How it works
Ways to Start and Run a Food Truck Business
Having a degree in culinary arts or hotel and restaurant management is an advantage for someone planning to start or run a food truck business since he is already equipped with knowledge on food preparation, storage, and the actual cooking. But it is still possible for someone not knowledgeable in cooking to run a food truck business; finishing a course is not a prerequisite or mandatory. It all starts with a concept or theme and a plan on how to materialize that. It all starts with the initiative, motivation, creativity, and consistency. Just like the other businesses, we need to first plan ahead and take the risk to invest time and money on a business to run it smoothly.
After the conceptualization phase, we need to consider factors like the budget we currently have, the schedule of our food truck operations, the source of ingredients or where we can order them in bulk, and the time we can dedicate for the business. As much as possible, we should list these factors so we are reminded of what we need to complete before running the mobile food business.
We take interest in running a food truck business because it is cheaper than opening and running a restaurant. In a restaurant business, we take into consideration if the location we choose is strategic and if it has few competitors. However, food truck businesses face the same problem about locations in that the owner may not know where to park his food truck. As business owners, we do not want to mess up with a lot of competitors having similar food businesses. We choose a food truck business because it enables for a change in location where we park our food truck. We know that events are temporary and seasonal changes affect tourism in a specific area. The number of our customers may get scant that we need to move to a location where there are more people, preferably a business area.
Apart from the areas congested with different companies, we can choose a location where an event will take place or where a company will open. We expect to make agreements with the event organizers or company owners to make our leasing legitimate. If we are the first of the many other food business owners to have an agreement with the authorities of a company, we are likely to avoid tight competition in the food industry.
We also have to estimate the number of customers we will be having when our food truck business operations start. An estimate will help us determine the volume of our ingredients and the ideal hours for our business. At the end of the day, when we are done with the on the spot cooking and serving, we need to clean up the mess in our food truck so it is ready for the next day. We do the maintenance consistently to make sure we comply with the sanitary regulations.
Most important of all is that we get a license or permit to operate our food truck business. When we have established ourselves, it may be time to add some creativity to the food truck, to the menu and the overall theme which will make us have a label or a sense of identity. We need to get branded so people will know what we specialize in and they can share our brand (if they like it) on social media sites.
To make our brand recognized and gain more public exposure, we should not neglect online marketing as part of our food business’s growth. We may want to create our own website and apply online marketing strategies on it. Aside from filling out papers for tax purposes, doing inventory on paper, and computing our expenses and profit whenever our food truck does not operate, we need to update our website regularly and let the people know our next destination for a month or so. If we are unable to take care of our website and our online marketing campaigns, other people will never know our brand.
Food trucks function like a restaurant, only that they may make the seemingly expensive dishes or gourmet-type meals available to people belonging to different walks of life. Food truck chefs can prepare, cook and serve delectable meals as long as they have fresh ingredients. Some food trucks ensure that they order ingredients that are fresh produce from farmers market or organic farms. This is one advantage of being serious in a food truck business in that the owner is concerned not only in the quality of the meals it provides, but also concerned about the health of the people.