How to Take Amazing #FoodPorn Photos of Your Food Truck Fare

With over 82 million #foodporn posts on Instagram,it can be tricky for food trucks to be heard through the noise. But taking epic pics of your best dishes is simple with a few easy tricks. Here’s what you need to know to grab users’ attention and rake in those likes.

Think Vertical or Square
Because Instagram is mostly a mobile app, the majority of its users view photos on their phones. The shape of a phone screens means that vertical pictures, a fairy new development in the Instagram world, that take up the entire screen of the phone stand out the most because they appear the biggest. The next largest shape is the classic square ‘gram, which is also a good go-to. The one shape to avoid, no matter how many dishes you’re trying to fit in a long line, is the horizontal shot, which is always surrounded by white space and made very tiny on Instagram.

Go Symmetrical — or Break All the Rules
There’s nothing like that ideal crop that centers around your perfectly round cupcake, but unless you’ve got a flawless symmetrical frame, consider getting a little artsy to catch followers’ eyes. If you have a taco on a picnic table, try cropping the taco in one of the corners and filling most of the frame with the table to create a more interesting picture.

Easy on the Filters
When photographing food, you want to go realistic. People don’t want to eat meat that’s tinted blue or a rustic looking vegetable. Keep it simple when it comes to filters and pics of your food truck fare. That said, it never hurts to up the brightness a bit to add richer colors to your plates.

Go Crazy with the Hashtags
Sure, you’ve probably already got #foodporn down, but don’t be afraid to use more hashtags in your captions. Studies show that including 11 hashtags gives you the best chance of finding new followers and new Instagram love. So go wild with your hashtags, as long as they stay relevant to your brand.

The Final Rule: Have Fun
Standing out on Instagram can take a bit of learning, but there’s no sense in staying serious while you do it. Play with your account and get creative. Incorporate goofy chefs as models, photograph gigantic stacks of food, get a little punny when you can. Remember, Instagram is a fun tool, so have fun with it.


Food Trucks and Social Media

You see food trucks parked on the street and at festivals, but wandering around town and hoping you find the perfect truck for your food needs is an inefficient process.

Food trucks want to make it easy for potential clients to find where they're set up for the day, so they turn to social media to deliver real-time updates that keep everyone in the loop. Here are a few ways food trucks put social media to work.

Customer Engagement

The Grilled Cheese Truck is such a popular food truck that it's expanded to multiple cities, and one reason for its popularity comes from its social media marketing strategy. Many food trucks use Twitter and Facebook to post their daily locations, but the Grilled Cheese Truck also uses these platforms to actively engage with its fans. Fans provide input on new locations for the trucks, answer questions posed by the social media manager and share their food photos.

Instagram and Food Pictures Are a Perfect Combination

Food trucks can post food pictures on any social platform, but Instagram has several features that put it at the front of the visual content pack. This social media platform is photocentric, so food trucks can leverage their best food photos to catch the interest of potential clients. Since Instagram is primarily a mobile platform, you also have a higher likelihood of coming across food photos when you're actively searching for a truck. East Side King has an excellent Instagram; with its high-quality food photos, it gets the attention of over 9,000 followers.

In-the-Moment Updates

Sometimes a planned food truck location doesn't always work out. Trucks can get a flat tire and need to adjust their locations on the fly. Twitter provides an excellent platform for reporting sudden snafus and plan changes. While Facebook and other social media platforms have hashtag support, Twitter makes it simple for potential clients to search for these tags.
Social media and food trucks go together like peanut butter and jelly. Food trucks leverage social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to connect with potential clients, keep customers up to date on current locations and location changes, and drive interest in what they have to offer.


Around the World With Food Trucks

Sally wants tacos, Mitch wants sushi and Jan wants to try the new Chinese place down the street. It’s a challenge for even three people to agree on what to order for lunch.

So it’s no wonder that arranging catering to satisfy the whole crowd at a big event is a daunting task. Book food trucks specializing in diverse international cuisines and please everyone at once. Fulfilling Catering represents thousands of diverse food trucks throughout the nation. Here are just a few.

Bollywood Bites
An array of Indian dishes are on the menu of Bollywood Bites, an offshoot of a restaurant in Los Angeles. This LA establishment even has a celebrity connection, since Chef Sanjay Patel was a former personal chef for Michael Jackson. Enjoy all your Indian favorites, including spicy curries, fragrant biryanis and satisfying samosas. Vegetarians and vegans have tasty options too.

Coreanos
This Houston, Texas-based truck promises double the international flare for your catering buck. Its tag line, “Mexican cuisine with Korean in between,” is represented by Korean BBQ burritos stuffed with carnitas-style roasted pork or Korean-marinated ribeye. You can even have crispy fries packed right inside. Creations like kimchi quesadillas and Korean BBQ tacos prove that Korean and Mexican cuisines are a match made in heaven.

An the Go
An unpretentious menu based around signature garlic noodles belies An the Go’s impressive culinary heritage. This food truck is the mobile cousin of Thanh Long, the first Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco and bedrock of a restaurant empire. Satisfy a comfort food craving with a heap of secret recipe noodles, or go for a combo with a skewer of five-spice pork, lemongrass chicken or beef, yuzu shrimp or veggie stir fry.

Caribbean Escape
Caribbean Escape showcases the culinary skills of a family who came to San Diego from the Caribbean. Try empanadas, stuffed with beef, chicken or shrimp, with homemade guava barbecue sauce. Sweet plantains are featured as tostones, twice-fried slices served with aioli, and as the inventive canoa, a fried whole plantain filled with beef, chicken or pulled pork and topped with cheese. It’s a savory banana split! For something light, try the Caribbean shrimp salad with fresh mango.

Barcelona On the Go
Take your crew to Spain with Barcelona On the Go, an Orange County, California, food truck serving traditional Spanish fare with a Latin twist. Dishes such as paella, chorizo grilled cheese and a Spanish sausage sandwich with red pepper relish are made with the freshest seasonal produce. The signature dish is a tempting indulgence — cooked-to-order sirloin steak, served over fries with chimichurri sauce. The Manchego mac and cheese with a hint of chipotle is a vegetarian favorite.


What's the Difference: Food Truck vs. Food Cart vs. Food Trailer?

When you’re working to coordinate a corporate event or something else that requires catering, it’s helpful to know the difference among food trucks, food carts and food trailers. While each type provides mobile food vending, becoming familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of each will help you make a catering decision.

Food Trucks
Food trucks are clean, convenient and capable of serving a wide variety of delicious food at a single event. Whether you want gourmet cuisine or traditional Southern food, you get it. You can have fresh food prepared right at your event as well, or opt for catered sandwiches prepared in advance. There’s no question that you get lots of choices with food trucks. In addition, with companies such as Fulfilling, you also help less fortunate folks get a meal; this company donates the equivalent of one meal to a food bank for every meal purchased through one of its food trucks.

With food trucks, you can also set up a dining schedule for your company, whether it is on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Always check that the food trucks you are considering are licensed and have the appropriate permits and insurance coverage.

Food Carts
Food carts are a good option for smaller events, as they cannot feed as many people as a food truck can. They are push carts and are not as mobile-friendly since they need to be attached to a vehicle to be towed places. They do require less space, which could be helpful if your event is in a tiny venue. However, along with the smaller space comes the fact that food carts cannot serve as wide a range of cuisine as food trucks can. Food carts also lack kitchens, so check with your locality’s requirements about preparation. Some places mandate that the food for food carts must be prepackaged.

Food Trailers
Food trailers are the middle ground between food carts and food trucks. You can’t drive food trailers like you can food trucks, but you’re able to hitch them to a vehicle and tow them where they need to go. Food trailers also tend to be substantial enough to have a kitchen akin to one you would find in a food truck.

Whether a food truck, food cart or food trailer is best for your catering event largely depends on the variety of cuisine you want to serve, how fresh it needs to be and how many people are attending the event. Each type of mobile catering service definitely has its own place.


Only Expect the Best in Quality

Food trucks are a simple pleasure these days—a break from the stuffy norm. They come in all shapes, all sizes, all the tastes with all the spices.

So whether you’re looking for a simple yet scrumptious plate of shredded chicken nachos or something more complex like lamb-fennel sausage sliders swimming in goat cheese, chances are you can find it fresh from a truck.

But how do you know that the tasty meal in front of you is truly made with care?

Most people are aware of the stringent safety guidelines that restaurants must abide by in order to stay opened for business. But do those same rules apply to the food truck industry?

Yes. Like all other places that dish out food, mobile meal kitchens are held to the same standard, arguably an even higher one. Of course employees are required to maintain proper hygiene and follow the simple rules to preparing and handling food. But unlike restaurants where they hide the kitchen in the very back away from view, food trucks cook right in front of the customers for all the world to see.

Next on the list: Food must be stored and prepared at a level that’s safe for consumption. This includes isolating raw meats from other foods, labeling fresh items with appropriate dates, storing them in climate controlled units, and cooking certain ingredients to the recommended temperature.

If a food truck owner neglects any single part of this, it will be reflected in their food grade. Many larger cities have laws that make food truck owners post a food grade (just like restaurants) in their windows. This in turn, assures the customers that the meal-to-be is up to date on health and safety.

Sounds great. But how do you know a food truck is doing all these things?

That’s simple.

Because of health inspections.

The local health department tracks and supervises food truck safety with laws that require licensing in order to conduct random health inspections. Once a new food truck is licensed to operate, an inspector could drop by at any time. The only thing that’s guaranteed is the visits will be regular.

And you can bet the inspectors are looking for all these details and more. They treat a mobile meal kitchen the same as any other restaurant, so if you’re open to dining out, street eats should be on the menu.

In fact, CNN quoted interim supervisor for health inspection in Portland, Oregon, Christie Sweitz as saying, “Many of the health inspectors in our office buy lunch from food trucks. Trucks are required to follow strict guidelines and they are inspected as often as restaurants.”

On top of that, there’s one extra license needed to operate a food truck that restaurants don’t require—and that’s a driver’s license. Hey, at least you know they’ll get where they’re going.

So get out there and get eating. You can enjoy all that curbside cuisine knowing that it’s as safe as it is tasty!


Soul Food - About Founder Greg Gless

As a young entrepreneur with a heart, Greg Gless could be a poster boy for the ‘Millennials,’ the largest generational cohort to enter the workforce since the ‘Baby Boomers’ of last century. Twenty-something, clever and creative, Gless is the Chief Executive Officer of Fulfilling Food Trucks, a smart and soulful start-up in Santa Monica, California.

Gless prefers the title of ‘Chief Food Giver’ to CEO – another hallmark of his company, which is one part altruism to one part business. Or as Gless says, he “loves the fact we are a social enterprise.”

But before putting Fulfilling Food Trucks into the ‘charitable’ sector of corporate entities, Gless has clearly identified a niche where business, community, and social responsibility can go hand in hand.

A graduate of the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business Entrepreneurship program, Gless did not want to take a traditional route into a corporate culture. Instead, he was looking for a more meaningful way of creating a business with a purpose. After leaving college he engaged in the creation of an app to locate food trucks and developed relationships with the food truck operators themselves. Gless says, “I was a food truck connoisseur.”

While the food truck industry temporarily fed Gless’ palette for an exciting, innovative career, he was still hungry for something bigger. Looking to fill this void, he sought to develop a business built on a deeper sense of purpose. It was during this time that Gless saw a documentary called ‘Child 31’ and was struck by the staggering problem of childhood hunger against the backdrop of plenty that surrounded him. Inspired by the vision of founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow of ‘Mary’s Meals,’ Gless devised the catch-cry for his business venture, Fulfilling Food Trucks, ‘Eat One = Feed One.’

Gless sponsors ‘Mary’s Meals’ with monetary donations derived from the deployment of food trucks to dozens of office properties throughout the U.S. His intent is to build community and morale by providing food for corporate workers who know that while they are enjoying the chemistry that food trucks can bring to a space, they also are benefitting another human being who will receive a meal as a result of their order.

Gless says, “While the food truck eaters satisfy a physical hunger with their purchase, a more fundamental hunger is fed as well.”

Building such a compassionate foundation while in the startup phase of a company is rare but as Gless sees it, there are huge benefits to be garnered from being both a humanitarian and a businessperson simultaneously: “People have a fundamental desire to contribute to society” Gless says. “This gives people an opportunity to pitch in and confront the hunger epidemic.”

Fulfilling Food Trucks also gives the creative corporate property manager an opportunity to share the love. Bringing people into the open by redesigning the corporate space and dedicating areas specifically for food trucks is being undertaken at the Howard Hughes Center in Los Angeles. This, believes Gless, allows employees the chance to mingle, which contributes to building community and resultantly, feeds into the businesses.

While some are referring to the ‘Millennials’ fascination with mobile eating as contributing to the ‘golden age of food trucks’, Gless’ efforts redefine the industry.

One thing is certain. As ‘Chief Food Giver,’ Greg Gless will always be at the lead of a very fulfilling business.


A Food Truck Driven Renaissance

In the twenty-first century, the human race is more connected, more entwined by mobile electronic technology and more aware than ever before of the necessity to conserve and reuse resources.

Business and corporate property managers are facing big challenges in tough times as global economies struggle. Vacant spaces in buildings can overwhelm the dynamism of an area, relegating the brightest and shiniest of property developments to a ghost town.

Sadly for property managers everywhere, viewing deserted ground floor spaces in an office estate once filled with cafes has become a modern metaphor for the forsaken and derelict companies that have been unable to survive the global financial climate.

For the people hidden in concrete office towers, a lack of community areas or lively hubs makes the monotony and dreariness of work life all the more inescapable.

However, there is a simple solution for all this waste of space: just add people. Repurposing disused dining and café spaces for collective business lounges, board rooms or networking areas and outsourcing catering needs to mobile food trucks, not only makes good economic sense to the canny property manager; the added color and energy associated with a visit from a food truck can reinvigorate a stagnant area.

In a recent survey of food truck customers, 92 percent said the trucks improved the streets, squares and parks they trade in, making these areas feel more welcoming. And 72 percent of customers said food trucks made an area feel safer.

The same respondents to the survey “saw clear benefits of the trucks in terms of activating underused sites,” and said “the trucks provide extra lighting and a welcoming atmosphere to every site at which we trade”.

Some food trucks even have a dedicated following due their affinity for social media. Just like in the movie Chef, food truck chefs have taken to the internet to build their own community and many customers may travel up to several miles to dine at their favourites. Food trucks are now acquiring their own celebrity status and are particularly appealing to the younger, hipper social media natives known as the Millenials.

The activation of spaces that utilise food trucks as a viable economic and social alternative to bricks and mortar restaurants, is seen as a benefit to communities and the human landscape, according to a thesis by Alison Sheppard of MIT.

Ms Sheppard believes the resulting deployment of food trucks “act as a magnet in otherwise ubiquitous landscapes by bringing people to sidewalks, alleyways, and parking lots that otherwise go unused. This ability to create hubs of activity and interaction can be capitalized on by planners, policy-makers, and designers seeking on-the-ground, low-investment mechanisms to improve the urban environment.”

Including food trucks in the redevelopment and reworking of existing office estates not only re-interprets the exterior space without creating extra cost for the developers, they help create an upbeat, lively diner-driven experience that will ultimately enhance the office estate itself.


The Good that Doing Good Brings

Treating others with kindness dates back to the beginning of time. It’s a moral responsibility that’s fundamental to the human race.

But when The Golden Rule is built into the foundation of a business, it redefines what corporate success really means. It challenges the “for profit” model to reciprocate a “not for profit” mindset.

And suddenly, it becomes less about making a buck and more about making a difference.

We’ve all heard about the venture philanthropy that gave birth to such great causes as the Gates Foundation and TOMS One for One®.

Bill and Melinda Gates used their experience of establishing a business empire and applied it to what is now the largest private foundation in the world. With an endowment of around $44 billion, the Gates Foundation—which primarily helps improve healthcare and reduce extreme global poverty—isn’t such a success by accident.

TOMS One for One program was a revolutionary new concept that pledged one pair of shoes donated to the poor for each pair they sold. To date, retail sales have resulted in more than 50 million pairs being handed out to those less fortunate. This same strategy was then used to create TOMS Eyewear where every purchase goes to support vision for those in need, and TOMS Roasting Co. that pledges clean water to countries that need it with each coffee sale.

There is an undeniable connection between charitable companies and creating a culture of success. Corporate character is built by not only working hard for change, but inspiring it in others—customers and employees alike.

Fulfilling Catering wanted to follow these same footsteps of philanthropy from the very beginning. So there was real purpose to the plan. With the belief that true success is only reached through helping others first, Fulfilling has married a business model with food banks in order to help feed both the privileged and the poor.

In total, the company has been able to contribute the monetary equivalent of more than 75,000 meals to the hungry. There’s a lot of satisfaction knowing that every bite of every food truck sale really does help make a difference.

Beyond the direct impact Fulfilling Catering has on those suffering, this kind of positive example is reflected in those who work there. Just ask Lindsey Hopkins, who had this to say about operating in such an uplifting work environment.

“Working for a company who genuinely cares about the well-being of other people is incredible! It’s amazing to watch the love spread. From Fulfilling’s own employees, to the people who work hard running the food trucks every day, to the organizations we partner with to serve meals to the hungry. Other people feel good, and that makes me feel good.”

Lindsey goes on to explain how the company culture has left a very real impression on her, providing inspiration to look for opportunities to serve others, including her role as a youth group leader at her church.

Let’s recap… Helping to host amazing events. Donating 1 meal for every 1 meal sold. And setting an example of humility for others. This perpetual cycle of service is great for the here and now, but it’s more about laying down a legacy for Fulfilling Catering Founder, Greg Gless.

“Since launching Fulfilling, I’ve seen a shift in my thinking altogether,” Greg said. “Service is an act of selflessness, and true selflessness stems from a spirit of humility. It’s about being in it, not for myself, but for the fruits that the beneficiary enjoys. Only when I put others before myself for their sake do I experience true fulfillment.”

And as a volunteer who spends free time helping out at a recovery center for drugs and alcohol, Greg doesn’t just talk the talk… he walks the talk.


Diverse Dining - Food Trucks and Millennials

Smart property managers at large office complexes are now developing areas to accommodate the wagon-loads of interesting food that can be literally “trucked in” daily.

 

It’s official!

Variety really is the spice of life, according to two researchers from the prestigious Harvard Business School. Bradley R. Staats and Francesca Gino have statistically proven worker productivity and employee retention is improved when a diversity of worker activities is available to business personnel.

So if you are a wily office boss keen to hold onto your employees for longer periods and increase productivity – “mixing it up” is key to staff happiness.

Environment plays a big part too. Nothing screams office boredom quite as loudly as the soulless beige facades of the stolid 90’s corporate office block. But with the influx of the “untethered Millennials” into the workforce, who are able to roam and work simultaneously with their mobile devices, that so-last-century look of the corporate real estate world is changing. And fast.

With mega successful startups like WeWork  – a new platform for office sharing – grabbing our attention and gaining traction across the flexible landscape of the social media-driven world, corporations are trying harder to create an atmosphere of fluidity between work and leisure, work and home, work and community. Because almost everything we do nowadays is mobile and mutable.  Including our dining habits.

Enter the fantastically fun food truck. With a seemingly infinite diversity of what is available to eat from these providers of meals on wheels, no one need suffer from a lack of variety in their workday again.

One of the largest real estate companies in the world, Invesco, has recently collaborated with some of the world’s best architects to create a new workspace community ten minutes from LAX.  The brains behind Apollo at Rosecrans have recognized that the new models of success in corporate real estate have the flexibility to accommodate a new kind of workforce – whose changing lifestyles are reflected in their ability to cross the work-play divide.

The Apollo has dedicated much of its outdoor space to promoting the convenience of having public recreational areas that accommodate tenant needs, from a dog park, to an outdoor fireplace and a place for food trucks “to dock” so workers can refuel.

People today are more conscious of the time they spend at work and how this affects their general happiness; people are receptive to anything new, fun and engaging that can make their work life more enjoyable.

For our increasingly culturally diverse workforce – from the iPad-wielding Millennials to the driven corporate veteran – food trucks can help the variety that will keep their work lives spicy for at least a number of years to come.


Hip, New Cuisine Is the Latest Wedding Crasher

It’s the big day. Your wedding is something you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

And if you want others to remember it too, keep reading. We’re going to examine the hottest new trend in wedding fare flair for a reception your guests won’t forget.

Couples everywhere are turning to food trucks for a fresh and affordable alternative to catering their wedding parties and receptions. It’s such an easy way to make getting hitched a bit more hip.

Check out these top 3 reasons why newlyweds are saying “I do” to food trucks rather than the stale tradition of catered cuisine.

Fresh vs. fixed yesterday: By bringing the entire kitchen instead of just the food to a rehearsal dinner or reception, guests will enjoy a hot, custom prepared meal just for them. No more announcements that the buffet table full of food prepared yesterday has been opened to serve.

With food trucks, friends and family can eat when they’re ready and it’s guaranteed to be fresh. Platters won’t be picked through and warming trays won’t be welcome. On that special day, your guests can get exactly what they want, when they want it.

A more engaging event: Nothing makes a crowd more stiff and impersonal than herding them through a single-file buffet line then quarantining them to small circle tables to eat. It sounds like some form of punishment.

Wedding receptions should be interactive, social, and a GROUP celebration. Offering food trucks means people will congregate out in the open while deciding what to choose. It offers an ideal environment to meet new faces and reconnect with old ones.

Affordable wedding food: Did I just call something for a wedding affordable? Yes I did!
Modern weddings may not be as extravagant as in generations past. Today’s couples don’t want to start off their lives together with huge debt, so they’re opting for simpler and more intimate choices.

When you consider that the average wedding dinner can run hundreds of dollars per guest, food truck meals can be an obvious cost-saver averaging just $10 a head. And there’s plenty of variety to choose from—in fact some of the most well known mobile meal kitchens serve popular gourmet foods like Asian fusion, Greek, tacos, wraps, sliders, desserts, and even wine.

So whether you’re planning your big day, or just want an alternative to tasteless trays of mass-produced food, you can get custom-cooked cuisine delivered fresh to your guests. Find out all the flavors of tasty food trucks that can make your next event unforgettable.