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create Winner / 2021

Lowering the barrier to entry for local food entrepreneurs.

Lowering the barrier to entry for local food entrepreneurs.

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by On The Go LA

On The Go LA is a service that helps local food entrepreneurs easily & affordably formalize their business and grow their customer base by offering full-service, short-term food truck rentals. We provide local chefs, pop-ups, and catering companies the opportunity to grow their business through single and multi-day food truck rentals. We make this seamless by providing the truck, permits, high-traffic stops, marketing, and operational support, which lets the entrepreneurs focus on what they do best -- serve great, new food to local Angelenos.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • County of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

Prior to On The Go LA, expanding your business as a food entrepreneur meant incurring significant startup costs and operating expenses associated with a food truck or brick-and-mortar location. This was always a big risk – one that became even more pronounced by COVID-19. As a result – most food entrepreneurs are shut out and there are thousands of Latinx/African-American food entrepreneurs in Los Angeles that are disenfranchised by the high costs of traditional kitchens.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

On The Go LA is a service that helps local food entrepreneurs easily & affordably formalize their business and grow their customer base by offering full-service, short-term food truck rentals. We provide food entrepreneurs – including local chefs, pop-ups, and catering companies – the opportunity to grow their business and revenue through single and multi-day food truck rentals. On The Go LA makes this seamless for the entrepreneurs, by providing the truck, permits, high-traffic stops, marketing, and operational support, which lets the entrepreneurs focus on what they do best – serve great, new food to local Angelenos. By providing affordable access through a low-cost, low-risk solution, we are allowing them to continue their dreams of formalizing their business without additional barriers. We are effectively democratizing an opportunity for expansion, revenue growth, and distribution to all local food entrepreneurs in Los Angeles.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

150
Direct impact
41,350
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

In the last 10 months, we have been able to provide a lifeline for more than 50 local food entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. On The Go LA is now in a position to scale by adding additional trucks and helping up to 3 different local entrepreneurs on a daily basis. We hope to provide them the necessary experience in formalizing their food business through the days they are on our truck so they can feel the confidence to take the next step on their journey. We hope to help more than 100 additional food entrepreneurs in the next year (reaching thousands more in LA over the next few years) and are looking to graduate at least 10-20% of them to their own truck or their own brick-and-mortar location. This is especially important as we hope to enable them to create their own generational wealth and chart their entrepreneurial path to leave a positive impact on the next generation of Angelenos.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

With no food industry experience but with plenty of determination and scrappiness, we quickly launched a minimum viable product in June of 2020 and have since experienced 200% growth across more than 50 food partners. Most importantly, over the last 5 months, we have been at an 80% monthly booking capacity, with 70% of our partners booking multiple times. Today, On The Go LA is seeing significant demand and we are poised for growth and expansion. We’ve just implemented an online reservation system, and are pre-booking multi-day bundles. Given the demand from local food entrepreneurs, we are preparing to launch a second and third truck. As we grow, we have an opportunity to leverage our local data to deliver a recommendation engine to further help entrepreneurs select hot stops, and in the longer-term, allow us to expand across the greater Los Angeles area.

Which of the create metrics will you impact?​

  • Income inequality
  • Jobs per capita
  • Minority- and women-owned businesses

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE