a social media promotion campaign, or if they believe that the food trucks will promote the event themselves.  Every good event needs a good promotion strategy and it will help you make an assessment if you know what it is.

What other trucks are doing the event?
Ask the organizer about other trucks doing the event and give them a call.

What is the expected turnout and how many food vendors will be serving the public?
Be sure to ask the organizer how many food trucks will be attending the event. Also ask about other potential food vendors that may be working out of tents. The ideal ratio of attendees per truck is between 200 and 300 if everyone is expected to eat. With less than 200, it’s difficult for the trucks to make money. Over 300, the lines often get long and the customers are unhappy. If it’s not an “eating” event, that ideal ratio should double. For more info 

Will there be any free or promotional food at the event?
Sometimes events will have a sponsor that gives away free food. This always hurts the food sales of all the vendors. Be sure to ask if the organizer will have any freebies or samples.

Will the organizer be charging customers for the event?
If the organizer is charging an exorbitant fee, it’s going to hurt attendance. If the event is a food event, many people don’t want to pay to get into an event if the food isn’t free or has reduced prices. Make sure the event has something of real interest to patrons if there is a large entrance fee.


The most important thing to remember is to use common sense. If you see an event listed on lotmom, or you get an email from an organizer, don’t just blindly book the event. Make sure to talk to the organizers to gather some information first. If the organizer is rude or short with you, don’t reward them with your attendance.  Good luck!


Kitchens for Food Trucks

Slauson Commissary offers food trucks prep kitchens!

Full prep mobile food facilities in California are amazingly self sufficient. When used in conjunction with a commissary (which is the law: CA Code 114295) they can operate without a licensed prep kitchen. In Los Angeles a food truck’s ability to operate independent of a kitchen is important due to the lack of kitchen facilities currently available to caterers and food trucks. As we all know, most kitchens are limited to restaurant use. However, some food trucks have found that with their growing commitments in catering, festivals and standard street service, they can hardly keep up the pace needed to supply their food truck. Luckily there are now some options!

The day to day of running a food truck can be exhausting, especially when all of your prep has to be done in a 16 foot standard food truck kitchen. When vendors aren’t selling, their acquiring product or prepping that product for their next shift. In the Summer when festivals and other outdoor food events are available most food trucks have to say no to some opportunities because they have to resupply or spend time prepping on the truck. Obviously, it would be best if busy food truckers were on the streets selling while also acquiring product and getting the prep done.  There are some options, but typically they do not cater to food trucks. The kitchens are too far from commissaries where trucks park or too expensive.

Now there are catering kitchens located at a popular commissary in Los Angeles. The distance between kitchen and where the trucks park are mere feet away and you’ll be able to accept deliveries of product directly to your kitchen. The kitchens range from $1500-$2500 a month so you’ll have to determine whether the additional cost is worth the convenience. For many trucks, this is a game changer. It will allow them to prep and receive product while out servicing customers. Instead of breaking to do prep, the truck can come back by the kitchen and resupply. Slauson Catering (750 E. Slauson Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90011), a well known food truck commissary in South LA now has kitchens available.

We’re hoping to see more opportunities for food trucks to rent usable prep kitchens for their operations. It’s nice to see a food truck commissary provide a service that is needed in the food truck industry.

To inquire call or email: Luis Cruz luis@aacatertruck.com DSC_1098(323) 235-6659 

Capital City Food Truck Convention!

How do I start a food truck?

The Capital City Food Truck Convention is a two day mobile vending conference for food truck operators, suppliers and public health officials that will be held on March 12th and 13th of 2016. (For more info click here: http://www.dmvfta.org/convention/) The most asked question on the comment section of this site is, “How do I start a food truck?” The answer: “Educate yourself.” The Capital City Food Truck Convention curriculum covers everything that the aspiring mobile vendor needs as well as connecting suppliers with the new industry.  The convention is organized, attended and supported by food truck operators and Food Truck Associations. Many of the other conventions are not organized by an actual food truck association or even a food truck operator. The two day conference utilizes speakers and panels from industry professionals to educate and inform the mobile vending industry.  Because the curriculum is curated by actual food truck operators and associations, the information is the most relevant to new and current food truck operators. All of the sessions have a Q & A component and attendees are encouraged to participate in the discussion.

The inaugural Capital City Food Truck Convention was last year in DC.  Attendees and speakers came from all over the Country to discuss mobile vending issues, regulations, advocacy and special events.  The discussions did not end at the end of the day’s speakers sessions, rather they continued on into the evening informally.  This year National Food Truck Association will partner with the District Maryland and Virginia Food Truck Association to add a workshop for aspiring food truck association organizers.

The food truck industry is seeing monumental growth.  However, since the industry issues are so regional it’s sometimes hard to focus on the bigger picture. With a conference like the Capital City Food Truck Convention, food truck operators and associations can get together and discuss issues going on nationwide. This gives individual operators and potential operators a better understanding of what they may face in the future as well as some solutions to issues they face now.  As cities start opening up their streets to food trucks, it’s nice to see how the other areas of the country have adapted. Discussions with representatives from some of the older markets can really prepare newer trucks and regions to deal with issues that will arise.

Please come talk to me during the conference and at the planned evening events. I would love to hear all about your food truck, your city issues and anything else you’d like to discuss.

Matt Geller
SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association
National Food Truck Association


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Supporting Independents

Supporting Independents

Food trucks paving the way

The New York times recently released a 52 places to go in 2014 list. Downtown Los Angeles ranked number five in the world of must-see places. Say that last line out loud because it’s hard to believe.  Because of its incredible food scene, Downtown LA is a must-see destination for world and local travelers. How did Downtown Los Angeles and LA in general become such food mecca? The answer is simple, Los Angeles and California in general, support independent food producers and sellers.

In 1978, Governor Jerry Brown signed the Direct Marketing Act that allowed for Certified Farmers Markets (CFMs) to sell their own produce to consumers in locations that were deemed appropriate by the Department of Agriculture.  The first Farmers Market in Los Angeles was sponsored by the Interfaith Hunger Coalition in 1979 in a small parking lot consisting of 4 vendors in Gardena.  From there, Farmers Markets have grown statewide to include over 700 weekly markets. This support for independent food producers started a statewide trend.

Growing out of these Farmers Markets were also temporary tent vendors.  These vendors were able to sell food prepared on site with a temporary food facilities permit (in conjunction with a community event permit) to enhance the environment of their particular farmers markets. It gave independents an opportunity to serve the public without having to open their own restaurants. Non farmers market food events also flourished in Los Angeles with arts and crafts, activities and more food! All of these types of events gave independents more opportunities to bring their cuisine to the masses.

Los Angeles has a rich street food history starting with horse drawn tamale carriages in the late 1800s. The food truck industry got a boost in the 1970s with the modern day food truck that was essentially a kitchen on wheels.  These new food trucks allowed owners to prepare and serve straight from a vehicle. Independent food producers with dreams of opening a restaurant could start with a truck to hone their skills and serve the people.  In 1985, California passed Cal Vehicle Code 22455 which restricted a city’s power to regulate vendors.  Regulations have to be public safety oriented. That meant that a city could not impose arbitrary anti-competitive regulations on vendors.  The explosion of the modern food truck industry (starting with Kogi) has been able to grow and thrive because California and Los Angeles by extension, doesn’t hamper independent food producers. Of course, in the beginning of the modern food truck industry there were some battles. The SoCalMFVA was at the forefront in fighting for food truck rights using statutes and case law from the preceding generation to obtain rights and freedom from regulations that were not public safety or public health oriented.

So what does this all have to do with Los Angeles being a top food destination?  I’m glad you asked…. Los Angeles supports independents. Like so many other industries, innovation comes from the fringes, the independents, and people who are least restricted by monied interests. Los Angeles has an environment that supports restaurants, food trucks, farmer’s markets, tent vendors and as of last year, cottage food producers. The culinary landscape is spurred by innovation and competition. Large restaurant groups can’t relax. They’re constantly being challenged by the next best thing, which could be coming from a tent vendor a food truck or even a cottage food producer.

Los Angeles’s culinary scene will continue to expand while other cities that are controlled by strong restaurant interests will decline.  Any food industry that does not support independents will, in the long run, go into decline.  Other cities should look long and hard at how they support their culinary scenes.  Consumers should demand that their local government enhance and promote competition.  Anti-competitive laws that stunt competition in the interest of entrenched businesses, will inevitably hurt any industry.  If a city has anti-competitive regulations, than they should really rethink their model.


Los Angeles Food Trucks

Food Trucks Los Angeles




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