How to Successfully Run a Food Truck Business (On a Budget)
For a Step-by-Step Guide on Starting a Food Truck Business, Click Here
If you are interested in serving food to the masses, starting a food truck business can be a prosperous endeavor with minimal startup capital required. In the last year alone, three million food trucks hit the streets and have continued to prosper with very minimal risk of investment. It costs much less to go this route than opening a restaurant, which tends to supply the same type of food that you would be serving on your food truck. You can gain popularity by creating fusion types of cuisine or mainly starting with a simple menu. It’s really up to you and how bold you want to be with your cooking.
With a food truck business, it’s all comes down to foot traffic. If you place your truck in an area with lots of people walking by, you shouldn’t have much trouble gaining new business. However, retaining business can be slightly more difficult. There are dozens of places people can eat in any given area, so the competition is likely to be stiff. To keep people thinking about your food & maximize repeat business, you should try to get the contact information of every new customer, be it through email, phone number, or social media accounts. To do you this at an optimal level, you should provide an incentive for them to give out their information by offering them a discount. Most people will not just give out their info unless they get something in return. Customers can follow you on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, which reduces your advertising costs. In some instances, your costs for this can be free.
The first thing you need to think about is what type of food you are good at making and would love sharing with the population. However, this is not the only criteria you must go by. When starting off, you will probably be on a tight budget so it is important that the ingredients you use are fairly inexpensive to make in large quantities. Keeping things simple when preparing your cooking is a must. Do not try something you have never cooked before. Stick with what you know and what you love to make. It is also important to remember what your customers are going to want to eat as well.
When running a food truck business, getting honest feedback is essential to providing your customers with what they ultimately desire. You should encourage them to give their opinion by placing a ‘feedback bucket’ in the front of your truck. However, we think you should take it one step further. Because people are naturally lazy, most of your customers won’t want to go out of their way to provide feedback. However, if you offer them a small discount for giving their opinion, the amount of feedback submissions will skyrocket.
Maintaining your budget is also essential. Don’t allow yourself to go over budget to try to make customers happy or provide them with something new. In order to prosper, you must set clear boundaries with your budget. Be aware of where you stand relative to that ‘budget line’ at all times! Keep in mind that there is no formula you can use to come up with your own personal budget. This is personal, and a choice you must make on your own considering any and all expenses. Don’t forget the cost of registration and permits into your budget either.
It is imperative when starting a food truck that you take into consideration the need for a business insurance policy as well as auto insurance. In this type of work, commercial truck insurance will be required since you will be utilizing your truck each day. The cost of a broken down food truck could really set you back if you are not covered with the proper amount of insurance. This may seem like a lot of overhead, but you are working for yourself and are ultimately responsible if anything happens. Think of how much more overhead is involved with opening a real restaurant and you won’t feel so bad.