Food truck businesses are becoming more and more popular as food lovers become increasingly dissatisfied with the food at chain restaurants. These businesses can be more profitable than traditional restaurants in part because of their low overhead. However, starting a food truck business also comes with its own set of challenges that aspiring entrepreneurs should be aware of before taking the plunge. There are a lot of perks to owning a food truck, but there are several things that new owners should keep in mind when diving into this line of work. Here are five tips for new food truck owners to help you set yourself up for success.
Location Is Everything
You will have to decide where you want to set up shop, and this is the first step towards making money with your food truck. You’ve probably heard the saying “location, location, location” before, but it couldn’t be more true when it comes to running a business. If you want your business to succeed, you need to make sure that people can find you easily and quickly so they can come back for more.
Food Safety Is a Must
Food safety is the number one priority for any restaurant owner, but it becomes even more important when you’re operating out of a food truck. You’ll need to be extra careful about keeping your coolers and freezers clean, storing your food at the correct temperatures, and making sure that you’re not serving any contaminated dishes.
Make sure everything is up-to-code. The last thing you want is for your business to be shut down because it doesn’t meet local health codes or other regulations. Make sure that your mobile kitchen complies with all applicable laws and regulations before opening day, including having the proper permits and licenses needed to operate in your area.
Food truck regulations are different for every city; however, Mobile Cuisine, is a great online resource that caters to the mobile food industry. It even has a handy one-stop-shop for each major city’s requirements regarding food trucks
Marketing Is Key
Although relevant for all business owners, this tip is especially important for food truck owners. The first thing you need to do before you even open your doors is establish a marketing strategy to get people to come and try your food. You don’t want to invest money into your business only to have no one show up, so make sure that you’re reaching out to your target audience through social media and other forms of digital marketing. You can achieve this by creating an online presence. Even if you’re not looking to get online reviews, having an online presence is important for any business — especially one that serves food. When it comes to restaurants, most people will check out the menu on their website before they visit the restaurant itself, so it’s important that you have one in place before opening day arrives. In addition, having an online presence allows customers who aren’t from around town (or even from around the state) to see what kind of experience they can expect when visiting your business — which means more potential diners!
Learn to Adapt and Adjust
You may have had a specific vision for your business, but it’s important to be flexible when it comes to making changes. The first few months will be difficult as you figure out what works best for your business and what doesn’t. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try something else! Nothing ever goes according to plan. You will encounter obstacles along the way, and some days will be better than others. The key is learning how to adapt and adjust accordingly. This will make it easier for you to succeed long-term as an entrepreneur.
Be Prepared for Unexpected Expenses
The last one of our tips for new food truck owners has to do with finances. As with any business, unexpected expenses can pop up at any time — especially if it’s your first time in this industry. Be sure to save money each month so you have enough cash on hand in case something goes wrong or if business takes off faster than expected. This starts as early as when having your food truck built. Many trucks & trailers manufacturers show pricing for an empty truck. Make sure you compare quotes that offer the same quality & equipment. At United Food Truck, we make sure to provide our customers with fully functional kitchens that are code compliant, so that your business can be up and running as soon as you get your truck!
Owning a food truck can be a great adventure, but make sure you understand what is entailed before you commit to the idea. There’s a lot that goes into running a successful food truck business, but with the right preparation and planning, you can overcome most of the challenges you may face along the way. Taking the time to focus on these tips can lead to better quality, a more successful operation overall, and even greater customer satisfaction for you and your clientele.
At United Food Truck, we understand and appreciate the investment that every mobile business requires. We design, build, and sell custom food trucks, concession trailers and food containers worldwide. Our designs are made exclusively for each individual customer and their needs. Our specialists are ready to discuss your project, contact us today for your custom quote!