Food truck in Chicago winters

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Joined Sep 3, 2018
Hi!

I am looking into opening a food truck; however, I wanted to stay open year round. Is this possible in the winter months? I'm worried about the water tanks freezing. Is there anyone with experience with food trucks in cold weather that would be able to offer some advice and tips?
 
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812
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Yes, its possible. But, given the weather, most of your customers are not going to want to wait outside or eat outside in the cold, especially in a place like Chicago.

There are some things you could do as a food truck operator that can help keep you busy in the winter.

- Catering
- Change up your menu to be more winter friendly i.e. smoothies in the summer and cocoa/coffee/tea in the winter etc.
- Try and work out a deal with an office or seek out indoor events

As for your tank, you can use a holding tank blanket. They sell them at RV stores. Your water lines, however, are another story altogether. You will probably have to get some heat tape and some sort of insulation and wrap your water lines to keep them from freezing.

Good luck. :)
 
1,282
812
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Another question? Can I pre prep the food at home like catering business ?
No. Everything that you use to prep, hold and cook vegetables and proteins must be inspected and approved by your local or state health departments. Chances are there are going to be some foods you can prep and cook on the truck and some you can't. For the one's you can't, you will have to rent a licensed kitchen to prep and cook those specific items. You cannot use your home kitchen to prep, store or cook any food items that you will be selling commercially on your truck. I would strongly encourage you to contact your local and state health departments for all of the details.

Food trucks seem like they would be easier and less complicated than a brick and mortar restaurant and in some ways, they are. But, in many other ways, they can be very complicated. There are literally dozens of things that can go wrong on your truck that will force you to stop selling. You can run out of potable water or gas. Your generator could crap out. Your truck could break down. You could run out of product. Any one of these could literally cause you to shut your doors and lose that day's or week's revenue.

Judging by the nature of your questions, it appears that you have no real experience with food trucks or in the commercial food industry. That's fine. But, before you go spending your life's savings or take out a second mortgage on your home, I would strongly encourage you to work on a food truck for a few months and get to know the business.

Good luck. :)
 
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