Starting a Food Truck Business A Little Crash Course on What You Can Expect by Frank Fleming
Let me just start by saying that having your own food truck business is a fantastic and highly lucrative idea – doing something you love and being your own boss – it’s a dream come true for many people. But before you jump in with both feet, there’s a few crucial things to consider. Building a profitable food truck business isn’t something you do lightly. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears, as they say. You have to really desire it and really set your heart on it; be willing to work long hours (10 or more a day). Even more than that, you need to stand out by having a unique twist on your menu – something different from your competitors that still appeals to the local tastes of your customer base. Sure, you can sell hamburgers and hot dogs, but they have to be as good, if not better, than the next guy’s. While sticking with traditional fast foods will require you to really bring your ‘AGame’ and pull out all the stops when it comes to creativity and uniqueness, it also practically guarantees that you’ll have a never-ending line of hungry customers. Yet for many, one of the most exciting aspects of having your own mobile gourmet restaurant is the ability to really do something special – go ‘all out’ and venture into new territories of on-thego with dining your customers never dreamed possible from a street vendor.
Sushi, authentic Mexican dishes, Chinese buffet, Texas BBQ, or even your great great grandmother’s secret recipe for baked ziti – there’s a world of possibilities that makes this venture such an appetizing one! BTW, I won't specifically address some of the potential pitfalls of starting a food truck business, but I recommend the Food Truck Riches: Inside Scoop training which goes into extremely specific issues such as top newbie mistakes, best sources of free advertising, finding a commissary kitchens, securing the best parking spaces and much more. The training can be accessed in audio format and downloaded immediately. It’s not only easy to understand, but it explains and solves many seen and unforeseen issues that are affect new mobile food business owners. You can read more about it by Clicking Here.
Can You Take the Heat? The growing popularity of this business means making up your mind and moving fast on your idea. The food truck business is catching on like wildfire and you have to be ready to jump in with both feet – grab your slot while you can and wiggle your way into the fray! And before you do, make sure you are ready to handle everything that’s involved on all levels. Ask yourself if you’re ready to get up early, work hard, and handle the office duties (or find someone who can)? Are you up to staying on top of taxes and regulations, managing your overhead and employee costs, getting and keeping all the necessary licenses and permits, along with a hundred other things? And don’t forget insurance. You can’t go anywhere without it – literally. SIDENOTE: Did you know that some states limit the number of permits given and that some permits can last as long as 15 years before they expire? New York is one of those states that put a cap on the number of food trucks and carts on the street, which forces some people to search on the black market for a permit! Be sure to take the time to plan it out and be realistic. While it can be a veritable dream come true and give you a profitable reason to get out of bed each morning, it takes a lot of preparation and forethought. Give yourself some time to honestly answer questions like: ● What food will you put on your menu? Is it something the locals will like? ● Who will go out early and shop for the food or will you order it frozen? ● Who will help you prepare it and keep the kitchen and truck clean? ● Where will you park and what places in town will you service? ● How will you get the permits you need (keep in mind that some big cities limit the number of food truck permits each year)
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How do you handle pressure and customer expectations? Are you able to service large crowds quickly and with a great attitude? How much will you need to charge to make a profit? What marketing methods will you use? How do you plan on financing your exciting new venture? Should you take on a partner?
Which brings me to another great point – cost to get started. This is usually the first question to come to mind. It all depends on what’s available to you in your area and if you want to rent versus purchase. If you purchase outright, it can cost up to $75,000 in some cases. Just the truck alone can be upwards of $20,000, not including the outfitting of it. You may need special equipment to prepare, cook, store, clean and maintain your mobile restaurant. If you buy used, you can save a lot of money but you may need to renovate, repair or customize it to suit your specific needs. If you rent, you probably won’t be able to customize it or make any drastic changes, so be sure to take that into consideration (as well as cleanliness and making sure it’s up to all the state codes and regulations).
Keep On Rollin’ and Raking in the Dough Beyond the exciting range of food choices to offer, you have the ability to go wherever you want to go! You are a restaurant on wheels – a “bustaurant”, as some even call it. You are mobile and free! Instead of waiting for your customers to discover you, you can go out and discover them. You can go where they are. While you have the same duties and problems of a standard brick and mortar restaurant, the good news is you have less overhead, and less staff. And if the business dries up in the neighborhood, you can simply move and within minutes be where even more hungry people are waiting for your goodness.
The One Business the Economy Can’t Touch… Just like any business you’ll have slow seasons, bad weather, and some really long days to deal with – and possibly a lot of trial and error, especially the first few years. The good news? The economy will always be in your favor. How many businesses can claim that?! People need to eat – and often quickly – but they also need to watch their budget. That’s where you’ll shine! You will be cheaper – and quicker – than the neighborhood restaurants and right within arm’s reach for a quick and delicious lunch. You’ll be the highlight of their day.
All in all, the gourmet food truck business is a fantastic one to go into and it’s growing bigger and better every day. And the choices are endless – from hot dogs, ice cream and hamburgers to breakfast foods, tacos, sandwiches, soups, BBQ, and even seafood. And as long as you get permission beforehand, you can park near football games, baseball games, basketball games, airports, transportation facilities, conference centers, and malls – just to name a few. Or if you don’t mind the graveyard shift and want to really make a killing, just park outside the bars at night around closing hour! It’s all up to you. You’re truly the boss. You can choose what to serve, when to work, where to park and how you want to serve it. You can be as creative as you want… some have even refurbished old double-decker buses where people can actually sit and eat. Brilliant! You can tell that the sky’s the limit if you have a good imagination, true grit and a real desire to do this. While it’s not a piece of cake (what business is?) and it takes a while to build up your business and get a following, it can be so worth it in both the amount of money you can make and the fun you can have making it! The main thing you need to do if you are considering a food truck business is PLAN. Think it all out, put it all down on paper, and consider every angle, every need, every potential problem and possible answers to those problems, should they arise. Ask yourself are you ready, willing and able to give it all you’ve got? Remember, you can do anything you set your mind to. And you can have a blast doing it while making a killing at the same time. It all boils down to this… do you have what it takes? As I mentioned earlier, I recommend the Food Truck Riches: Inside Scoop training for indepth information and action items that apply to every aspect of running a profitable mobile food business and how to overcome almost any obstacle you'll face when starting out. It's easy to understand and incredibly insightful, filled with solutions to all kinds of common and uncommon problems alike... an excellent resource for anyone who want to start a mobile food business and great for those who see it coming and want to put in the time now to prevent failure down the road. For more information, click here to visit the official website. To your success! Frank Fleming