LOS ANGELES — Owning a food truck can be more expensive than you may think. So two locals started On the Go LA to help small businesses get their start selling around Los Angeles. Food concepts can rent a truck for a day, a week or weeks, and On the Go LA helps with locations, permits and social media.
Owners of Caribbean Soul Kitchen Shaton and Roger Squires love serving their community.
"We got bit with the entrepreneur bug and the catering bug. He's always been a cook, but he's never cooked to the scale we are now cooking," Shaton Squires said.
The couple usually pops up with a table and tent, but they decided to rent a food truck for the first time from On the Go LA.
"It costs a lot of money to get a food truck and to get permits. All you have to do is hop on, pay for it and go. It's an amazing opportunity," Shaton Squires said.
The only thing they were nervous about was "LA traffic. That's pretty much it, just LA traffic," Roger Squires laughed.
Their first stop of the day is their usual spot at Leimert Park. The bigger flat top on the truck makes it easier to cook their shrimp to order. They also now have more room to build their loaded Caribbean, Panamanian nachos. Roger learned how to cook from his grandpa on the Panama Canal, so this truck helps him sell more creative menu options. He said it's pretty easy and that On the Go "explains to you the fees. Someone walks you through. You look at the truck. It's simple, not complicated."
They ended the day at Sara's Market, a place where many pop-ups come to sell their food. As a small business starting out, Shaton said having a truck lets them go to new places and feed new people they couldn't before. On the Go LA actually set them up with this location and shared it on their social media to help promote. They said this location wasn't really busy, but it happens.
"Location, location, location. If we find a new location, it may hit, it may not. But overall, the uses of the truck, they get a thumbs up," Roger Squires said.
The couple said the rental price was worth it, and they made enough to offset those costs.
"There's pros and cons. I mean the investment is worth it because we were able to do what we set out to do. It's a test run for us," they said.
Renting prices start at just under $300 for a daily rental, with plans ranging from 7 to 10 days. The truck is ready to go with propane and gas at pick up. For all the information, visit their website.
The test run paid off because Shaton and Roger secured their first brick-and-mortar location in Miracle Mile with plans to open in August.