Making the decision to buy a food truck is a huge step in your journey to become a food truck owner.
The popularity of food trucks continues to grow in all areas of our country, it’s not just something we find in the larger metropolitan areas anymore. As people who have entrepreneurial spirit become aware of how to better serve the food and beverage needs of the people in their community, food trucks are popping up in small towns all over.
The food truck business is being embraced by independents and brick and mortar restaurants alike. Stand alone restaurants use their food trucks to generate additional income with their proven brand, as well as advertise for their restaurants with their rolling billboard.
Independent food truck owners find success because it allows for a lower cost of entry into the market, and it give them the freedom to have complete control over a unique menu offering. The styles of food can range from old fashioned home cookin’ staples to some of the craziest fashion offering you have every seen.
To join the growing number of “successful” mobile food truck owners you need a plan that takes you from startup, pre-launch, to launching your business. Remember even the best of plans still need to open to tweaking the plan as knowledge is gathered through experience.
There are a lot of moving parts to a food truck business the goal is to perfect as many as possible to get a good balance that benefits both your crew as well as your customer base.
You will want to make sure your menu, marketing plan, crew, cooking processes, as well as ingredients all flow smoothly for your business.
The nucleus of your business will be your food truck, it will be the gathering place for hungry customers that can’t wait to experience what you’re serving.
That’s why creating the right vehicle is so important.
Many people who are just starting their food truck planning process think it’s possible to find the cheapest truck on Craigslist or eBay and “make it work”. We have people who contact us all the that are essentially stuck with a truck that needs a lot of customization or will not work for what they need it to do. Sometimes it’s too late for us to help them when they get to that point. That’s when the launch process becomes stressful.
Thing is, it’s not their fault, buying a food truck is not a common occurrence, that’s why we try to inform folks, hopefully in the planning stages, what to think about BEFORE they purchase a truck.
Some of the questions we encourage people to ask are:
- What kind of equipment will I need for my concept?
- How will it all fit into the truck?
- Does my truck’s concept have specific regulations I need to follow?
- What is the cost of a food truck that includes everything I need?
- To do this right, how much should I budget?
- Should I finance the food truck?
It’s important to have the correct set-up and a reliable vehicle, and even more important to have a realistic estimate of what that will cost. Sometimes that number is hard to come up with without a little help.
For the truck alone (not including the equipment) you will want to look for things like low millage, and good physical condition just like you were purchasing a personal vehicle. We also encourage having a good mechanic with experience in commercial vehicles thoroughly check out the truck.
We have seen some of the best for truck plans derailed by people jumping the gun and using up their budget on a truck that was either not reliable, or needed reconfigured to support their concept. Take your time, learn more about what you need, it will save you money and stress.
Check out this article to get more familiar with the rolling rectangular boxes we call Step Vans and eventually Food Trucks