Over the last decade, food trucks have become a rapidly growing industry and sought-after culinary experience. For the owners, it is also a lucrative business with minimal overhead and a potential annual revenue stream of $250,000 to $500,000, according to Food Truck Operator. Food trucks also can adjust more easily than brick-and-mortar restaurants to pandemic social distancing restrictions. They have no indoor seating and are able to travel where they are more likely to find customers.
At County College of Morris (CCM), the Department of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts recently accepted delivery of a food truck to provide hands-on training in this popular industry.
At CCM, culinary arts students train in a professional teaching kitchen and are prepared for immediate entry into a career or transfer to a bachelor degree program if that is their preference. Students enrolled in the Food Truck Entrepreneur class also will receive hands-on experience working in the traveling kitchen, as they learn the fundamentals of owning and operating a food truck and the free and low-cost ways to market via social media. The class also covers the basics of food vending, business plan development, menu planning, production design, location selection, and federal, state and local regulations.
The food truck purchased by CCM is 8.5 feet wide and 18 feet long and is equipped with a four-burner stove, 24-inch griddle and a two-basket deep fryer. The department also purchased a cotton candy machine, a crepe maker and a funnel cake deep fryer for the truck. The department’s next step is to brand the truck with CCM’s colors and logo.
The CCM Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts department is a member of the National Restaurant Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education, and the American Culinary Federation. At CCM, students take part in the NRAEF ManageFirst Program, which equips them with the competencies needed to advance in management and earn an industry recognized credential and certificates in such areas as cost containment, management and safe food handling to provide them with a competitive edge.
To learn more about the Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts programs at CCM, go to www.ccm.edu/academics/divdep/bmet/hospitality/.