Doughnut Food Truck???

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by tubs, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

    Messages:
    2,090
    Likes Received:
    428
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Richard, This is the one that the guy has in Mexico. It doesn't get my more basic than this. I was just wondering if the fryer well could be used off to the side to offer a different product if a person want too..........

     
  2. four2boyz

    four2boyz

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Hi Chef - thanks for the interesting pic - not sure what the inspector would say - but he is definitely an entrepreneur - I have the Lil Orbits ss1200 - a workhorse to make mini donuts. Easy to use and reliable. I have been in situations I could not keep up with the demand and other times I could not give it away. Donuts are a funny business. Do you think there might be a market for a mini donut consultant? I have heard stories of people saying they lost a ton of money and others the exact opposite?
     
  3. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

    Messages:
    2,090
    Likes Received:
    428
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Hi Richard, I think you have some people that don't know very much about putting the right product in the right place. Some people will buy the Orbits Mini donut maker and think they could sell 1000"s  anyplace they set up. Like you said, sometime you can't make them fast enough somedays you can't sell one. I'm not to sure about the mini donut consultant because it's such a limited single serve item. 

       Are you able to offer different toppings ? or are you limited to powered sugar and cimm sugar. I always though a display case with different topping would boost the each cost. Look at the donut shops that do real well, it's all about the toppings. Or, is it possible to have dipping sauces like maple or glaze ?....I'm not trying to tell you how to run your business. I know where I see the orbits set up they offer a pretty basic setup in a area that offers a lot of different creative food items. 
     
  4. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,456
    Likes Received:
    410
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    Today's consumers are a fickle bunch.

    When you can have virtually any product in the world available at your fingertips why settle (lol has anyone seen the new Direct TV campaign.... ROTFLMAO) for one product?

    Different flavors...toppings...colorful sprinkles....dipping sauces...

    Did a short google search and there were dozens of negative threads re Lil Orbits.

    Quite a few machines for sale on the big sites like Craigs List and Ebay (plus a warning on lilorbits.com about the expense of repairing a broken machine bought second hand...mainly about the lack of guaranteed parts at a reduced price if you are still under warranty).

    Not much of a feel for continued franchise support from the manufacturer.... why not toss a few other things in the oil while it is hot ?

    Pretzels, funnel cakes, churros are all high profit margin items found at any street/county/state fair and other festivals.

    The main problem is that unless you can secure a spot from a retiring vendor it can be ridiculously tough to get any booth space.

    Just a few IMO's...

    mimi
     
    chefbillyb likes this.
  5. four2boyz

    four2boyz

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    With all du respect chefs, I realize the hurdles in today's economy to start a business and work for yourself. Trucks, trailers pop up tents, are much less than brick and mortar....in addition you can go to the customers. Yes, if there is already a donut guy at a farmers market they will probably not allow a second. So I agree, do your due diligence prior to embarking on the mini donut path. Unless you are doing it as a hobby and if is just for fun, do not spend money unless you are sure. I met a lot of nce people And bought the machine second hand and made a lot of donuts. Maybe it is the area, maybe it's the luck I guess I'll never know.

    It is a lot of work to just keep the donuts flowing - I had people ask me if I could do malasasas, big donuts, fried fish, etc,I just say "sorry" only do donuts w cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or plain. They smile, take a sample, then buy a bag.

    Good luck with your donut truck endeavor and it's good to help someone else with knowledge if you can share experiences -
     
  6. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

    Messages:
    2,090
    Likes Received:
    428
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Great advice f2b! Your right, in todays world everything doesn't work in everyplace. I'm in another forum that talks about Hot Dog carts. A few vendors do really well in some parts of the country and others can't sell but a few dogs a day in other states. Your also very right to mention " Know your market" I started my career in Hawaii and I think you could have had a Hot Molasads cart do well any place you put one. It maybe a different story in places on the main land that don't even know what they are. In todays world people are looking for something different, what used to be may not be popular anymore. I see a lot of people think all you have to do is buy a food truck and you have a instant successful business. Like I said great advice.
     
  7. smccoy

    smccoy

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Hi Richard - 

    Are you still running your business?  Would you have just a few minutes to spare to answer some questions?  

    Thank you!
     
  8. mike russo

    mike russo

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Hello, I know you posted this awhile ago but I was wondering if we could hop on a phone call to discuss your business a little bit! I just purchased a Lil Orbits machine as well, the 2400 series. I'd love to ask you a few questions if you have the time. 

    -Michael Russo
     
  9. sheriw5

    sheriw5

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Hi Mike,

    How is your adventure going with your Lil Orbits? I just started a coffee/donut trailer in the Midwest with a Lil Orbits 1200 and have been at the farmer's market on Saturdays. It's an adventure for sure but so far people love the donuts and the concept. Hopefully you've launched a business off to a successful start!
     
  10. four2boyz

    four2boyz

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Hi there - just forgot about this thread - check out my donut website - yes still making donuts -one at a time www.donutdays.com drop me a line Richard in Oregon
     
  11. four2boyz

    four2boyz

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Oops that's www.donutdays.org not com - good luck Richard
     
  12. sgmchef

    sgmchef

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    127
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Just a thought from the fringe...

    How about a modified fry bread. A combination of yeast for flavor and baking powder for lift, and maybe some mace and yogurt. Make your batches of dough the day before so you only have to transport and store your batches of dough. Slice off a rough strip, eyeball the portions, hand stretch, drop in fryer, and top with your sweet goodness of choice.


    No mixing, no proofing, no rolling, no scraps to rework, and there will be no doubt it is a handmade, handcrafted, and delicious warm goodness etc. etc.
     
  13. four2boyz

    four2boyz

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Nice thinking - sounds yummy your idea would work in a home setting but to use in a mobile class 3 donut cart dough would require preparation “prep” in a commissary kitchen and temp monitored refrigeration during transport and while waiting to fry in your cart. Health inspectors DO ask those questions. With the commercial donut mix the KEY answers the inspectors look for are 1. that you prepare the mix JUST PRIOR to using 2. You change mix (or dump out and clean hopper) every four hours if it’s not used up 3. Your diluent is water (therefore not temp regulated) 4. The powdered donut mix is commercially available

    Lastly, IF you are lucky enough to get an endless line of families wanting to buy your mini donuts, you can mix the commercially available mix within 2 minutes from powder and water. This GREATLY reduces the stress of critical mixing of multiple ingredients to make a donut batter....at least from my experience people come back regularly because of the great taste.

    Lastly - don’t forget to change the oil regularly (min every 12-18 hours of use) or your donuts will suffer (really greasy taste and smoking oil).

    My 2 cents - cheers - have great DONUT DAYS!!!
     
  14. sgmchef

    sgmchef

    Messages:
    289
    Likes Received:
    127
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Locals laws will ultimately drive the options. (Besides $$$$)

    I only mentioned the Fry Bread when the OP mentioned the words "raise and cut" in the request for thoughts and input. To me that indicated a preference of yeast raised to that of quick bread doughnuts and the automated machines that produce them.

    As an experienced bench hand, I think about 4-5 seconds per portion, from the portion cut to fryer is about the best I can do.

    I have seen variations on this concept at State Fair/Carnivals. Some with Savory toppings or sandwich style.

    Lots of good feedback for tubs to sift through! I hope we hear back on what happens next!