Sameer Siddiqui stresses the importance of doing you homework before diving head first into the food truck business. Sameer also practices what he preaches spending almost a year researching and developing the plan for RickShaw Stop, a food truck serving up Pakistani cuisine to residents of San Antonio and the surrounding area. While Sameer doesn’t believe you need to spend that much time on the homework portion before getting started… The more research you put in on the front-end understanding the landscape the better your chance for success with be.
Sameer also stresses the importance of building a team to ensure the success of a food truck and your personal sanity. After all one can only work 20 hour days for so long before becoming totally and mentally exhausted. Siddiqui has built a team around his mother, the head chef of RickShaw Stop. His wife is also an active and essential part of operating the business and does a lot of the PR / social media participation.
There’s almost too much information in this interview as Siddiqui covers the importance of being consistent, the importance of customer loyalty, along with he and his wife’s inspiration for starting RickShaw Stop. Just listen to the interview already!
What You’ll Learn
- The importance of doing the homework and writing a business plan to set yourself up for success
- How Sameer conducted his competitive research by counting the number of customers eating at other food trucks
- Why Sameer invested almost a year writing and researching his business plan
- If you don’t create a business plan, you’re going to miss a lot.
- How the daily operations of a food truck can become a management nightmare: taxes, supplies, and of course working with people
- The disadvantages of not coming from a culinary background that lead to mistakes.
- Why Sameer didn’t take a salary for the first year of his business
- Learn Sameer’s “secret to success” and why he believes they are regularly ranked in the top food trucks in the country
- How the food, social media, up-to-date web presence, word-of-mouth advertising, and being consistent have benefited RickShaw Stop
- Why it’s critical to become friends with your customers
- The importance of catering to bloggers, influencers and other taste makers with influence
- How RickShaw Stop reached out to Eat St. on social media and eventually were featured on the show
- Why Sameer built a team to operate his food truck
- Why you should be cautious about hiring a PR person for your food truck
Mentioned in This Episode
RickShaw Stop – The official website of the Pakistani food truck. Here you’ll find the menu, blog, and press from numerous sources.
Eat St. Season 4 – Check out RickShaw Stop being featured on an episode of the popular television series broadcast on the Cooking Channel.
The 10 Best Food Trucks in America – Yahoo! Shine article referenced during the interview that rated Rickshaw Stop one of the top 10 food trucks in the United States.
Anthony Bourdain – One of the inspirations behind RickShaw Stop. There’s actually a menu item named the “Tony” in his honor.
iTunes – Listen to us and leave a review on iTunes. You might even get mentioned on the show.
Salted Roots – Check out and support the Twin Cities food prodigy that’s been featured on MasterChef, Jordan Roots. This the featured food truck of the month.
Messer’s Mobile Melts – Regular listener of the podcast Greg Messer is in the process of building his first food truck. One of the cool things about about Messer’s is that they will use the tip jar as a benevolence fund to donate to different charities in their area. Check out the action shot of Greg and his truck below and be sure to “Like” their page on Facebook too. Greg plans to launch a crowd funding campaign in 2014. We’ll keep you updated with his progress.