Trying to open concession food truck

Useful advice on jobs, careers and entrepreneurship in Finland. Find job postings, job information, work permits and more.
User avatar
Cory
Posts: 3657
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Turku

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Cory » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:41 pm

The idea could fly if you were able to equip your truck effectively and efficiently. You're not going to find the type of ready-built truck you are looking for here but it wouldn't be impossible to find the bits and bobs needed to outfit it plus a guy who's able to do the fitting for you. It might be also worth your while to talk to car/truck importers. Might be cheaper to find a fully-equipped vehicle in the US and import it than it would be to build it here. Alternatively, you could find a guy in a truck selling smoked fish/meat at a market place and ask where he got his. They are sometimes outfitted with water and gas and/or battery power.

Instead of parking it somewhere, do some research. There are a number of smaller blue-collar/production type companies in the burbs of the city which don't offer their employees a hot lunch cafe so they are forced to either take their own or drive somewhere to get it. In north america the concession trucks buy their routes, as you know. Here there are no routes so nothing to buy BUT you will need to determine which routes offer the highest potential for business between 10'ish and noon'ish during the week. You could visit all of the companies in the prospective routes and ask whether the guys would bother buying hot meals from such a service. Don't plan on serving anyhing "exotic" if this is the type of business you want to develop (and yes, I do think there is a potential market for this kind of service if you do the research and provide the type of food that the typical Finnish working man/woman is used to eating at lunch time..macaroni casserole, hot soups, pata, etc)

Good luck! This was actually a business idea that I had once considered but for at the time, it was just way too much work to get the thing off the ground. At the time we lived in Lahti and there are a ton of production companies around the place that had no canteens and the workers drove here and there to buy their lunches. I had begun the research process and from the preliminary results knew that it was very doable if I did a lot of marketing and schmoozing.


Image

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Sponsor:

Finland Forum Ad-O-Matic
 

User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Pursuivant » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:43 pm

Or then import from Germany its all EU-approved (supposedly)
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


User avatar
Cory
Posts: 3657
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Turku

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Cory » Sun Oct 25, 2009 5:45 pm

phuongtranmass wrote:
inkku wrote:not compatible with your idea of a food truck, but how about a proper dim sum place?
Dim sum would be a good idea but I don't have adequate finances or connections to open a dim sum restaurant. When you say "proper", I can only assume you mean an establishment with adequate seating and other requisite equipment. I would rather take small baby steps than dive into something like a full-scale restaurant considering I am new to FInland.
Ahh.. as Pursuviant mentioned, if you dont' have the funds to open a small dim sum place, then you won't have the funds to start a concession truck. The truck will run you a pretty penny since the truck you're thinking about doesn't exist here. Vehicles (any type) are not cheap here. Don't get discouraged though until you do some research.
Image


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Pursuivant » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:10 pm

What I would rudely suggest is you go to the local TE-keskus and sign up for enterpreneurial classes in your integration programme. They'll explain you the ins and outs of Finnish taxes, the "system" of all that we've been explaining here in thorough detail and give Finnish classes... even pay for the hygiene pass. If you "fit in the box" things will go frustratingly slowly but you have the time to figure out "how stuff works" and you get things. After TE evaluates your dim sums you can in some cases get a startup loan/handout. Yeah, we all know you been in the business for a decade and three generations but the fact is that you're at the moment in the process of "think" which is not the same you "know". Jumping in headfirst has caused several people to have to face up to the fact they were "thinking" when they should have "known" - and confessing that hurts the ego so they rather whine the tax office being a bunch of arses. We *know* the tax office is a bunch of arses so no sympathy for the wicked. :wink: Well planned is half done.
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


User avatar
phuongtranmass
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Espoo
Contact:

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by phuongtranmass » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:29 pm

[quote="Pursuivant"]Ummm... I hate to piss on your parade and ruin your cheerios, but a mobile food truck like your idea is will cost *more* than a dim sum place...

Yes, what you're saying does indeed make a lot of sense. My wife knows a Vietnamese couple who own one of those stationary food service trailers near a train station who might be trying to get out of the business. Who knows, maybe I will try to buy their business and hawk my offerings that way. I do have a business plan but the financial part of the plan is fuzzier than I would like to admit. Nonetheless, I will keep trekking forward this idea and take everybody's comments and tidbits of advice with me. Thanks again Pursuivant!


User avatar
phuongtranmass
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Espoo
Contact:

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by phuongtranmass » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:30 pm

phuongtranmass wrote:
Pursuivant wrote:Ummm... I hate to piss on your parade and ruin your cheerios, but a mobile food truck like your idea is will cost *more* than a dim sum place
Yes, what you're saying does indeed make a lot of sense. My wife knows a Vietnamese couple who own one of those stationary food service trailers near a train station who might be trying to get out of the business. Who knows, maybe I will try to buy their business and hawk my offerings that way. I do have a business plan but the financial part of the plan is fuzzier than I would like to admit. Nonetheless, I will keep trekking forward this idea and take everybody's comments and tidbits of advice with me. Thanks again Pursuivant!


User avatar
phuongtranmass
Posts: 45
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:10 pm
Location: Espoo
Contact:

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by phuongtranmass » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:20 pm

Cory wrote:
phuongtranmass wrote:
inkku wrote:not compatible with your idea of a food truck, but how about a proper dim sum place?
Ahh.. as Pursuviant mentioned, if you dont' have the funds to open a small dim sum place, then you won't have the funds to start a concession truck. The truck will run you a pretty penny since the truck you're thinking about doesn't exist here. Vehicles (any type) are not cheap here. Don't get discouraged though until you do some research.
"Small" dim sum place is definitely do-able. I apologize as the only images I was envisioning were large, full-scale restaurants that exist in USA and Canada.

For example: http://www.flickr.com/photos/crossroads ... 972248558/ or

http://www.flickr.com/photos/foodnut/3548758337/ or

http://newyork.seriouseats.com/images/2 ... -intro.jpg

But of course, me being so "Americanized", I conceptualize things as being bigger and grander (usually not good to do anyhow). Yes, Finland's population is a smaller demographic and a "regular" dim sum place just wouldn't be viable. Kind of like an Escalade or 3/4 ton Suburban being driven by Finnish taxi driver :cry: I grew up eating dim sum in "big places", which also served typical Chinese dinner dishes like Ginger Scallion lobster, steamed flounder in soy sauce, peking duck, and so on, and not in small places. It also doesn't hurt business when these food establishments have a customer-base made up of generation upon generation of Asian descendants of west coast railway slaves, boat people, and such.

Thankfully, I did come to Finland with a reasonable amount of start-up cash and am fortunate to have a mother-in-law and family in the states who are generous and kind enough to offer additional seed money if need be.

To that end, perhaps I can try serving dumplings and rice noodles out of a lifted Hummer H2 and park it front of a local Kotipizza or Kebab joint....what fun that would be :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Pursuivant » Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:42 pm

You got the attitude allright :lol: But seriously - *hide the money* go to the työvoimatoimisto as a good foreign HBS case "mi lav blondie" and let them process you into an integration programme. Then go to the TE-keskus and look into what they offer - they have "foreigners wanting to establish a restaurant" courses only they want the rudimentary Finnish. Meanwhile you can harrass the Vietnamese for their hawking business (maybe try out how friendly and cosmopolitan Helsinki is on a December night the wind howling) and maybe you get ideas... (as into finding some idiot straight off the boat to buy the business) :wink:
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


User avatar
Cory
Posts: 3657
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Turku

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Cory » Sun Oct 25, 2009 8:27 pm

phuongtranmass wrote:But of course, me being so "Americanized", I conceptualize things as being bigger and grander (usually not good to do anyhow).
Mmm..Sunday brunch meetings at the local dim-sum restaurants with friends..fond memories..and yup, we always picked the biggest in the city..upwards of 1,000 seats I would imagine BUT it had the best selection (not always the friendliest of servers) from the standard steamed stuff all the way up to black bean + garlic crab legs and chicken's feet. Oh how we had something like that around here! :)

It'll take you a few years to learn to appreciate "small" and start nagging to folks "back home" about their waste of energy and space.

:thumbsup: to Pursuviant's suggestion about getting on the integration program and then in to see the T&E Keskus folks. Don't admit anything to them unless they ask.
Image


inkku
Posts: 624
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:26 pm

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by inkku » Sun Oct 25, 2009 9:38 pm

bad service and dim sum go together, isn't it? :)


tuulen
Posts: 1658
Joined: Tue Jun 16, 2009 3:18 am
Location: New England, USA

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by tuulen » Sun Oct 25, 2009 11:23 pm

I have been reading this thread, and now I am hungry for Chinese food, along with a few bowls of rice!

However, please understand that any non-EU specification vehicle, truck, van or whatever, might not be legal to register in Finland.


User avatar
Cory
Posts: 3657
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Turku

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Cory » Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:58 am

tuulen wrote:I have been reading this thread, and now I am hungry for Chinese food, along with a few bowls of rice!

However, please understand that any non-EU specification vehicle, truck, van or whatever, might not be legal to register in Finland.
Any vehicle imported here would of course have to go through the inspections. I know that tulli takes care of people understanding that before driving it away! :)
Image


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Pursuivant » Mon Oct 26, 2009 9:24 am

Yes well but they won't ell it *before* you bring it over. And then the Katsastus says "piss off" and there you are crying "nobody told me" ;)
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


User avatar
Cory
Posts: 3657
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2003 11:51 pm
Location: Turku

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Cory » Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:54 am

Pursuivant wrote:Yes well but they won't ell it *before* you bring it over. And then the Katsastus says "piss off" and there you are crying "nobody told me" ;)
But it's a bloody idjut who imports something like a vehicle without first checking all the rules, ain't it? Almost deserving of the customs guys laughing uncontrolably at the puzzled look on the "customers" face as they're handed a "you gotta fix this" list. :lol:
Image


User avatar
Pursuivant
Posts: 15094
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:51 am
Location: Bath & Wells

Re: Trying to open concession food truck

Post by Pursuivant » Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:21 pm

Well its someone who "thinks" who usually do such things... :lol: those who "know" or even "have a vague idea" start calculating the odds... theres a bolloxload of rules "importing vehicles from non-EU countries" they have some really anal rules of EU conformity like the window glass need to have the "E" circle etc... now yeah... start changing the glassware :roll:
Last edited by Pursuivant on Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes."


Post Reply