Truthfully, starting a food truck business is no mean feat. Sure, it does seem like a fun way to sell food and make some cash. But on a deeper level, it takes a lot of planning and preparation to make this business venture a success.
And it’s not just the planning you need, or enough cash floating around to order a truck. You need to have the right skill-set as well. Otherwise, your chances of survival would be doomed before you even start. Beyond that, you have to be ready to cope with the challenges that come with running a food truck business. Believe it or not, the challenging moments will come, and you better be ready if you want to overcome these hurdles and keep your business going.
There is one good thing about running a food truck business though – you get to be the boss. Honestly, most people dream of being in these shoes at some point in their lives. But there is a cost involved. For one thing, you have to put in a lot of hours, at least in the beginning. Remember that when you are starting out, you will be setting the pace and laying some groundwork for the kind of business you want to operate. The food truck business can be viciously cutthroat, but the rewards can be quite impressive as well.
Is The Food Truck Business Crowded?
Now that the food truck industry is getting a lot of attention, many people may get the illusion that it is new and relatively unsaturated. To some extent, this is true. So, if you have an opportunity to start this business in your target market, you better act fast before someone else takes your chance. In fact, even as we speak, some markets are already pretty saturated, for instance, New York and Los Angeles. But there are other markets where ripe opportunities abound for those who want to enter the food truck business.
The mobile food business is growing briskly throughout the world. So, even if you might have opportunities to start off now, you should brace yourself for some competition down the road. For instance, you can offer unique dishes that set you apart from other food truck businesses in your market.
And no, you do not have to go all out and invent new dishes. You can simply add unique twists to popular classics and you should be a step ahead of your competition. Offering discounted prices on your meals can also hit a chord with many customers within your target market. Still, there are some food trucks making a pretty penny selling their foods at premium prices.
Then you have to consider the locations where you set up. You should seek places where you will be in a position to serve many customers in a day. However, be ready to have more and more trucks compete against you as more people launch their food truck businesses. On top of all this, you should offer quick service, because customers don’t like to be kept waiting.
And being a successful food truck owner does not end there. You have to embrace change. That means that when it turns out your favorite location is no longer giving you the income you desire, you should be quick to find an alternative location that meets your business goals. Understand that such decisions might need you to get new permits. Don’t expect this to be a walk in the park, but it’s sure to keep your business moving forward.
Furthermore, understand that you will run into unexpected challenges every now and then. This will test your patience and your resolve to keep your business moving forward. In fact, don’t be surprised to find out that running a food truck business is one of the toughest things you have ever done.
What’s A Day In The Life Of A Food Truck Owner Like?
First of all, your day will begin long before you open your food truck for business. To be ready to feed breakfast to people rushing to work, you have to wake up before the sun rises so that you can gather the ingredients and prepare the meals. That should take a few hours.
Once you are ready, you have to load the food onto your truck and head out to your chosen location. This trip will not always be easy, as trucks can break down, in which case your business might have to close for the day, even before your day has begun!
In any case, if you go ahead and have a successful day, your day will not end when you stop selling to your customers. Your day ends when you have cleaned the truck and organized it and driven it back to where you were before the day began. That requires a few more hours to your day.
While doing all this, you have to be marketing your business, and posting on social media. If you have employees, you have to supervise them. So yes, to be a successful food truck owner, you need a variety of skills.
But generally speaking, if you are a self-starter, have marketing skills, or have a teaching or business background, then you will find these skills to be handy as you operate your food truck business.
A few other skills you might need include the following:
- Learning to price your foods correctly
- Serving good quality food and fast
- Recognizing good food quality
- Learning to prepare foods correctly
- Putting together good food combinations
Reaching Your Customers
You will also have to market your food truck business. But this starts with having the right foods on your menu, the sort that your target audience would be interested in. With a good gourmet truck, you can serve niche items and have a highly defined customer base.
Otherwise, you can market your business on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. You can also take part in fund-raisers to let people know that you care about the community. Also, when you get a chance to get free publicity on a local TV or radio station, don’t waste it.
You can also design your truck in a way that gets your business attention from potential customers. Also, ensure you do not slack off when it comes to creating a strong online presence through a great website. Premium customer service is important, as it will keep the word of mouth going about your business.
Being a people person will also help, as people can have lots of questions about your foods due to their dietary restrictions or personal preferences. But even after all this effort, be prepared for some criticism. You should use constructive criticism to your benefit and refuse to let irrational critical comments about your business slow you down. Above all, maintain a good attitude and a smile to make your business welcoming.
Mechanical And Computer Skills
A food truck business depends a lot on your ability to move from one place to another. So, having mechanical skills that can help you resolve any issues that might get in the way of this happening can be a huge plus.
Such skills can help you handle simple repairs and even deal with equipment failure in your truck’s kitchen. Some of these issues should be resolved as fast as possible as they could cost you a lot of money. Computer skills are also important as you will probably have a computerized system in your truck.
Furthermore, you have to show a lot of endurance since you will need to work for long hours and at a brisk pace under fairly unfavorable conditions. Food trucks can be hot and cramped, and this can get stressful if you are not mentally prepared and physically fit.
Then you have to be patient. Things will sometimes seem to get out of control, and you have to be calm in order to resolve them properly.
And so, now that you know what it takes to run a food truck business successfully, do you think you are up to it? I hope so.
If we can help you with the food truck you will need to run said business successfully give us a call or click here to get a free quote.