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My experience making money with a food cart!

gegepanalo · 96 · 56838

gegepanalo

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From my previous post where I discussed about starting a business, now I am actually almost launched!

June 1 is our first day. We have 3 employees now, and we need 1 more. I won't disclose the location but the concept is Silog and French Fries.

A friend and I invested 50k to start it up.

Any tips? Particularly managing employees? pay? etc..

Feel free to ask any questions as well! I am posting this because i want to share with the community the pains and joys, the hardships and the challenges that goes with starting your own business. I want to help people gain the courage as well to do it, and walk them through how I did mine. Enjoy! (and dont make my mistakes)
« Last Edit: Jul 31, 2012, 02:28 AM by FutureGizmo »


businessmind

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From my previous post where I discussed about starting a business, now I am actually almost launched!

June 1 is our first day. We have 3 employees now, and we need 1 more. I won't disclose the location but the concept is Silog and French Fries.

A friend and I invested 50k to start it up.

Any tips? Particularly managing employees? pay? etc..

 Hi gegepanalo,

 ilan ba fudcart mo and why 3 employees?..kung isa lang baka pwede mo yan bawasan para lesser sa overhead expenses mo..imagine kung 250/day sweldo nyan 7,500 rin natipid mo sa isang buwan.


gegepanalo

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Hi businessmind,

sorry forgot to mention 24/7 ang food cart na to, nasa 24/7 na location sya. So ginawa kong shift is 8 hours per employee, tapos sa 12pm - 10pm ay may isang nag 10 hours, siya yung parang ginawa kong supervisor. I did two employees sa shift na yun kasi prime time!

I'll be reporting some figures (earnings) etc.. around june 1-3.


Variation

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TS what is the breakup of 50k investment for food cart?ano yung mga major equipment na kasama jan??TIA


gegepanalo

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Our Food cart is 42k (with 2k worth of free merchandise)
Registering the business name is 2k
Brgy Permit is 700
Finally we need to buy a freezer with ref, and I'm estimating another 6k, but could be slightly more.

This is the initial investment what is not included here is the 5k rental deposit (because it counts towards our initial rental, and is paid at the end of the month) and the 8k worth of additional merchandise that we chose to order cause we are anticipating strong 1st week sales.

So if you include those than we had to shell out close to 60k, but we don't count that with our startup costs na, more on variable/fixed cost monthly.



autodoor

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I'm going to monitor this trade... keep it up, gegepanalo. My friend also has a food franchise business in one of the malls in Marikina and just a break even as of now.


Variation

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TS did you do the math na ba kung magpapagawa nlang kayo ng cart at gagayahin nlang yung nature nung business na gusto nyo ifranchise?or mahirap tlga gayahin yung line of business na yun...yung 50k pala na yun wala pa kze equipment tama ba ako??


gegepanalo

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@variation

I spent 42k for the cart and the equipment, including the griddle and all the other minor cooking utensils as well as 2k worth of merchandise to try for the first day. I also spent 8k for a freezer/ref that is second hand and 5 Cu.

I checked only with one cart manufacturer who quoted me 70k for the design and construction including logos and menu boards, i just said no thanks.

@autodoor

Thanks we're very excited with our opening tomorrow! I am busy right now making sure all the sheets are ready tomorrow, by sheets I mean that spreadsheets that the staff are going to use while selling: Daily Sales tracker, Daily Inventory tracker and Cash Tracker.

I will upload the pictures of the cart tomorrow! :)

So excited!  :applause:


SAGAD

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good luck tomorrow...

tried doing my own cart too before...

success or failure, it would be an experience you won't regret doing and you would really know something about yourself (resiliency)...

mine was traumatic...learned a lot though...so all in all still a good experience...

looking forward to ur progress and updates...


gegepanalo

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@sagad

Hi thanks for the well wishes!

Please tell me what sort of traumatic experiences you encountered, hopefully I can try to avoid? Any tips or tricks from someone who is experience is certainly worth a lot!


humberjet

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I'll follow sir this thread.. so may idea ako kung anong progress ng business nyo..

my friend and I also planning to put business like food cart.. so hopefully makapag post kayo ng UP and Down ng business nyo...

good luck po tommorow sana marami kayong mabusog na customer.


SAGAD

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if there's one tip i could give u....

be conscious of ur costs, ALWAYS...

don't be carried away by your end-of-day sales...

always look at ur costs, always find ways to keep it down...

there's the fixed cost and there's the variable cost...identify and learn w/c costs u can minimize...


gegepanalo

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Incredible! we ran into our first big problem today and we couldnt launch until tomorrow.

There was a previous tenant occupying our space and was supposed be gone by June 1 so we can ingress by today. Our cart arrives by 12pm and the previous stall was still there, further more they refuse to move (or stop selling) because their delivery truck that picks up their cart arrives at 11pm in the evening. Undoubtedly this is a technique of theirs to operate rent free for the day. Our leasing agent didn't even inform us that this was the case and apologized profusely and obviously told us that our rental contract will start tomorrow instead. She offered to store our food cart and equipment at her office and then have her own people install it tomorrow morning. It was ridiculous drama this afternoon.

So our employees went home, and tomorrow we start bright and early.

Will update more, but this seems to be the first of many challenges.

Post Merge: 1338542937
if there's one tip i could give u....

be conscious of ur costs, ALWAYS...

don't be carried away by your end-of-day sales...

always look at ur costs, always find ways to keep it down...

there's the fixed cost and there's the variable cost...identify and learn w/c costs u can minimize...

Thank you very much for the advice :)


GlobalPinoyRemit

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Incredible! we ran into our first big problem today and we couldnt launch until tomorrow.

There was a previous tenant occupying our space and was supposed be gone by June 1 so we can ingress by today. Our cart arrives by 12pm and the previous stall was still there, further more they refuse to move (or stop selling) because their delivery truck that picks up their cart arrives at 11pm in the evening. Undoubtedly this is a technique of theirs to operate rent free for the day. Our leasing agent didn't even inform us that this was the case and apologized profusely and obviously told us that our rental contract will start tomorrow instead. She offered to store our food cart and equipment at her office and then have her own people install it tomorrow morning. It was ridiculous drama this afternoon.

So our employees went home, and tomorrow we start bright and early.

Will update more, but this seems to be the first of many challenges.

Post Merge: 1338542880
Thank you very much for the advice :)

WOW! GOOD LUCK SA FOOD CART BUSINESS! BEEN THERE DONE THAT. SAME WITH SAGAD, MINE IS TRAUMATIC... LOL...


gegepanalo

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Haha thanks!

So far today I'm a little scared, but excited.

Basically we replaced the tenant before us. Today we ran into a few minor problems such as we needed longer wires between our submeter and our stall etc.

We managed to get really good staff so we're quite happy.

Today we decided to just stick purely on training them on how to cook longsilog, tapsilog, and all the meals, as well as the french fries.

To break even we need to sell at least 4 rice meals, or 3 rice meals and 2 drinks.

I'll have sales data for everyone to dissect by tomorrow evening hopefully!


GoodSteward

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To break even we need to sell at least 4 rice meals, or 3 rice meals and 2 drinks.

You mean break even for daily operational cost which include personel payroll, rentals, utilities etc.? parang too easy ata? Ü

Congrats and best of everything to your new venture. Ü


moncorp

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Nakakatuwa naman ang kwento ng foodcart operation :-)
Blog it!.. ill subscribe lolz


krissy

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wow! congrats..
been wanting to start a food cart business too
but skeptical over finding right employees
hahaha

all the best


nepenthe

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wow exciting naman good luck on your business. :cool2:


any updates pala hihihihi!


Variation

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i don't think so na mag break even ka don sa computation mo na un di bale nlang kung ginto ang benta mo ng pagkain mo...hehehe, please shed some computation here.


moto461

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To break even we need to sell at least 4 rice meals, or 3 rice meals and 2 drinks.

tama nga sila.. mukang short ang calculation mo sa break even..  cgurado ka ba djan?   :scratch:


gegepanalo

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tama nga sila.. mukang short ang calculation mo sa break even..  cgurado ka ba djan?   :scratch:

Guys sorry, that should say "we need to sell 3-4 rice meals an hour, for 24 hours. So 72 to 96 rice meals a day to breakeven. Is that better? :p

Sadly today was slow, we sold 30 rice meals, a lot of drinks and some french fries. We didn't breakeven, we covered staff costs but not rental so hopefully it improves tomorrow because otherwise we will bleed. I'll upload some pictures but I'm so tired, maybe tomorrow night.

Thanks everyone!


krissy

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me im planning to put up a milk tea cart..
kaso my busy mind has a lot of things to think about right now..
haha!

recently got engaged with my bf.. (i met my bf at a stock forum kaya "foruming" means a lot to me hahahaha).. got some work issues to settle.. and a lot of investments i keep postponing because of my personal issues.. grrr..

anyhoo.. good luck to those starting up businesses like this.. good to know there are people sharing their real experiences here at the forum..

keep it coming


GoodSteward

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Guys sorry, that should say "we need to sell 3-4 rice meals an hour, for 24 hours. So 72 to 96 rice meals a day to breakeven. Is that better? :p


Not trying to nitpick, but just ant to confirm that your food cart really operates like 7-11, 24hours a day?

Hope you have better sales on days to come....Give some promo and discount coupons perhaps to attract new customers initially..


gegepanalo

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Big Update.

I'd like to help people who are starting up a business and have never done it before. Here is the horror story as it is unfolding at the moment.

Our cart costs 42k to make, and we bought 8k worth of inventory. Our rentals are 27k a month, and since they require you to pay your rentals 2 months in advance, meaning you're locked in for the next 2 months, we already have 52k with them. Plus a bond/deposit of 1 month, so thats another 27k. So that means so far we've spent 131k. But we also bought cleaning supplies, and other requirements for the stall, plus throw in the other costs that we've incurred when setting up and training the staff and you're close to 150k.

Alright here is the problem. The sales yesterday was 2000 pesos. Everyday we have to sell 4000 to breakeven. Today we're at 600 pesos already and we've passed the busiest period, lunch time. We're considering renegotiating our rentals but it is unlikely cause they have our 2 months advance. We're considering firing one of our 4 staffs, and then not operating at night because last night we sold 300 pesos worth, and we pay her 200 pesos for 8 hours, so with our margins not 100% obviously we didnt sell enough to cover her.

The leasing officer, plus the landlord are nice enough to drop by several times a day to offer tips on how to improve sales, they even asked one of the tenants to stop selling one of our rice meals so there are no duplicates. We are putting up a big tarpauline as well in front to get more attention.

HOWEVER. the biggest problem is each day we operate we seem to bleed another 900-1500k. If we continue more, we can potentially end up losing a huge amount of money. This is only our second day of operations but I don't think we can get our 2 months advance back, and say goodbye.

Our biggest mistake was we should've spent 2-3 full days on the location to just observe the traffic, but with both of us working full time jobs, we couldn't. Also we thought we could sell like the Shomai/Shopao stall beside us, who make 10k a day (they have customers every other minute because at P25 for 5 shomais, they are cheap). Plus they dont have too many skus so they don't have inventory issues.

BIGGEST LESSONS LEARNT: Keep costs as low as you can (like Sagad said), do your homework on location very well, decrease your skus to avoid inventory problems (for example, just for our drink, we have to have ICE (who delivers, when etc), red ice tea powder, distilled water, and cups. All these are from different suppliers, which means they are a nightmare to operate.

We are considering offering more products but this requires more money, or just surrendering our deposit, getting our bond back, and selling the food cart online to recover as much as we can back.

Post Merge: 1338788940
Not trying to nitpick, but just ant to confirm that your food cart really operates like 7-11, 24hours a day?

Hope you have better sales on days to come....Give some promo and discount coupons perhaps to attract new customers initially..

Thanks for the tip, I guess we can include a big sign that says, introductory promo, free drink for every meal. I'll bring that up with my partner. and yes, 24/7 yung operation.
« Last Edit: Jun 04, 2012, 01:50 PM by gegepanalo »


GoodSteward

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That doesnt sound good... 2nd day palang, keep some optimism...
Another gimmick, free 5th meal, may stamping something like that..kung talagang you plan to close it na, one last weapon...compute the cost, and then RICE ALL YOU CAN!!! Daanin sa volume.... Can make it more special, GARLIC RICE ALL YOU CAN....
.


gegepanalo

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That doesnt sound good... 2nd day palang, keep some optimism...
Another gimmick, free 5th meal, may stamping something like that..kung talagang you plan to close it na, one last weapon...compute the cost, and then RICE ALL YOU CAN!!! Daanin sa volume.... Can make it more special, GARLIC RICE ALL YOU CAN....
.

Well I told my partner we should give it a week, even if we lose more, and lets try our best to breakeven at least.

Great advice btw, I will discuss these ideas when I meet with my partner tonight.  I think that free 5th meal might be something we can do. Perhaps we can even sell to call centers around the area. Thanks for the tip.


SAGAD

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hope we can salvage/save ur cart man...

for real? u did not spend time observing the location? big mistake like u said...

anyway, no use crying over spilled milk right?...napasubo na kau hehe...

some ideas...take it however u want...

seems like the traffic there are going for the price (u said siomai is selling bec of it's price right?), if so, reconsider ur meals

some  suggestions:

TINAPA RICE.....shreded tinapa bits (tuyo or whatever fried fish u want or have access to) mixed w/ the fried rice (w/c can be the leftover rice from ur silog meals), put some small amount of scrambled eggs, bits of tomatoes...optional and ur choice...

RICE BURGER...pressed rice w/ a slice of egg and ham or meat loaf  shaped and packed like mcdo's hash brown

i'm taking into consideration here the fact that u have bought certain types of equipments/ supplies...if ur willing to fork out more cash, consider changing your cart proposal altogether...

i don't know how u did ur signage...but it should be huge, loud and attention-grabbing...

try, "Cooking ng Ina Mo" :hihi:

seriously, i wish u all the best...while it's too soon to give up, go slow on the changes/modifications u make...u would want to be able to identify what will cause the turnaround...fingers crossed...

 


gegepanalo

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hope we can salvage/save ur cart man...

for real? u did not spend time observing the location? big mistake like u said...

anyway, no use crying over spilled milk right?...napasubo na kau hehe...

some ideas...take it however u want...

seems like the traffic there are going for the price (u said siomai is selling bec of it's price right?), if so, reconsider ur meals

some  suggestions:

TINAPA RICE.....shreded tinapa bits (tuyo or whatever fried fish u want or have access to) mixed w/ the fried rice (w/c can be the leftover rice from ur silog meals), put some small amount of scrambled eggs, bits of tomatoes...optional and ur choice...

RICE BURGER...pressed rice w/ a slice of egg and ham or meat loaf  shaped and packed like mcdo's hash brown

i'm taking into consideration here the fact that u have bought certain types of equipments/ supplies...if ur willing to fork out more cash, consider changing your cart proposal altogether...

i don't know how u did ur signage...but it should be huge, loud and attention-grabbing...

try, "Cooking ng Ina Mo" :hihi:

seriously, i wish u all the best...while it's too soon to give up, go slow on the changes/modifications u make...u would want to be able to identify what will cause the turnaround...fingers crossed...

 

Wow incredible advice! I'll be bringing this up with my partner tonight. Our signage isn't that good. Here is the picture guys. I am loving the support and tips from everyone, that's why I want to help everyone back by sharing our story/struggles.

UPDATE: We started to sell cigarettes right now, so in 15mins we sold 15 sticks, earning 1.5pesos profit a stick. I think thats a strong statistic. We also started cooking our french fries in batches to have some on display, thereby increasing serving time and also improving the attractiveness of our stall. Another thing we're doing is we are putting up a big tarpauline in the walkpath that displays our products, we got approval! so it's almost up, just got to buy the double adhesive. I will take pictures for everyone! You're right I should be blogging this hahaha



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Post Merge: 1338805171
Note on the picture, that is not where it is located, we shifted it a few meters down to a more well lit and highly traffic area. Do you think maybe cause our faces look like they have the texture of sand paper that may be the reason why customers aren't coming? haha
« Last Edit: Jun 04, 2012, 06:19 PM by gegepanalo »


humberjet

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grabe naka 150k na agad ang gastos nyo sa pag tayo pa lang ng business..

hayy... dapat pala atleast meron kang 300k for 2months


Variation

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Hindi ka magwawagi kung ikaw ay susuko, Dpat nung first day ng stall mo dpat nilagyan mo ng promo's dahil ang pinoy bsta my promo kinakakagat, mahilig kze tyo sa mga promo.


businessmind

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 Hi gegepanalo,

 ngayon lang uli ako nakabalik pmt been bz kc hanap pa pang enrol mga bata, anyway nabasa ko wat happened in ur foodcart biznez..grabe naman na renta yan 27k!!! and ung cart na nasa pix 42k?!?...kung ako mag cocosting nung cart malaki na 10k dun eh.

 if i wer you wag ka muna open ng 24hrs para mabawasan overhead xpenses mo. if you like pm me your computations and i can make a profit / loss estimates for you.

 wag ka mawalan ng pag-asa ganyan talaga, ako nga ilan biznez na rin napalpak pero cge pa rin hanap ng bago..at least may matutunan ka nyan in the long run..


gegepanalo

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@businessmind Thanks for your offer to do the profit and loss estimate! Before we started the business we fixed all the excel spreadsheets needed for it so we have a pretty good sense of where we are, but thank you :) Yes our rental costs are super high, but apparently our neighbors are paying 30k a month. The palamig stand beside us does 18k a day sometimes because of the foot traffic, so thats how they justify it.

Guys thanks to PMT, we have improved our sales by 1K-1.5K today!! By taking into account suggestions on the look of the stall, the type of food to serve, and promotions etc. Also the motivation from all the great users in this thread to keep on fighting.

We've started serving sandwiches at P29, all our silog meals are now in sandwich forms. Tapa sandwich, toci sandwich, longa sandwich, you name it! hahaha people love it! they always go, I've never heard of a tapa sandwich! LOL

HERE IS OUR STALL NOW (and still more improvements to come!!)



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Note all the meals are now prepacked beside the drinks, thus giving the consumers an option if they want it freshly cooked or quick!

Also we're thinking of investing in some clear display covers, or hanging some basket in front of the stall to fill it up with prepacked easy to grab sandwiches!
« Last Edit: Jun 06, 2012, 05:18 PM by gegepanalo »


humberjet

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SAGAD

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congrats on the breakthrough...

where do u guys buy ur stuffs? disposables, juice powder, sauce(s),etc.

again, what i'm driving at is keeping the costs down...

it's good to attack ur business on both ends...from the backdoor (costs) and front door (sales/marketing)...just to cover all ur bases and besides, u'll need all the edge u can get in this business...



Bp22estafa

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Hopefully we'll hear more of good news with your foodcart biz. Setbacks are expected in any start-up business. Some takes more than a few months to just breakeven. Since you have paid for 2 months rent already at least finish the 2 months term before planning for the next step. Give it more time property introduce itself to the market. For the meantime, you're on the right tract trying to lower your cost of operation at the same time improving your products & marketing strategies as well. Be more creative in your promos to lersude more people to try your products.

Silog sandwich, now that's originality. Keep it up!

Post Merge: 1338993442
Pinoy Silog. Does Pinoy Fries sounds feasible? Kamote, banana fries to go with your frenchies. Meron naba nito?
« Last Edit: Jun 06, 2012, 10:37 PM by Bp22estafa »


GoodSteward

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Nice one gegepanalo! Keep it up!

Btw, malakas pa rin foot traffic kahit gabi? Kasi if yes, you can try aldo another promo like midnight snack promo, like "take out kay misis promo : 20% off"...malay natin :)


eskapologydotcom

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In any start up business, 80% of your work is focus on how to sell your product.

Think about how you can bring people to your store and DO NOT wait for people to come.

Remember this, in food business, you're not just competing to those food business within your vicinity...

...you're also competing with "lutong bahay ni nanay."



businessmind

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 uyyyy, maganda na fudcart mo ngayon sir ah!...

 i'm glad lulmalaki na kita mo, minsan talaga sa gimik lang yan...just pray na lalakas pa yan, and magka idea pa kayo ng bagong gimik.  :applause:

 l


gegepanalo

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Im glad to say we're making money! Sunday we hit 5k sales (4.8k to be exact), from that 1700 for our overhead (rent, wages, util) and then half of that was COGS (cost of goods sold), then we made around 650. not much but its a start LOL! Today again we're having strong sales. Our number of regular customers has increased, with more office personnel walking quite a distance as word spread about us having the cheapest tapsilog (45pesos, 49 with red ice tea) in the area!

@Sagad thanks for the tip, we've been attacking our costs as much as we can, but we're very generous to our staff. We give them load allowance so they can text us. Free meal and drink on their shifts. We give them freedom to charge their cellphones or text during their shift. Instead of them texting a lot, everytime we've visit, we've never caught them texting, and mind you we can see the stall from a far so there is no telling of us coming.

It has been an amazing ride. We continue to improve our stall. We have new products in store such as blue lemonade, and possibly four seasons.

The huge setback we encountered was the stall next to us started offering burgers at 22 pesos buy 1 take 1. We slashed our burgers instantly 10 pesos each and countered by offering our Ice Tea at cost, 5pesos. I was trying to hit their main line of business which is palamig. Our ice tea and burger are now gone, they sold like hotcakes, in 8 hours we sold close to 50 cups of red ice tea and about 50 burgers as well. Our staff reported that several customers bought from us instead of the stall beside us when they saw the price.

When we filed a complain the leasing officer said there is no exclusivity. So I am now upping the competition by adding more drinks! since that is their main line, we are not losing here, but they are. It is really getting interesting, stay tune for: The Food Cart Wars.


logicheart

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george88

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businessmind

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Galing ni TS patikim naman kami ng foods mo dyan... :hihi:

Tama !! pa parteyyyyyy naman dyan para sa taga pmt!! hehehe..

pwera biro sir, dag-dagan mo lang coleslaw burger mo para mas may edge ka sa ka kumpetensya mo..godbless


gegepanalo

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Just an update:

Well today we started officially serving pineapple juice and red ice tea again. We're having a delivery of 12,500 pesos this afternoon, and just spent around 7000 pesos yesterday on more inventory. This should last us another 2 weeks. The leasing agent has been asking about our sales, but we've been telling them that sometimes we make money, sometimes we dont (so that they don't raise our rentals).



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Our stall with a paying customer!



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Our new and improved signage (with added arrow!)



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Our staff hard at work making garlic rice!

Let us hope today will bring in greater sales! I found cheaper suppliers for almost all our products by going directly to the source, thus our margins are greater! making it easier for us to breakeven!

Tama !! pa parteyyyyyy naman dyan para sa taga pmt!! hehehe..

pwera biro sir, dag-dagan mo lang coleslaw burger mo para mas may edge ka sa ka kumpetensya mo..godbless

Good idea!


joshlegaspi

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gege> kamusta na business? balitaan mo naman kami.. it was fun reading the developments of your business weeks ago.. bawi na ba? =D


esclabo

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any news? wish you all the best sa business nyo.. balitaa nyo po kami. hehe..


businessmind

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balita naman dyan gege..marami matutunan sa negosyo mo na to, kumbaga sa tv parang reality show to  :applause:


1997

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Suggestion lang po..
1.  I saw your staff cooking garlic rice and looks unsanitary... try puting your stove higher...
2.  Try eliminating some products that are not selling... IMHO masyado na marami at nakakalito kasi.. look at other food carts minsan 3 products lang... pero its still upto you...
3.  Unifrom sa mga staff and they should look clean everytime... if ever give them a few minutes to freshen up after major food preparation...  Hair nets and gloves when handling food.
4.  Avoid using plastic... you may also consider other organic packaging... atleast for me I'll buy from you instead of those stall using plastics...

This are my opinion only po... Goodluck and more updates to come... hehehe
« Last Edit: Jun 25, 2012, 11:15 AM by 1997 »


magpapakayamanako

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nalugi na po ata si TS? o nagkasalubong na kilay. wag naman po sana...

keep it up!


joss

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moto461

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pmtmember

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Suggestion lang po..
1.  I saw your staff cooking garlic rice and looks unsanitary... try puting your stove higher...
2.  Try eliminating some products that are not selling... IMHO masyado na marami at nakakalito kasi.. look at other food carts minsan 3 products lang... pero its still upto you...
3.  Unifrom sa mga staff and they should look clean everytime... if ever give them a few minutes to freshen up after major food preparation...  Hair nets and gloves when handling food.
4.  Avoid using plastic... you may also consider other organic packaging... atleast for me I'll buy from you instead of those stall using plastics...

This are my opinion only po... Goodluck and more updates to come... hehehe

nice share


blisstacy

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abundantseeker

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I'm new here and learned a lot of things just by reading this thread. I'm planning to make a cart business early next year.
It seems na successfull ung story pero sana keep us posted to learn also from your experience.
But I appreciate your openness to all.
Hope your business is doping good na...


zhai

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I want also to go into food business but I don't know how to start.... I learn a lot from this thread. :)


gegepanalo

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Hi guys!

I know it has been awhile since I've posted, but I've received so many questions through my inbox, thread and email that I've decided to give an update.

Firstly, I'd like to give a general update on how much our cart has been making since we started.

Profit
June: 2000 pesos
July: 1,600 pesos
August 9,500 pesos
September 5,400 pesos
October: 13,500 pesos

So how did our profit rise from the measly profit of June and July?

Before I explain, I just want to say that for the months of August and September, our profits are actually low because we had to shut a few times due to the habagat. And because we've already paid rental, we lost money on the days that we were closed. We even shelled out money for our staff, we called it the "bagyo bonus". So taking all those into account, we could've made 13,000 pesos in August, and around 10,000 in September.

When we first started, we stuck to our concept of rice meals. What we quickly learnt was that people who were in a hurry to catch their bus, or wanted to eat in the bus, did not want to bring rice meals. We introduced sandwiches, but to make things simple, we used our existing ingredients and combined them with bread. So for the first time, we served Tapa Burger, Longsi Burger, Toci Burger and other combinations soon came up such as Egg Burger, Omelette Burger and hotdog burger. People were so curious about what a toci burger and tapa burger was, but the sales shot up. Now our burgers account for 60-70% of our sales, so much so that the carts beside us started serving burgers as well :(

The second part was to attack our costs. We negotiated our ice, our water, our bread. We found cheaper suppliers for our meat, while retaining the quality and taste. We stopped serving french fries because they cost so much compared to what we were making. Imagine for Fries you would use so much oil and electricity that you would have to sell a certain quantity in order to really make it worth while. The minute we started attacking our cost, we increased our profitability.

Thirdly, we developed regular clients around the area that continued to patronize us.

Our total investment for the cart was 160,000 pesos. But that's including 2 months of rental deposit and 1 month advance rental. So after subtracting that, and the 10k for our initial inventory, we invested around 70k to put up the cart.

So our since we've started we've already profited 32,000 pesos and are nearly half way to getting a full return on the cart within 5 months of operation. Our November has already started strong, and we're expecting to breakeven by the month of January.

We are also considering selling the operation, or closing it down, as both me and my partner have full time jobs and we started this cart for the learning experience and not really to make money. My business partner is a doctor and I'm a mid level manager at a company, so between our schedules we barely have time to manage.


jenxent

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nice sir ngayon kulang po nabasa yung tread niyo..sana di kayo magsawa sa pagpost dito...


george88

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Nice TS... but why are you planning to sell it?next year it will give you passive income... at isang food cart pa lang yan...


benlita

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Woah, great write ups! :) Ngayon ko lang nabasa to and apart from learning, naentertain din ako :)

How did you hire your staff? Where did you find them? Saw on your other thread na they applied by emailing you. Did you just post at someplace in the web?

Also, did you register your food cart name as IP? Kasi may nakita na kong ganyan, exact name, recently somewhere di ko lang maalala (sa may MRT Ayala yata)

Good luck with your future ventures :) For sure mas marami ka pang matutunan but I do hope you get to the point where you are confident to take the leap to be a full time ent...(repreneur hehe)


gegepanalo

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Woah, great write ups! :) Ngayon ko lang nabasa to and apart from learning, naentertain din ako :)

How did you hire your staff? Where did you find them? Saw on your other thread na they applied by emailing you. Did you just post at someplace in the web?

Also, did you register your food cart name as IP? Kasi may nakita na kong ganyan, exact name, recently somewhere di ko lang maalala (sa may MRT Ayala yata)

Good luck with your future ventures :) For sure mas marami ka pang matutunan but I do hope you get to the point where you are confident to take the leap to be a full time ent...(repreneur hehe)

Thanks everyone for the comments. I really want to keep sharing my experience so everyone can learn without having to fall into the same pitfalls we did.

To answer some of the questions:

1.) We hired our staff through the internet mostly. We posted in job websites, sulit.com and ayos dito. If I'm not mistaken we also used the pinoy exchange forum and this forum to post our ads. We got a lot of replies from sulit and ayos dito. We then did a phone interview, and the ones we liked we asked them to visit our cart then our most senior cart attendant who has been with us since the start did the interview and training. This was very efficient because we did not need to be present for us to hire staff. Of course this is a risk you need to take, you need to trust that your senior attendant is highly competent.

2.) No we did not register our cart with the IP as it is not ours to register. We bought the cart and the concept from foodcartlink.com they were very easy to deal and very cheap, though the cart construction is not that good as the cabinet already started falling apart last month, but you get what you pay for right? The concept was theirs, and is not registered so any one that purchases a cart from them can use it, or change it. The good thing about them is that they are not a franchise by nature, they are a cart construction business. So even though we bought the name from them, and they gave us the recipes and equipment, we could add or subtract anything from the cart's concept.

3.) @george88 the reason why we are selling the cart is we don't have enough time and it isn't making enough money for it to be worthwhile for us to continue. I don't mean to sound arrogant, but since we're anonymous here on the web, both me and my business partner make around 40-60k a month from our full time jobs. We understand that a 13-15k a month is good passive income, but split between two people is 6-7k a month. We would rather focus on our full time jobs to increase the chances of getting promoted and getting a better paycheck. There have been times where we would get a problem in the cart during the middle of a work day, and we would have to attend to it. At night we would have to process the ordering of stock, compute pay of employees and sometimes post new ads cause employees are leaving. During the weekends we might be meeting with the landlord, replacing broken equipment or calculating inventory and profit and loss statements (yes we have a basic accounting set up). So rather than enjoying my time with my gf, or my business partner being able to go to the gym at night, it takes our time. Another factor is that sometimes it causes friction between my business partner and me. I agree that we need to develop ways to be better at working together, but aside from the business, we is also my best friend. So word of caution to everyone before getting in a business with a good friend, you risk more than the money sometimes.

i will be posting the sulit ad soon, I will be taking more photos of the cart and posting the financials for everyone to see. If we don't end up selling the cart, we will just give it away for free to our senior attendant in hopes that she can uplift herself. Feel free to also visit the cart, it is at cubao bus station (araneta). The pictures are in the thread somewhere, it is called sisig silog, though we stopped serving sisig hahaa.


rodolfo23150

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hi sir mam. i just want to ask kung how much ang rental para kumita ang isang foodcart. medyo antaas po kasi ng nakita kong rental. 7k. 3months security deposit and 2 months advance pa. 2 year contract sya. ok na ba sya. gsto ko iistart sana. pero hirap ako makahanap ng perfect location. magandang location sana. katabi nya dalawang private school and church. need ko pa ibackground yung place kung talagang tauhin sya.


nepenthe

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You don't need to be the full-time OM, you can just be the major stakeholder. :)


pinoynetworker

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Nice thread! Sayang naman that they are selling the business already.  They "went thru the ropes"... know what works already...  so sort of knows "the system" how to repeat it and if they wish they can duplicate this passive income possibly more than their active income.

Anyway everything boils down to personal choice...  in the end kung saan tayo mas masaya dun tayo... ;)


freeman12

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i'm just curious..

Magkano po kaya ang salary ng employee sa food kiosk/cart?!

i'm planning to have my own, pero i have no idea sa magiging salary ng employees ko.

replies will be greatly appreciated. :)


george88

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Hi freeman depende sa ifafranchise mo pero usually range from 250-400...depende yan sa pwesto ng food cart eh...


freeman12

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gegepanalo

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Hi guys thanks for the replies.

@rodolfo, personally I wouldn't take a deal that will tie me in for 2 years. Too risky. Take 2-3 days staying at your location and really getting to know your market. Know the peak hours, know the foot traffic and know whether they stop and buy things in that area.

@pinoynetworker, yes I know sayang nga :( but in the end of the day, we can give up our jobs and rely on the earnings of the cart, even if its making a profit already. We find that owning a cart requires constant attention, and care. Which without both, will ultimately lead the cart to fail.

Cart's last day is Jan 2, there were no buyers so we have to just remove the parts we think are worth keeping and break down the cart. In 6months we were able to achieve full ROI, with a measly profit, so we're content :)


yllor

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wow, great business.. keep it up.
did a back-read to thread and seems good start and adjusting to schemes.


hannya

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@George88 Thanks for the info pero teka parang ang mahal naman!  :D Meron kasi akong mga kakilala (friend ng kasambahay etc) na payag kahit 150 pesos lang per day ang sahod nya pag nilagay sya sa kiosk like hotdog stand etc. Yun nga lang, you have to train the person to handle your foodcart business and with that amount I'm not sure about the loyalty pa. Pero sabi nga nila, hindi naman calculus ang gagawin nun employee para hindi nya matutunan agad so basic training lang talaga (subukan ng pasensya na rin kung medyo hindi si Albert Einstein ang na-hire natin for that amount of salary)   :hihi:


julz

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how much is your rental space? location and floor size?
how much is your other operating expenses?

is this the easiest business? fastest to setup/start-up?


 


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