Food Truck Apprentice Program


Why Food Trucks?

To Provide Hot Meals To Those That Need It

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, our nation faced a significant loss of commercial kitchen capacity, leaving many food-insecure individuals without access to nutritious meals. Volunteer groups, food pantries, and local churches struggled to maintain safety standards and find enough volunteers to serve those in need. However, at Soulcial Kitchen, we believe that the solution to this problem is not to spend millions of dollars on creating new commercial kitchens, but rather to utilize what is already available to us – the humble food truck.

Food trucks have seen exponential growth in the past few years, and the trend has only continued since the pandemic began. They are already present in virtually every city in the U.S., and domestic annual sales exceeded $1 billion in 2022. Recognizing the power of food trucks to transform the way communities serve the underserved, we successfully established the first Department of Labor certified Food Truck Apprentice Program in the nation in 2021, working with local and state officials from Illinois.

Since then, we have provided thousands of hours of training in areas such as food truck operations, menu creation, hospitality management, and safety and food service health standards. Our primary objective at Soulcial Kitchen is to professionalize and systematize how food truck operators approach their mission, providing skills, training, and mentoring to enhance execution and business management skills. We aim to change the way communities think about providing hot meal access to their most vulnerable and at-risk constituents.

With over a 60% failure rate in the existing hyper-fragmented food truck ecosystem, it’s clear that there is a need for our work. By educating and assisting communities, we can make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most. Join us at Soulcial Kitchen as we work to transform the food truck industry and serve those who are most in need. Together, we can make a real difference in our communities and our nation.

Food Truck Apprentice Program Participant Info

The targeted participant for the Food Truck Apprenticeship program is an individual who has a strong curiosity and passion for cooking and serving delicious food to others. They have a deep desire to make people happy with their culinary creations and take great satisfaction in seeing the joy that their food brings to others.

This participant has a strong interest in being their own boss and taking control of their career path. They are motivated by the idea of running their own food truck business and enjoy the flexibility and independence that entrepreneurship can provide.

They understand that running a successful food truck business requires hard work and dedication. They are willing to put in the time and effort required to achieve their goals and are eager to learn the myriad of elements required to succeed as an entrepreneur.

This participant is committed to managing a profit and loss statement and has a keen attention to detail. They understand that the success of their food truck business depends on their ability to manage costs, maintain quality, and deliver exceptional customer service. They are willing to learn from experienced mentors and are open to feedback in order to continually improve their business practices.

Overall, the ideal participant for the Food Truck Apprenticeship program is someone who is passionate about food, committed to hard work, and eager to learn and grow as an entrepreneur.

Grilled Chicken

The Food Truck Apprentice Program is designed to develop a range of skills among participants. These skills include:

  1. P&L development and management: Participants will learn how to develop a profit and loss statement, manage finances, and make financial decisions that will help their food truck businesses succeed.
  2. Supply sourcing: Participants will learn how to source quality ingredients and supplies from local vendors and establish relationships with them.
  3. Inventory management: Participants will learn how to manage inventory to reduce waste and maximize profits.
  4. Food safety: Participants will learn about food safety laws and regulations, as well as best practices for handling food, preventing contamination, and maintaining hygiene standards.
  5. Menu creation and pricing: Participants will learn how to create a menu that is attractive to customers, and set prices that are fair and competitive.
  6. Operation of varied cooking modalities: Participants will learn how to operate a variety of cooking equipment, such as grills, fryers, and ovens, to produce high-quality food.
  7. Customer satisfaction: Participants will learn how to provide excellent customer service, create a positive customer experience, and handle customer complaints.
  8. Health inspection: Participants will learn about health inspection procedures and how to prepare for inspections to ensure that their food trucks meet health and safety standards.
  9. Teamwork: Participants will learn how to work effectively with others, delegate tasks, and collaborate to achieve common goals.
  10. Effective communication: Participants will learn how to communicate effectively with customers, vendors, team members, and other stakeholders.
  11. Safe truck operations: Participants will learn about safe driving practices, truck maintenance, and how to operate their food trucks safely and legally on the road.