I have been finding more and more people coming to the food vending or catering businesses. Many people either lost their jobs or found such a lack of work that they needed to recreate themselves. Everyone has to eat, right? In this turbulent economy, having some comfort food to make the heart and soul feel better, is not such a bad thing. The recreated people that I have been finding are now cooking, grilling, and deep frying food for festivals, farmer's markets, events and catered parties.
Some of the people that I have recently met were lawyers, contractors, and carpenters. Their career industries have not been doing so well. They have chosen to take up deep frying and food vending as side income or as an out and out career change. The food vending industry has blown through the roof right now. The West Coast of America has taken a great leap forward with the food truck industry. But food vending has spread it's fingers far and wide throughout the U.S. and even into Canada. And not just food trucks either. There are caterers, street vendors, food carts, mobile trailer vendors, event and festival vendors.
We are not just talking about the typical hot dog truck or coffee truck anymore. The more your fare varies compared to the cart next door, the better off you may be. You want something interesting and tasty. Not the same old burger and fries. People are not just using griddles and steam trays any more. There are mobile grills and BBQ smokers, panini and sandwich press machines. There are mobilized trailer pizza ovens. Portable outdoor propane deep fryers have become a huge added cooking appliance to some vendors. With so many different nationalities and palates in North America, the food fare options are endless!
I spoke with one company the other day. They do bratwurst for festivals. They have decided to add a deep fryer to their outdoor cooking equipment to hopefully bring in more business. They will be adding a sort of thick potato chip with different spices to their menu.
I know of another company that all they do is deep fry. They work a farmer's market in Oregon, once a week for the whole season. They deep fry empanadas, sort of a meat and vegetable pastry.
The owner of a food truck in the Los Angeles area, a native New Yorker, has taken taken food from back home to the West Coast. She took a traditional deep fried dough ball recipe, zeppoles, and made this her main vending fare. She used to use rent a funnel cake fryer for every venue but has since taken on an outdoor propane fryer of her own. In that respect the deep fryer will pay itself off in no time at all.
Potato twisters, a deep fried spiral cut potato on a stick, has become huge. Originating in Korea, where it has become the number one street food, it has hit the streets and fairs of America with full force. I saw a program on TV where a vendor at The California State Fair has taken the twisted potato and tweaked it. He put a hot dog on the stick first, then placed the spiral cut potato around it before deep frying it. Sounds odd right, but interesting. I would try it!
Fish tacos have taken the country by storm. Odd as they sound, having deep fried fish in a soft shell tortilla is all the rage. Even some of the bigger fast food restaurants have picked up on that.
There are endless ways to make money while selling food. Time and effort are involved, but ingenuity, honesty, integrity, and a little brains can get you places that you never thought you could go. There is a man that started a deep fried food tent at the Texas State Fair. He deep fries anything and everything. It brings people back for more. Just to see what they are deep frying today. This gentleman makes enough money through the fair to now sustain him for the rest of the year. Now, that's deep frying for a living!!
Like I said before. Everyone has to eat. If you are looking for a way to make extra money, and you can cook fairly well, maybe it is time to jump on the comfort food vending band wagon. Get a deep fat fryer and start making french fries at the local festivals. Take your grill to the farmer's market and roast corn on the cob. When the weather starts getting cooler, get yourself a turkey fryer, or a large stock pot and propane cooker and make some chili for the apple festival or fall leaf and craft fair. With a great idea and some time and effort, you could be on your way! The American dream starts here!