Food truck business is a lucrative and profitable business venture. Starting food truck businesses has generated huge income and profits for entrepreneurs from all over the world. The food truck business has gradually escaped the stereotypes of decrepit vehicles filled with greasy junk food. Customers expect and demand more in term of healthy options and the ambiance within the truck.
Moreover, the haute cuisine industry is getting in on the game and bringing nostalgia to the business. The upshot is that the business model is thriving and going places. At the same time new entrants have to do their homework. They can no longer rely on cookie cutter models that have been worked and reworked in the past. The industry is always calling for something fresh and interesting. This business is ideal if you do not want to be troubled by the bureaucracy of office space and full time stores. All you need is a carrier, exceptional cooking facilities, an imaginative chef and a sunny attitude.
Be prepared for incredibly hard work
It is not unheard of for people working in the food truck business to register 60 weekly hours. In return the rewards are spectacular as well as the satisfaction of knowing that you are making very many people happy within your community. Your menu can be as simple as a jacket potato or as complex as an original French soup. The critical issue is that you must respond to your clients in terms of their needs, choices and expectations. Always try to be imaginative in your meal plans as well as developing innovative marketing strategies for your food truck business promotional campaign. For example, you may use social media in order to attract clients who are not in your immediate geographical location. Good food tends to sell itself and bad food discourages even the most loyal of customers.
Make sure you have a comprehensive food truck business plan
The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The food truck business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the nuances of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included:
- The mission, vision and operational strategy
- Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
- A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
- A marketing and customer care plan
- An organizational chart and human resource policy
- A three-year expansion outlook
- A risk and rewards Analysis
You will need to make an informed decision about the business type that you will adopt for your company. Each of the business structures requires very specific application processes for permits and registrations. The business type you select will determine who owns, runs and supervises the operations of the company. It’s also better to have a website for your food truck business.
Sort out your licensing agreements, taxes and other paperwork
The fact that you are serving food to members of the public means that there is a lot more scrutiny than would ordinarily be the case. For example; you will need a food safety permit, qualified staff, parking permits and hygienic premises. The city will have specific ordinances as to where and when you can park your food trucks. It goes without saying that you are required to pay all your taxes and have records to prove it.
One of the things that you must not ignore is the need to develop good working relationships with the city bureaucrats. This ensures that they guide you on the protocols for running a food truck business within a given location. Do not forget to secure an insurance package that is not only adequate for your needs, but also meets the licensing requirements. Insurance takes up a very large proportion of functional budgets for a food truck business.
Find an affordable and functional food truck
This vessel is not only a means of transporting the food but also tells the public about your food truck business brand. The low end alternative is a cart which can be purchased for as little as $2000. The downside is that you will be limited in what you can carry and for how long you can carry it. The top range modern car trucks are considerably more expensive. You should budget for about $100,000 if you want to buy a brand new one. The second hand trucks can cost as little as $20,000. Some of the best shopping websites include Commercial Truck Trader and Used Vending.
The truck that you select will be partly determined by the mode of food preparation and delivery that you have opted for. Hot food is best prepared on site in order to retain its quality and also to avoid food poisoning. However, some items will have to be prepared at home and then kept in a chiller or oven until they are ready to be served. One of the options that are open to you is to enter a partnership with a commercial kitchen so that they can do the food preparation on your behalf. Do not forget to create space for your cutlery which can be either disposable or washable. The smallest new food truck business may rely on a home kitchen but that is not sustainable in the long run as you expand the scope of your operations.
Focus on the things that you are best at
In the food truck business it is better to be a master of one niche than a mediocre performer in all the available items. It is only the very experienced, well-funded and specialized providers that are able to perform equally well in all niches. The starting point for selecting your niche are the tastes of the clients that you want to serve. School children in particular can be picky and could go off food very quickly. If you intend to go for a gourmet cuisine, then it is imperative that you have the advice and support of a professional that knows how to do these dishes well. Recently the health foods niche within the food truck business is gaining a lot of credence from the Millennials. Therefore, you could explore the possibilities it has for you in your locality.
Reasons for starting a food truck business today
IBISWorld has recently released a report which indicates that the food truck business is now worth $1 billion in the USA. The industry grew by 8.4% between 2007 and 2012; a time when most other sectors such as housing were facing a crisis following the recession. Indeed, it would appear that as the economy slows down; more and more people are attracted to the option of using a food truck service. That has implications for your pricing strategy which must reflect the priorities of your customer base in terms or providing them with exceptionally good prices.
The food truck business is very welcoming to smaller and less experienced entrepreneurs. For example, up to 78% of people that operate a food truck business employ fewer than four employees. This statistic falls well within the definition of a small business in the USA. In fact, the low overheads are very attractive to entrepreneurs who are struggling to raise significant levels of initial capital. Furthermore, the ease of changing location means that you can be responsive to any negative changes within the locality; by way of seeking greener pastures elsewhere.