Stand next to the food cart, and pantomime what typical service would look like. This may feel a little silly, but going through the motions of service is a good way to identify issues in your workflow. When someone sidles up to you on the street corner and places an order, what happens next? Ideally, you should be able to produce the entire order in just a few quick motions. Where will the order go when it’s finished? Will it be handed to the customer? Where is the customer going to be standing during all of this? What if there’s a line? Where will THOSE customers be standing? Will all of these people interfere with service in any way?
Ask the seller to talk you through any potential known issues. Obviously, there’s a bit of a “trust” component in play here, but it’s worth asking. Most private party sellers will be upfront about providing a list of known issues or idiosyncrasies with their equipment; successful food cart or kiosk owners typically don’t mind discussing these issues, and may even view them as a badge of honor. Find out about each of these issues ahead of time, and figure out how difficult they are to fix or whether they will impact your ability to do business.
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