You've heard about the successes and failures of food trucks for years, but this article highlight the 5 Tips for Operating a Successful Food Truck Business to get you going in the right and profitable direction.
5 Tips for Operating a Successful Food Truck Business
The stereotypical food truck is owned by someone longing to fulfill a lifelong dream of serving up their food and making a killing at it, within the confines of a hip food truck. That can be the success story for a small percentage, but for everyone else, check out these 5 tips for operating a successful food truck business before you begin the dialogue with your food truck builders. (RELATED: Questions You Need to Ask Your Food Truck Builder)
Tip 1: Paperwork
Ensure your paperwork, permits, warranty info, truck maintenance records, business schedule, is in order. A detrimental business move when launching your food truck business is to find a pedestrian-heavy area, but get told by police that you cannot occupy that area because you don’t have the right permit. Or worse, have the health inspector shut you down mid lunch-rush because you are missing paperwork.
Tip 2: Marketing Your Brand, Your Self & Your Food
Word of mouth is powerful, especially when it comes to food. When people have a horrible experience at a restaurant or food truck, social media is your worst nightmare. When someone has a great experience, referrals can be the source of your business growth and success. Building and marketing your food truck doesn't have to cost money. Utilizing the tools that are free, and accessible to you, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can generate a significant return. Generate a buzz about where your food truck will be located and tag or utilize hashtags of events you'll be attending to capitalize on the trends.
Tip 3: Develop a Relationship with Other Food Truck Owners
Don't view your neighboring food truck as a competitor, but more as a resource for upcoming events, hot spots, marketing tips, food truck rally's, and even partnerships for catering gigs. Besides, you are both probably serving up different cuisines, and could be a tasty partnership together!
Tip 4: Monitor Your Revenue Stream
When every penny counts, it's important to keep close tabs on where your money is going (expensive-wise), and how much is coming in. Keep a log of your locations, costs, revenue, etc., so you can evaluate the trends. Things to consider: Which food is selling best? Is weather indicative of what people are buying? Is it seasonal? Monday traffic vs. Friday traffic? Specials? Be open-minded about the ability to change things up and experiment with your menu, specials, and locations! By watching trends, you can ensure that you are spending wisely and generating a healthy ROI.
Tip 5: Invest in Staff
Great staff is hard to find, so be sure you are offering something that is unique from other food truck and brick and mortar restaurants. Ideas could include social media marketing skills, culinary skills, accounting/business skills, business management skills, etc. Offering a well-roundedness to the position is appealing to many people, as they are using this food truck experience as a stepping stone and educational opportunity for their future.
If these 5 Tips for Operating a Successful Food Truck Business are insightful and have answered some of your initial questions, check out APEX Specialty Vehicles. APEX has extensive experience with national restaurants, brands, established food truck operators, marketing agencies, and companies. Check out their portfolio!