Toast Mobile Lounge
A Toast to Successful Fun
970-759-4114 Visit Website
Carol’s creative and organizational skills were strong, but she needed financial assistance to understand how a mobile restaurant operated. The SBDC Consultant provided direction with city codes and requirements as well as financial and business operations. For this venture, specifics such as how much food to purchase before an event and how many customers were required to turn a profit had to be determined. Terryl and Joe gave Carol homework which called for her meet with city planners and utilized spreadsheets to calculate costs. In her final assessment, Carol concluded the food truck idea would not be feasible. City codes can take a long time to change, if at all, and a poorly attended event would be a big obstacle to breaking even. However, what she learned along the way came in handy the following year.
By the end of 2013, Carol purchased an old bread truck and converted it into a bar. She incorporated the traveling bar with her events and the initial results were promising. Overtime, the truck needed frequent repairs and became a liability. She spoke with her friend Matt, a financial planner, and asked what could be done. Matt recommended she purchase a trailer and get rid of the truck altogether. A trailer would be affordable and more efficient. If the business were to fail, loses would be minimal. She conceded and purchased a trailer. The interior and exterior were customized with beer taps, lights, a sound system and a flat screen tv.
Toast Mobile Lounge (TML) made its first appearance at the county fairgrounds for an event titled ‘The Wedding Show.’ Carol and her staff created a drink menu and decided prices on the spot. The mobile lounge was a big success. Carol received several requests to have the bar at future events. She saw TML as a sustainable business and sought additional input. Terryl provided information on how to take care of staff and financial spreadsheets. Carol also met with SBDC’s financial analyst. The SBDC Consultanttaught her how to price her product correctly so not to undercut herself.
As Carol implemented SBDC’s recommendations, trailer modifications were completed, staff was hired and trained, and TML launched a website. In TML’s second year, business continued to grow as they traveled to different cities. Carol noticed TML as unique. Nobody in other cities had what she had. Knowing how accessible SBDC was, Carol returned to inquire how TML could expand to have a permanent presence in numerous cities and states. SBDC recommended Carol apply to SCAPE (Southwest Colorado Accelerator Program for Entrepreneurs), an intensive training program for start-ups taught by experienced business professionals. She presented her proposal to SCAPE in November 2016 and was soon accepted into the program. Carol is currently learning how to scale TML. She anticipates five new trailers to be built in the coming year.
Carol is so grateful to SBDC.
“Anytime I went to SBDC they never gave the impression my ideas were unacceptable. Rather, they helped me learn if it was feasible.”Her advice to entrepreneurs is to contact them. “They helped me with structure and operations. If there is a grandiose vision, SBDC can help with that and tell you the truth about how it is.”