Tips for starting a food truck business
Food trucks have been gaining in popularity. As more and more people recognize how convenient they are, an increasing number of consumers are actively seeking them out. In fact, according to the Association’s State of the Industry report, over 4 in 10 fast-casual dining operators believe that there will be an increase in popularity among food trucks.
Here are some of the top tips for those looking to start one:
- Finding Your Food Truck
Believe it or not, but you can find a food truck available without paying a fortune. You can find one for under $25,000. However, you can also find them available for as high as $125,000. Or you can rent a food truck new york. Because of this, you want to figure out what would work for you. While you shouldn’t cut corners when you are building one out, you do want to ensure you are getting good value for your money. A good way to save without having to sacrifice much is by purchasing a second-hand truck. That way, you will be able to find something that has depreciated but that might have what you need. To find these trucks, you should look to connect with the local community of food truck operators in your area. You may also want to contact companies that have fleets of used trucks for sale. You can even search the classifieds or on a marketplace like eBay. You want to keep in mind that you could save big on a diesel engine truck versus another option. Therefore, you do want to factor that into your buying decision.
- Get a Commissary
You will find both state and local health jurisdictions will require you to have everything to begin prepping and selling food. They will require food truck operators to use commercial kitchens that are known as commissaries to prep. These can be restaurants or even catering kitchens. You can use this for various things including food prep and getting rid of water that’s dirty and more.
- Think Outside of The Box
One of the things you will need to do with food trucks becoming ever so popular would be thinking outside of the box. There are a lot of competing trucks popping up. By having a unique or innovative idea, you will be able to craft a menu that will have customers looking for your truck.
- Expand Your Customer Base
Don’t limit yourself to selling directly to customers. Try to think about offering catering services for various events happening in your area and even at the festivals in your local area. You will find a lot of truck operators doing this including the executive director of the DMV Food Truck Association Che Ruddell-Tabisola. These small and big events can provide supplemental income throughout the entire year. You will need to factor in the added expense of hiring more personnel to handle these larger events. Therefore, you may want to increase menu items cost and more.
- Finding Customers On Social Media
You will find street vendors have the upper leg on being able to pivot and respond quickly to demand. Therefore, you should be looking at social media to figure out where you should be doing. That way, you can position yourself for success every day. You want to interact with customers on social media. Try to offer coupons they can use and even ask for reviews across these platforms. Ensure that all of your customers know the cleanliness standards you adhere to. You can post pictures of your food truck and how clean it is to ensure you are presenting your food truck as well as possible. Educating customers about your cleanliness standards is critical in an industry that has a lot of bad stigmas attached to it.
- Be a Good Neighbor
One of the key things you should be doing is being a good neighbor. Don’t do things like positioning your truck in front of a competing restaurant. This will only result in more of a conflict between brick and mortar restaurants and food trucks. This is unnecessary and it can easily be avoided.
- Understand The Laws
When you are opening a food truck, you need to fully understand the laws in your immediate area. Keep in mind, these laws can be difficult from area to area. They change frequently, as well. Therefore, you want to always keep your ear to the ground as far as any changes in the laws to ensure compliance.
- Connect With Everyone
To succeed, you should be looking to remain connected with your local community. You want to try to get to know all of the food truck operators in your area. Be willing to ask questions. While you may view all of them as competition, they can prove to be very helpful and beneficial to your business.