Last summer we brought you the story of Jacqui at Streatside Cuisine, and since we can’t believe it’s been a whole year since we heard Jacqui’s story, we thought it was time to get an update from her on how the business is going.
Seasons Come and Seasons Go
Running a food truck is a seasonal business, which has its challenges and advantages. At the end of last season in September 2016, Streatside Cuisine shut down to customers but things behind the scenes didn’t slow down. Jacqui took a job in the Cayman Islands to work through the winter and save money for the next food truck season. Even before the season started, the expenses were adding up as everything had to be planned in advance. The company had a few months to strategize and plan for the upcoming 2017 summer, with the main goals of branding the truck and company and diversifying by selling at festivals and events. At the same time, they worked on streamlining the menu to create a stable core while always keeping the international concept in mind.
“The biggest thing I learned, is that when things become too much, slow it down.”
Like any person or business, Streatside Cuisine has experienced its fair share of growing pains. Jacqui has seen the economy affect their day-to-day business, but has found a way to get around that by doing more festivals and events. She finds that people will allow themselves to splurge a bit on the weekend, while during the week they may be more conservative and pack a lunch. Staffing has been crucial to the business’ success, and Jacqui has put together a great team that has a sense of ownership with what they are doing. The brand recognition is growing and people keep coming back for more, so it’s clear all of the planning is working out and the business in on the right track.
Jacqui says that 10 years ago, she was a different person than who she is today. She has become calmer, and had some advice to help other business owners do the same:
- To be in business is to be a constant problem solver; you will be solving problems for the rest of your life. When it all gets to be too much, jot it down, and triage it. If you solve one problem, you are one problem closer to being in a better place.
- Don’t go through it alone. We cannot solve each other’s problems, but we can definitely support each other emotionally or just be a sounding board. Even when just talking through it, little lights come on.
“No matter how hard it gets, just don’t stop. If you stop, nothing changes, but if you just keep going, you are still accomplishing something.”
The Future Is Coming up Food Truck
This winter the plan for Streatside is to look back at the past 5 or 6 months to evaluate what they did well, what they can strengthen, and what they want to do differently. Jacqui likes to have one focal point, so the long term goal is to strategize and set the company up for weddings. It will take them 2 years to get ready to break into that market, so they expect to book weddings for 2019. Planning is essential as everyone’s reputation is on the line. Jacqui knows that it is easy enough to recognize what you have to do, but when you do it, you have to be ready.
We can’t wait to see what Streatside Cuisine does next! If you are in Calgary and haven’t given them a try yet, make sure to follow them on social media to see where they’ll be next!