Post-Graduation ThoughtsPin ItBuilding a business while in high school has been a challenge. I've had a lot of help from my family and have been blessed with tremendous community support. I am still learning how to schedule employees around anticipated sales volumes, meet the needs of catering requests, grow The Crave Truck brand day by day, and learn the same things every other small-business owner does as things unfold. I try to stay current on Food Truck industry issues. I'm learning how politics plays into small business ownership.
This first year in business, I had a second job delivering food for a local chain restaurant here so that I could have spending money without hurting the bottom line of my business by drawing off payroll. Of course this was after school until 1-2am and only 3 days out of the week.
Running a business in a university town means that I have had several opportunities to partner with students for their class projects. I was fortunate enough to be part of a UIUC MBA student consulting project, interviewed by several journalism students, and studied by various accounting class projects.
Running a food truck has it's rewards like any other business. For me, the greatest rewards come from my customers who rave about our Street Waffles in person or on their social media networks. Sometimes I'm rewarded just by a customer's wide-eyed smile when I hand them their order.
I have had a few road-bumps with hiring close friends. But for the most part, I think our employees are stellar! They not only come up with ways to improve processes, but give a 100% day to day. The environment on the truck is tight on space, to say the least. In the summer our thermometer inside has read as high as 110 degrees Fahrenheit with the cast iron waffle irons putting out 180 degrees Celsius (thank goodness for fans) and in the winter just downright cold.
To make the dough and prep the toppings, we take anywhere from 1/2 an hour to 1 1/2 hrs to complete that task. Filling the water tank, checking the truck & generator fluids and gassing-up takes another 1/2 hour. At the end of the day, clean-up is the same as any other restaurant that's not on wheels. The least enjoyable part of the job, but very necessary.
I'm like any other kid my age... I have a beautiful girlfriend that I adore, a gang of buddies that want my time, a family with household chores, and of course I have a few video games that demand my attention too.
I see college as a necessary end to getting what I want out of life. The difficulty is that I'm not exactly sure which path is the right one. I'm sure I'll figure it out as I seem to be running out of time.
See you on the streets and if I haven't said it enough, thank-you for your continued support and love of Street Waffles!