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Food truck manager and chef: What I do and how much I make

Aquila, a 27-year-old, manages Jamaica Mi Hungry, a thriving food truck and restaurant business. Her role involves ensuring smooth operations, from stocking supplies to customer service. Despite the physical demands and variable salary, Aquila's dedication to the business's success shines through. She even learned to build a website to boost the business.

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Video transcript

My name is Aquila, I am 27 years old. I am the food truck operations manager as well as the general manager for Jamaica Mi Hungry, and my salary is variable. So Jamaica Mi Hungry is a food truck and catering company. We also have a restaurant. We started off in 2012 as just a personal chef and small party events company. We got our first truck on the road 2015. Opened up our first restaurant in 2016, and now we're here. We have two trucks, two food trucks, a catering van, a restaurant, and we're working on growing and expanding some more. Jamaica Mi Hungry, our food style is Jamaican cuisine with a little bit of a twist. The twist is pretty much all the crazy, imaginative, fun things that came from our chef Ernie's head, (laughs) mixed with some of our just creativity and fun. So my current role here at Jamaica Mi Hungry, I am really pretty much in charge of running the food truck itself. So making sure that we have what we need on the food truck, everything from the paper supplies to the food. Making sure that we have staffing for the truck, knowing where the truck is going, how to get it there, making sure the truck is always clean inside and out. Managing the staff, putting together the schedules, scheduling our prep time in the kitchen, ordering food that we need to have done for prep. Coming here to cook the food, which I do a little bit less of that now because I'm trying to really grab a hold on the trucks, and of course driving the trucks. So my job is to take the trucks out and make sure that they're not getting scratched and crashed, and nobody's getting hit. (laughs) Also once we pull up on the location, I serve the food. I make sure that our customers are super happy all the time. I kind of take the lead on making sure that our customers are just getting the customer interaction piece going, making sure that the customers are aware of who we are, making sure we know who our customers are. We've had customers that have been following us on the truck for the past two years, and they come every day. Making sure that I know what they have so I don't even have to let them ask for it. I'm like, "all right, I see you, gotcha." (laughs) The most difficult part of my job is probably how physically demanding it is. We are up on our feet all day, which doesn't really bother me but other than that, I do love it. We were without a website for a little while because we had one that was built a while ago and it wasn't working. So I took some time over the winter when it was kind of slow and I just hopped on a website and just really forced myself to sit there and learn how to build one. Last year, it was like, I don't know. A week seemed to be like 14 to 15 days before it ever ended. My salary is very variable and a big part of that reason is that I'm so invested in the business and making sure that the business is always successful. When I first started working with the company full time, we were teeny, teeny tiny and now we're growing to be this huge thing. We just want to make sure that we're able to maintain that, so we're able to maintain the lifestyle and the job that we have. So over the winter time for example, this past winter we did-- or actually this past summer we did a lot of investing in opening up the restaurant, getting lots of things done there. So over the winter time it was a crunch. The trucks are not going out as much, not making as much money. A lot of people-- Not as many people want to come out in the snow or in cold weather to get food from the food truck. So the sacrifice was made in terms of the salary to make sure that the food truck can keep running so that we can come back and get a salary in the summer time. (laughs)