Host the Perfect Employee Picnic with Food Trucks

No matter how much you love your job, watching a beautiful sunny day go by while trapped inside at a cubicle is a drag. Two things that most employees find lacking in their workday are a little outdoor time and more opportunities to get to know their co-workers. Combine the two and host a company picnic! There’s nothing that brings people together like food, and a picnic can be thrown together with far less effort than you might imagine.

This week’s blog will get you well on your way to planning the perfect employee picnic. Remember: the goal is to have a relaxed party outside where people can take their minds off work and bond over a delicious meal and a lawn game or two. Keep it simple, and leave the cooking to someone else. The host and their guests should be chowing down and enjoying themselves, not rushing back and forth from the car trying to get their pre-cooked dishes down for a large hungry crowd before they go cold.

Step One: Find Your Zone
Where is this picnic going to take place? If employees’ kids’ are going to be in attendance, make sure there’s a safe play zone away from the street, where play can be easily monitored by parents. If you’re going to set up some lawn games, seek out a large, flat area of grass. If it’s going to be blisteringly hot, consider throwing the picnic near a body of water so guests can take a dip.

Step Two: Choose A Food Truck
When a good food truck rolls in, you’ve got an instant party. The food truck frenzy has swept the nation, and people have come to have pretty high expectations for the dishes that come out fresh from the kitchen of a colorful food truck. Beyond being generally festive, food trucks are far more affordable than traditional catering services, and it goes without saying that they’re less of a headache than trying to self-cater. Most trucks will strike a deal with a party host for a big crowd, and the food is usually pretty cheap to begin with. The only issue here is trying to decide between all of the unique, delicious trucks that cruise your city.

Step Three: Games!
Games are second only to food when it comes to getting people together. Most of the funniest picnic lawn games require little, if any equipment: sack races, 3-legged races and wheelbarrow races can all be done on a dime, and usually involve a lot of hilarious tumbles worthy of sharing on social media. To step it up a notch, take a little more time to plan (or crowdsource among your employees) a more involved activity like a scavenger hunt, capture-the-flag, or an obstacle course.

And that’s it! To make the event as inclusive as possible, invite your employees to contribute in the planning process by sending out surveys asking what kind of food truck they’d like, or inviting willing volunteers to help organize everything. Have fun, and take note of how refreshed and engaged your team looks the next day.... maybe you should be doing this more often!

A Well-Fed Team Is A Happy Team: Tips For Community Building and Employee Engagment

Tech giants like Google and Facebook have proven somewhat conclusively that offering their employees comfortable communal spaces, delicious and healthy food, and opportunities to engage with each other socially can work wonders for company creativity and productive output. Reports from these companies citing overall improvements in employee well-being, happiness and collaboration is encouraging other businesses to follow suit and find ways to improve their work environment. This week on our blog, we’ve compiled the best advice we’ve received on bringing a little magic to the workplace.

  1. Listen up! The one thing all good managers have in common is that they listen closely to their teams - and the most commonly heard complaint about bad managers is that they fail to do so. Soliciting feedback and suggestions is a great way to encourage your employees to explore their strengths and feel like they’re contributing something valuable to the company. In many companies, weekly “office hours” with the manager or online forums serve as effective spaces where employees can make their voice heard. Beyond being a good business practice, active listening helps managers learn what changes they could make to build a happier workforce. Ask employees what would improve their job - but also remember to ask them if they have any fun ideas for the office!
  1. Bond over a good meal. Since the dawn of time, humans have gotten together around the table to share food, laugh, and explore ideas. Sharing a meal with co-workers is an amazing way to bond as a team and talk through new concepts, but getting the whole team to a restaurant can be a complicated and expensive endeavor. A far easier, cheaper, and more fun approach is to book a food truck and get the gang outside for a lunch al fresco.
  1. Credit where credit is due. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Rewarding employees for a job well done is a small gesture that can make an enormous difference in company morale. Allow your top-performing employee to pick the food truck for this week’s team lunch, or give them a voucher for a free meal! Launching a casual competition is a fun way to get employees to interact with each other, and social media can easily be integrated for a more interactive experience. Reward the employee with the best Instagram photo of workplace life, or tie the contest in with your food truck lunch and buy lunch for whoever nabs the most tantalizing photo of their plate.

Remember above all that work and fun should stay balanced. Keep it light! Your employees will show their thanks.

food bank hunger action month

What is Hunger Action Month and how can you help?

The Feeding America organization has proclaimed this month as “Hunger Action Month;” a month to focus on giving back and relieving those who are food insecure. This month’s campaign is centered around raising awareness and making a direct effort.

What can you do to help during Hunger Action Month?

Be Social - Too often, people are shocked to discover that 1 in 7 Americans are food insecure. To help raise awareness, Feeding America is asking for people to write on a plate what they can’t do when they’re hungry, then to take a selfie with it and post it to all social media channels. Tell your network what you can’t do on an empty stomach by posting on social media using the hashtag #HungerActionMonth and tagging @FeedingAmerica.

Volunteer at a Local Food Bank - Community food banks are always in need of volunteers to pack, ship and serve food to the local area. The Feeding America has a food bank locator which you can use to search for your local food bank by zip code and find the contact information to sign up as a volunteer.

Involve Your Network - Get your friends together and make doing good a social event. Cook your favorite meal, or bake your favorite treat and donate your baked goods to local nonprofits that help those in your community who are food insecure or donate to your local food drive. Enjoy the time with your friends while giving back to a good cause.

Feel Fulfilled - Have Fulfilling cater your event! If you are throwing a party or an event, whether it is for friends or for business, Fulfilling can coordinate the food truck(s) and a percentage of the sales will automatically be donated to helping those who are food insecure. No additional costs or coordination is needed. You’ll blend eating well and doing good with Fulfilling.

Helping those who are food insecure doesn't just end when September is over though. All of these can be done any time throughout the year to make a difference.

Join the Movement to Help End Food Insecurity

Imagine waking up in the morning for work, hopping into your car and seeing your gas tank light turn on. You need to put gas in your car, but you only have $30 left in your bank account. You need to eat, too, but you have to decide whether food or gas is more important for the next few days.

Surprisingly enough, this is a relatable feeling for millions of Americans. The Feeding America reports that 48 million Americans, 15 million of which are children, are food insecure. This staggering reality means that 1 in 7 Americans do not have sufficient access to quality, affordable food.

Organizations like FEED make it their mission to alleviate world hunger – donating a percentage of profits from bags sold to enrich and nourish the lives of millions. On a global scale, 805 million people are affected by hunger. There is a strong culture of giving present to alleviate those vulnerable to food insecurity and we are proud to be a part of the solution.

At Fulfilling, we take a practical, seamless approach to tackling food insecurity. Helping those who are food insecure blends seamlessly with something that you already do multiple times a day: eat. We have partnered with hundreds of food trucks across the country to offer a way to give back.

Instead of contacting a food truck directly to rent for an event, book through us and we will coordinate the food and automatically donate a percentage of the sales to those lacking proper resources to provide for themselves and their families. After your event, we will let you know exactly how much was donated. Doing good has never tasted so delicious.

Since our inception, Fulfilling has provided over 100,000 meals to those in need. Our founder Greg is proud and humbled by the giving community Fulfilling has created:

I created Fulfilling to impact more than myself – I wanted Fulfilling to be an instigator of change. True selflessness stems from a spirit of humility, and I’m truly humbled by the positive changes we’ve made and the lives that we have touched. Fulfilling is not for myself and my own fulfillment, but for the fruits that the beneficiary enjoys.

We have a direct impact on improving the lives of those suffering and we want to encourage and inspire others to do the same.

Host your own First Friday Food Truck Fair

Staying late at the office on a Friday evening is a dreaded prospect - unless, of course, it’s for a party! Give your employees and their families a chance to relax and socialize outside of working hours by throwing your very own ‘First Friday’ event once a month in the style of the Abbot Kinney First Fridays at Venice Beach. Every first

Every first Friday of the month, food trucks flock to the shore where people can stroll around sampling the offerings from a diverse array of delicious food trucks and enjoy live music, group activities or games. If you’re trying to plan a fun event that could bring together a big group of people on a monthly basis, a First Friday Food Truck Fair may be the perfect option. Here’s how to pull it off.

Make it a regular event! Giving your employees something fun to look forward to every month is a tried-and-true way to boost company morale and collaboration between employees. Sure, your team might be getting to know each other a bit over water cooler exchanges and lunch breaks, but hosting a social event outside of work hours gives co-workers the opportunity to truly relax and become better friends. Holding a food truck fair once a month also gives companies the chance to develop relationships with their favorite food trucks, or sample some new truck’s offerings each month.

Be family-friendly. At the end of a workday, and particularly at the end of a work week, most people just want to get home to their families. Make it an inclusive event that your employees can bring their families or friends to, and you’ll get a much larger showing! Including employees’ families shows them you understand the importance of maintaining a work-life balance, and also gives co-workers the chance to get to know each other’s favorite people over a delicious meal.

Plan, plan, plan. There’s no such thing as over-attention when it comes to pulling off an event with a lot of moving pieces (literally!). Stay in close communication with all of the food trucks you’re planning to book leading up to the event, and make sure that everything is in place (seating, electricity hook-ups, etc) so the food can really shine. If you’re welcoming kids to the event, consider booking a clown, balloon animal artist, or exotic animal handler to give the kiddos something to do other than watch their parents chow down!

Beyond this, your First Friday food truck fair is your own creation. Depending on where you’re based, the type of space you choose for the fair and the bonus activities or events you add to the mix will vary wildly - and that’s a beautiful thing! Check out other food truck fairs for inspiration - but take the creative liberty to invent your own recipe - as long as yummy food is included, it’s sure to be a blast.

Aug. 24 is National Waffle Day! Celebrate with a waffle truck

Belgian waffles - a staple treat found in the hands of many on-the-go city dwellers - touched down in the New York food scene at the 1964 World Fair. They were a huge hit, and their popularity has only grown over the last 50 years. Thanks to the explosion of the food truck scene, quality, crispy waffles are easier to come by than ever.

To help you celebrate National Waffle Day on Aug. 24 (sorry, we don’t get work off for this...yet), we’ve compiled a list of our favorite waffle trucks in every major city we serve. For those of you with a major craving - you might be in for a cross-country road trip! Book now to reserve some waffley goodness!

Orange County - Waffle-icious
Authentic Liege waffles made from scratch using premium ingredients and traditional waffle irons. Sweet and savory options available, as well as creative, pressed sandwiches. Imported Belgian Pearl sugar and cult favorite Speculoos also available for retail!

Atlanta - Nana G’s Chicken and Waffles
Nana G just celebrated her 102nd birthday, and her legendary 48-hour fried chicken and waffles recipe is being carefully guarded and celebrated in her grandson’s food truck. The crowd favorite here is the ‘Papa G’, a Maplewood smoked bacon-infused Belgian waffle with two seasoned fried chicken strips, warm maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Los Angeles - Wings N’ Waffles
The team behind Wings N’ Waffles, on a lifelong search for the best chicken and waffles in the city, decided finally to create their own recipe and have worked hard to develop the ‘perfect’ seasoning and cooking style. Whether or not you agree, their secret recipe is a must-try.

Houston - The Waffle Bus
Featured on the Food Network and the Cooking Channel’s Eat Street, and named Favorite Food Truck in Houston, The Waffle Bus’ chicken and waffles, waffle burgers, and sweet waffley treats definitely have some serious street cred.

Denver - Waffle Cakes
After micro-roasting their own coffee for over ten years, Waffle Cakes teamed up with Coda Coffee of Denver - named Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine in 2014 - to deliver some of the finest coffee and espressos in the city. The coffee is the perfect accompaniment to Waffle Cakes’ decadent creations, which feature small mountains of fruit, spreads, drizzles and whipped cream atop their flaky, traditionally-pressed Belgian waffles.

San Francisco - The Waffle Roost
Classic, boneless buttermilk fried chicken served on top of a perfect Belgian waffle - what more could you ask for? Well, at The Waffle Roost, you can also request crispy melted cheddar, serrano peppers, bacon, eggs, honey, powdered caramel, freshly ground pink Himalayan salt, dark chocolate chips, or toasted almonds. Still hungry? Try their aged cheddar mac-and-cheese, collard greens, or sweet potato fries!

Philadelphia - Foolish Waffles
This lady-owned and operated waffle truck (voted best in the city) frequently changes their menu based on the availability of local, seasonal ingredients. On offer, alongside the more traditional plates, are interesting waffle creations such as the Bahn Mi waffle (featured by Best of Philly), a breakfast waffle sandwich, and a roasted veggie scramble. Customers have a choice between the traditional Brussels-style waffle, which is light and crisp, or the buttery and sweeter Liege-style waffle.

Still waffling over whether to waffle? If your mouth isn’t watering, we’re sorry, but we just can’t relate. Happy Waffle Day!

Fast Food Redux: Food Trucks Offer Healthy Food on the Go

Whether you’re scrambling to finish a few errands during your lunch break or exploring a new city with the kids, the hunt for fast but healthy food can be a headache. Until recently, our options were limited to ordering to-go from an expensive restaurant menu or biting the bullet and heading to an unhealthy fast food chain.

Luckily for everyone, a new alternative is now roaming the streets of every major city in the country: the food truck. Walk to any popular community space at lunchtime and you’re guaranteed to see a long line of food trucks, each offering a fresh and creative specialty. Here’s how food trucks can help you stay healthy and under budget, making your day a little brighter.

Get moving! Food truck owners like to spice it up too, and will often change locations in order to explore new markets or simply have a change in scenery. Follow your favorite food trucks on social media for live updates on their locations, or just sample whatever new offerings roll through at your favorite lunching spot! Going for lunch at a food truck gets you on your feet, adding the health benefits of a nice stroll pre- and post-lunch to your meal.

Stay fresh. The vast majority of food truck owners could be given the title of “foodie”: these are people who have a real passion for cooking, and created their food truck to be able to offer a signature specialty to their city. On the whole, this translates to a commitment to offering a quality product created with fresh, simple ingredients. Food trucks have a limited capacity for storage and refrigeration, so most chefs will visit their vendors each day to procure their ingredients for the day. The meals are generally cooked directly to order, meaning you will be served a super fresh dish that never sat under a heating lamp or was microwaved before being plated.

Save up! Food trucks cater to the masses, so they generally look to set a price point that everyone can afford – we’re talking lunch with a drink for under $10, and often far less. One of the main obstacles to healthy eating is the relatively prohibitive costs of organic produce and meals at health-food restaurants. Visiting a food truck for lunch is an easy way to get a meal quickly without sacrificing nutrients and healthy ingredients that will power you up instead of making you crash later.

It must be said – not all food trucks can be counted on to deliver a truly healthy plate of food. Sure, they may use organic, local ingredients, but a hamburger wrapped in bacon and tucked inside a grilled cheese remains a total gut bomb. If you’re on a health kick, make sure to look for food trucks that offer light, fresh dishes like smoothies, salads, Mediterranean fare, Asian food, and the like. Happy, healthy eating!

Party Playlists For Every Cuisine

If you’ve made it here you’re already aware that booking a food truck is the easiest way to throw a killer party on the fly. Once you’ve chosen the delicious eats your guests will be noshing on, it’s time to plan the rest of your party!

Admittedly, there’s not so much to do (food prep, service, and cleaning are already taken care of – phew!), but there are a few key details that deserve your full attention if you really want to make the party a hit. Location, good communication with your vendor, weather-watching and activities are all important components to consider – but they all take a back seat to music.

Pop on the right playlist, and the party will be popping no matter what. Here’s a few playlists we’ve thrown together that mesh nicely with our most popular food truck offerings.

For summertime treats…
Nothing says summer like freshly grilled burger and a cold ice cream by the seashore. Throwing a party for friends or colleagues in a relaxed outdoor atmosphere is a great way to get everyone out in the fresh air and summer sun. Whether you’re down by the beach, posted up along a river or just out in a public space, there’s no better way to kick off some happy-go-lucky summertime vibes than with a relaxed, happy playlist full of summer classics and funky new tunes.

Heaven Only Knows – Towkio Ft. Chance the Rapper, Lido & Eryn Allen Kane
Party – Beyonce feat. Andre 3000 & Kanye West
Alright – Kendrick Lamar
I’m Coming Out – Diana Ross
Groove Is In the Heart – Deelite
Oui – Jeremih
Work – Rihanna feat. Drake
Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston
Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
Fingerprints – Hiatus Kaiyote

For a New Orleans chow-down…
New Orleans is known worldwide as a mecca for food and music. Bring a little taste of the Big Easy to your next party with a New Orleans food truck serving up gumbo, po’ boys, muffulettas or beignets and throw on a fun playlist that highlights New Orleans music legends past and present. Anyone who has visited the city can tell you that the playful, joyful atmosphere is infectious. Let the good times roll and enjoy!

Iko Iko – Dr. John
Fire – Rebirth Brass Band
Black Bottom Stomp – Jelly Roll Morton
The Treme Song – Treme Brass Band
That’s It – Preservation Hall Jazz Band
My Feet Can’t Fail Me Now – The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
Hurricane Season – Trombone Shorty
Halftime: Stand Up & Get Up – The Soul Rebels
Big Chief – Professor Longhair
Mother-in-Law – Ernie K-Doe

For a Mexican dinner party…
If you’ve booked a taco truck and are trying to go all out with a Latin theme, music should be your number one priority (after the food, of course). Music is a central part of any South American party, along – of course – with dancing. Put on a playlist full of salsa, bachata and reggaeton to get everyone on their feet. If you really want to kick it up a notch, bring a salsa instructor along to the party to give everyone a quick primer on the basic steps and twirls!

Micaela – Sonora Carruseles & Luis Florez
En Barranquilla Me Quedo – Joe Arroyo Y La Verdad
Lloraras – Oscar D’Leon
Pedro Navaja – Ruben Blades
Asi Es La Vida – Klan Destino
Te Compro Tu Novia – Grupo Merengada
O Te Vas o Me Voy – Hector Acosta “El Torito”
Barrio Negro – Sensual 990
Calla Corazon – Grupo Santa Garchia
Mambo De Feria – Orqueta Epa

For fusion creations…
Food trucks are the premier platform for fusion cuisines – the concept of blending two unrelated cuisines to make an unusual, tantalizing plate that just might attract a cult following. Korean tacos? South American sushi? Anything is fair game on a food truck, where chefs have full freedom to explore creative ideas without a lot of risk. Accompany an event catered by a fusion food truck with a diverse world music playlist that blends different genres and combines different musical styles from around the world to make something new and exciting.

Atrevete Te Te – Calle 13
Fiesta – Bomba Estereo
Ha Hao Sai Hua – Yodrak Salakchai
Jam 10 Kai Theit – Ros Sereysothea
Gendjer2 – Filastine
Sung Nang – Salak Silathong
Mamacita – Super Junior
Fiesta (Remix) – Bomba Estero feat. Will Smith
Temba, Tumba, Timba – Los Van Van
Lady – Fela Kuti

Tips For Throwing A Flawless Outdoor Movie Night

Planning a movie viewing party under the stars may seem like a breeze, but there are a lot of moving components to consider if you’re trying to make it a big success. In reality, the outdoor movie party is a sizeable challenge – but when done right, it really pays off. Read on for tips on how to throw the perfect outdoor movie night for your gang.

Find the right spot.
This is your first step, and a very important one. Scout a location for your movie party that is relatively free of external noise, large enough to accommodate all of your guests as they lounge to watch the movie. If you’ll be providing seating, make sure the ground is fairly flat and can support the weight. If your guests will be on the ground, decide whether to provide blankets for them to sit on, or to request that they bring their own. If you want to go above and beyond, pick up some cheap woven mats and throw pillows from a home good store and lay them down for your guests to relax on.

Put some thought into your set-up.
Everyone knows that the thrill of watching a movie outdoors is the novelty of being outside in the fresh air while still watching the movie on the big screen in the dark. If you’re throwing an outdoor viewing party, a television just isn’t going to have the same effect. The simplest way to do it is to find a nice space with a flat white wall next to it and project the film there. Another option is to hang a large sheet or canvas from two windows on the side of a house of building. If these options aren’t doable, there are many online tutorials for building a simple frame from PVC piping from which you can hang your screen. As for your sound system, consider whether you’d prefer setting up a stereo speaker system or trying an alternative system, like several small bluetooth speakers scattered around your seating area. If the area is going to be completely dark, consider setting up some soft lights so that people can still move around while the movie is playing.

Test your technology.
The most classic movie party disaster is the technology fail. How many of us have settled in with happy anticipation for a great movie, only to have the wrong auxiliary cable? If you’re renting a projector for the occasion, do a little research beforehand to make sure you can select the model that will be best suited to your projection surface. Same goes for your speakers – there’s nothing worse than not being able to hear the movie! Run a few tests of your movie projector and stereo system before the big night to make sure everything rolls along smoothly.

Feed your guests!
Most people like to snack on comforting, satisfying treats like buttered popcorn or a big box of candy while taking in a movie. Bring your viewing to a higher level by booking a food truck that serves easy-to-nibble snacks like sliders, tacos and desserts. Having a food truck on site brings a festival-like atmosphere to an outdoor movie party, and it’s a great way to introduce your guests to exciting new cuisines. Food is a guaranteed way to bring people together, and party-goers will have the chance to socialize over a casual meal before settling in for the show.

Be a good neighbor.
If you’re going to show a movie in a public space, or somewhere that can be seen by neighbors, make sure the film is suitable for all ages. If you’re hosting it in a private area, make sure your neighbors aren’t going to be bothered by the noise or the crowd. Even better, invite them to join the fun!

Summer Birthday Parties Made Easy with Food Trucks

Those of us with summer birthdays will always argue that it’s the best time of year to celebrate a birthday – and you’ve got to admit that they have an argument. The weather is beautiful, the streets are full of color, and people are generally in a rather festive mood already!

Summer is a reason in itself to throw a party, so if you’ve got a birthday or other event to celebrate, you’re already halfway there. The warm outdoors sets the stage for a great party and the rest of the ingredients are simple – all you need is some summery jams and some good food.

Luckily for us, serving up fresh, zesty eats to a big crowd is as easy as booking one of the many talented food trucks in your city. Here’s why food trucks are our new favorite catering option – and will soon be yours, too.

Fresh eats.
Traditional caterers usually prep food ahead of time, and what they end up serving your guests is usually a bit worse for wear, especially if it’s sitting out in the hot summer sun. Food trucks roll up with a complete kitchen, preparing everything from scratch, made-to-order, from fresh ingredients stored safely in restaurant-grade refrigeration.

No dishes.
The last thing you want to deal with after a fun-filled afternoon of good eats and laughter is a pile of crusty plates and forks piling out of a sink. Relax and enjoy time with the people you care about most and let your favorite food truck take care of the kitchen.

Save money and time.
Food trucks can serve up a fresh and delicious meal to a big crowd at a far smaller cost than a caterer could offer. Because food trucks purchase their ingredients wholesale from trusted sources, they can offer complex dishes at a lower price than you could even get if you were to do the grocery shopping and cooking on your own!

It’s just plain fun!
A food truck frenzy has swept the country, but for most people there’s still something fun and novel about a truck pulling up to a party and miraculously doling out a beautiful plate of food to each person in a hungry crowd. People love to watch food truck chefs in their small-format kitchens and are always interested in how the whole thing works. Who knows – some of your guest may even be inspired to open their own!

Here are some tips for hosting tips for hosting a slam-dunk food truck party (though it’s pretty hard to go wrong…)

Find a great locale. As long as you’ve got a great outdoor spot with plenty of places to sit, you’re good to go. Make sure you pick a place you have full license to use for the occasion so none of the festivities are disrupted!
Plan ahead. Figure out how many people you can expect to attend your event so you can ensure that there will be enough food for everyone, and check the weather forecast to avoid getting rained out!
Communicate. Organize closely with the food truck owners far ahead of time to inform them of any special needs and to give them the information they’ll need to do the job right.

And that’s about it! Get your gang together, and let the food truck handle the rest. Enjoy!