Let’s head into Day 12, the topic is Choosing an Experienced Food Truck Builder
When you are ready to begin exploring potential food truck builders, it's important to have a plan when choosing an experienced food truck builder. So many factors come into play when investing in a large business decision, so let's explore several factors to consider when researching your potential builder.
5 Questions to Consider When Choosing an Experienced Food Truck Builder:
- Gather a list of questions to use when 'interviewing' each builder. Hop online and do some research on each builders' website to become familiar with their process, craftsmanship, and in-house services. If you need any ideas on gathering a list of questions, check out 10 Questions to Ask Your Food Truck Builder from a previous post. It's a good list to get you started.
- Ask the builder for a list of references for past projects. Getting a past customer (or current customer) on the phone can clarify the experience from the buyers point of view, and determine if this will be a good fit for you. Many builders will be happy to provide a list of references. I think it's safe to say... if the builder is hesitant to provide a list of past projects, they are trying to hide, or cover up, bad experiences. Hence, red flag. APEX has an online gallery of our past projects, showcased as a portfolio on our website. We have pictures of food trucks or trailers during the build, and as a finished project. This illustrates our vast array of project examples.
- Get an understanding of the fabricators build process. Does the builder offer in-house engineering/design? What's the lead time? What is the warranty? Who is main contact throughout the build? Can you make changes throughout the build once the design has been approved? What is the delivery process?
The builder should have a clearly-defined build process that allows the buyer to bring a vision to the builder, and partner with the builder throughout the process. Food truck builders all operate differently, so I can only speak on APEX's process. APEX begins with a discovery stage of exploring our SPEC models, which are pre-designed and engineered, and used as a starting point for your cuisine of choice. We have over 62 SPEC models, so it's a great opportunity to sift through the models and determine if any of them fit your needs. If so, the SPEC build time is 4 weeks. If not, it's time to work with our design and engineering team to custom-design a food truck to your specific needs. For more information on our process, or to get started, fill out our online quoter tool.
- Reach out to food truck experts (associations, directories, existing food truck owners) for referrals. A great resource that provides "verified builders" is foodtruckempire.com. They organized a list of Verified Builders to help buyers identify world-class builders as fast as possible. FoodTruckEmpire.com has personally interviewed each company, knows they have a proven track record of quality builds, and supports the continued growth of the mobile food industry. They understand the importance in pre-screening the builders. Check out APEX's interview with FoodTruckEmpire here!
- Conduct an onsite visit to get a first-hand experience of the process, the team, the quality, craftsmanship, and of course, to validate your investment. Builders should be thrilled to have you visit their manufacturing facility, as long as they produce everything in-house and have a functional system. If a builder is hesitant to invite you for an onsite visit, it makes you wonder about the dis-functionality of their facility. APEX is a centrally located food truck builder that encourages all clients to visit our 50,000 sq. ft. facility. We are so incredibly proud of our team, our process, and our craftsmanship, that we want to show it off.
This article was intended to provide helpful tips when choosing an experienced food truck builder. If you have any additional questions about food trucks or the building process, allow APEX to offer our perspective. Give us a call 816-853-3360.