It doesn’t matter if you’re in a large city or a tiny town, food trucks have become increasingly popular and are even regarded as mainstream. The Association’s State of the Industry report in 2017 indicated that over 4 out of 10 operators of quikservice or casual dining strongly believe that food trucks will gain even more popularity over time.
We’ll now dive into 9 tips that anyone who is considering opening a food truck should consider.
Finding A Food Truck
It is possible to purchase a food truck for only $25,000 or a maximum of $125,000. However, according to Chris Johnston who owns the food truck, Cheese’s Pub & Grub in Chicago, you shouldn’t attempt to drastically cut down your budget when building. It is very important that you create a food truck that is strong and efficient. The best option for starting a food truck business is hiring a refrigerated van from FridgeXpress. We will help you to find the best refrigerated van for your new business to keep your food cool and fresh.
If you want to look for second hand trucks, be sure to check out your local food truck community to find great deals. You can even contact various companies that typically have box trucks such as bakeries, FedEx etc. If you buy a diesel truck, this can help you to save some cash on gas. However, make sure that you learn as much as you can about the truck so that you can easily fix any problems on your own without having to pay for a mechanic.
Get A Commissary
It is required according to local and state health jurisdictions that the persons who operate food trucks use commissaries or commercial kitchens in order to prepare the food they’re selling. These can be real world restaurant kitchens or even catering kitchens. Besides being able to prepare food in these kitchens, you can also get rid of dirty water as well as clean the truck and safely load it with food while ensuring the food doesn’t come into contact with the elements. This is certainly one of the difficulties when opening a food truck, so make sure that you use the local food truck community in order to find suitable commissaries.
One of the reasons why food trucks become so successful is because many of them take a creative approach to food. They create menus that are intriguing yet simple that customers can’t get enough of.
Next, it is also a great idea to cater festivals and various private events. Many food trucks are successful during the months of May to October according to the DMV Food Truck Association Executive Director who also has his own food truck, the BBQ Bus. One way to add to your income year-round is to do private catering for parties and events in addition to vending every day on the street. There are many people who would be happy to pay higher prices for your food during events but you have to consider the cost of hiring your own employees for your truck as well. There are also lots of customers who would be interested in hiring your food truck for events such as birthday parties, weddings, parties etc. So, be sure to create a different catering menu for these type of events.
Use Social Media
Definitely use social media to get new customers such as Yelp, Facebook, Instagram etc. You can use these platforms to communicate with your customers and figure out the best locations for the day. According to Ruddell-Tabisola, you can even give your followers on social media digital coupons to encourage sales and reviews.
There are many people who think that food trucks are dirty. However, modern day food trucks are actually very clean. So, it is important to let your customers know about your cleaning standards in order to get their business. You should also train your food truck employees on how to safely handle food through ServSafe. Make sure to place your ServSafe certification on your food truck’s window so that all your customers can easily see it.
Always strive to be a good and responsible food truck operator in your community. This will help to reduce problems with restaurants and other stores. Make sure that you don’t park near or in front of a brick and mortar restaurant, especially if they sell similar types of food as your food truck.
Be Aware Of The Laws
Take the time to read the food truck related laws for your area. There are many cities that have specific regulations on the sizes of food trucks that are allowed, sanitation, the hours of operation etc. Also, these laws are always changing so make sure that you remain up to date and flexible.
Lastly, you should always reach out to the community and become friendly with the operators of other food trucks. The food truck community is quite close and are eager to help one another. Also be sure to work with your local restaurant association so that everyone can better understand food trucks as well as for wider acceptance.