The food truck industry has surprisingly grown by 7.9% from 2019 to 2020. This might seem surprising, considering the hard hit that COVID-19 dealt the restaurant industry, but food trucks are a whole different game. The fact that they can easily accommodate social distancing protocols may be one factor contributing to their popularity.
With that in mind, food truck safety has never been a more pressing or important issue. What can you do to keep yourself and your customers safe?
Keep reading to find out!
1. Fighting the Weather
Food trucks and bad weather are a combination no business owner or customer wants to see, but it’s a cold (and wet) reality. Food trucks receive exposure to even more of mother nature’s bounty than permanent structures. This can include strong gusts, hail, snow, heavy rain, and even lightning.
As the owner of a business that will be significantly impacted by adverse weather, you should always be up to date on the latest forecast.
Some excellent resources for weather include:
If your local area sees heavy snow in winter, make sure to winterize your truck. Even if your local weather isn’t severe during the colder months, you’re not off the hook. If you plan to travel to colder climes for winter festivals you’ll still need to do some winterizing research. Not planning in advance could cost you a lot of time and money in repairs until your business is ready to reopen.
2. Make Sure to Legally Cover Yourself
If you plan to feed protesters, law enforcement, employees on strike, or “permanent replacements,” make sure you have covered yourself—legally, and otherwise.
Feeding protesters is a form of activism. It could even be considered a promotion of human rights—though it can open you to legal problems and risk personal safety. For example, the Black Lives Matter movement that escalated throughout 2020 saw several food truck operators get arrested while distributing meals.
Of course, it’s entirely up to your own discretion to decide how much risk you are willing to take, and what causes you are willing to support with your food truck activism. Just remember: any time you take a risk, there could be unintended or unforeseen consequences.
3. Keep Clear of Risky Driving
Just because everyone loves food trucks doesn’t mean that you don’t need to be safe on the road. Last year, over 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes.
As a larger vehicle that has less capability to react quickly in a sticky traffic situation, you carry more risk. Not to mention your livelihood is wrapped up in the integrity of your vehicle.
Identify blind spots, get to know the dimensions of your vehicle intimately, know where and when you can set up, and get proper permits and licenses.
4. Kitchen Risks in a Truck
While your food truck is first and foremost a vehicle, everyone also knows you’ll have to struggle with all the same issues any kitchen does.
Keeping proper food truck safety standards regarding the quality and integrity of your food is a given.
However, safety precautions for normal kitchens should also be assessed. Things such as smoke inhalation, preventing cuts and burns in a small space, and identifying slip-and-fall zones, should all be priorities. Add to that heat-stroke and cold-weather exposure risks. You have a lot to think about as far as safety is concerned.
Food Truck Safety: On the Go
Be sure that food truck safety for you and your customers is number one. All the success in the world can’t protect you from being unprepared for the whole realm of food truck hazards.
Want more food truck advice? Check out more blog posts here!
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