It takes serious commitment to operate a food truck business. Your day begins hours before your business opens, and it ends long after your business has closed.
Some days start by shopping for ingredients, preparing the food, going on social media and making updates, and doing some mechanical checks on your truck. Then you can open for business. But once you close, you have to clean up, and do other things.
We are not even looking into the things you will have to do while the business is open just to keep the business running successfully. In other words, running this business can be hectic, and it is certainly not for the fainthearted.
You might even have to hire someone to help you. But in most cases, as you start out, you are completely on your own and you have to do all the work. This, combined with your relative inexperience in running a food truck business, can put quite a strain on you.
That is partly why some food truck owners will even have extra hands helping them out. But this makes more sense when it comes to having several food truck locations. As the business owner, you have to take care of business at one location while an employee serves your clients in a different location.
Do employees represent an extra expense?
This can be a worthwhile experience if the risk is experiencing a burn out due to excess work. For instance, many food trucks open for longer than a regular work week lasts for regular jobs. Then you have to take into consideration the extra time needed to prepare before the job opens.
A case in point: If you open for business from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and take two hours of preparation each day and then go on to offer your services seven days a week, you would have worked about 85 hours a week! That’s a lot of hours when you compare it to most people work for just 40 hours a week, and we have not taken into account the extra hours you might open during special events, which tend to demand more hours of preparation as well.
So, this amount of work can be backbreaking. It is at these times that hiring an employee becomes a necessity. If you have a simple menu, two people might be up for the job. But if it is more demanding, you might need a third worker. You might need one to take the orders, another to cook, and another to perform other important duties.
What are Time Requirements?
You can work for long hours if you want – there is no one stopping you from doing that. But that will start to weigh on you after a while. This is where you have to decide what specialty suits you best, and stick to that. For instance, if talking to customers and taking orders is what you like, do that.
If you have the easiest time cooking and preparing the meals, then you should get into that department. Once you know where you belong, then hire an employee who can handle the other related tasks properly and you will have created a very good team.
Over time, you should have enough help to focus on building your business. Instead of being a worker in your own food truck, you can transition into being someone who is working on your business. For instance, even though you might be a terrific cook, your business could benefit more from your interactions with clients. This is not to say you have to hire full-time employees.
There are weeks you can operate the business without any help. However, when the work increases, you can always get a few people to help you. The idea is to give the customers the best value and ensure your business has the best opportunities for profit and growth, not about having time to act as the boss.
Fortunately, you do not always have to hire experienced people to help you out. You can hire anyone and give them a quick training on what the job entails and they would be good to go. That said, hiring someone with some experience wouldn’t hurt.
What Duties Do You Give Employees?
In most cases, there will be no specific job for your employee to do. But it helps to have a list of responsibilities they should do, even if you have to help each other out. For an experienced employee, you can offer more specialized tasks.
However, most new and inexperienced employees will end up being servers as it is the easiest job. Taking orders also makes the new employee understand the workflow better so that they can advance to other stages such as food preparation more easily, at the end of the day, the chef determines how the workflow goes. After all, all order tickets end up in front of the chef.
The Importance of the Chef
How efficient the whole process goes will depend largely on the chef. This is the person preparing the meals and even monitoring the orders as they come in and determines how fast the orders get out. Ideally, the chef needs to be organized and good at multitasking. However, long queues can put pressure even on the most experienced chefs.
Employee Scheduling and Pay Rates
Food truck employees may not earn much, but they typically get $8 an hour. With experience, this can increase to $10 an hour. The employees can also get tips from customers. They could also benefit from free food at the end of the shift. You can even share foods with other food trucks, and in the process, create bonds that can help you advance your businesses.
In most cases, food trucks have 2 or 3 services every day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). However, each service tends to last for between 3 and 6 hours (the location of the food truck is also a factor here).
Additionally, a food truck will also typically serve about 150 orders over each service period. That means serving a customer every 90 seconds over a service period.
In that time, you have to handle complaints, order modifications, and order mix-ups. Needless to say, that can get quite overwhelming. That is why it helps to hire employees – they will lower the workload and ensure that you offer better quality services to your customers when you have more work on your hands than you can handle on your own.
So with all that said if you still want to be in the Food Truck business, it’s best to factor in to your food truck business plan hiring employees, it gives you the chance to expand (duplicate & leverage) your business and keeps you from burning out. You are growing a business not creating a job, right?
Since you are thinking of growing your business you might be interested in knowing we offer Free Food Truck Quotes, get exactly what you will need, and know exactly what to budget for.