Starting a Food Truck
The food truck has slowly been becoming a favorite across the country with festivals being thrown for food trucks of various kinds in nearly every major city. Nearly every type of food has its own food truck, with some combining different ethnicities of food. Starting a food truck can be a great precursor to opening a restaurant. On the other hand, established restaurants that also have a food truck do not have to worry about building a name or reputation. There are plenty of things to think about before investing your hard-earned money. Licenses and health codes are first on the list but the following aren’t far behind.
Obviously the first step is getting the truck you want to start your mobile kitchen in. Old food trucks can be quite helpful as they will already have the setup for all of the mobile restaurant equipment necessary. Besides commercial cooking equipment, it is important to think about ventilation in your food truck kitchen, especially when cooking high volumes. Food truck exhaust fans help trap and push the smoke, grease, and other contaminants out of the truck’s kitchen. In the tight quarters of such a kitchen, a food truck exhaust fan will also help remove the heat from the truck, allowing cooler air from outside to flow inside more freely. Plus, whether it’s a freezer or refrigerator, it takes some powerful commercial equipment to effectively keep the ingredients fresh and prevent the food from spoiling. One string of food poisonings can end a restaurant business of a young or even a more established food truck. Getting a food truck exhaust fan with a grease trap will give the added bonus of protecting your truck and the staff from a dangerous close-quarters grease fire.
There are some locations across the United States where food trucks do not make sense. This is because the climate is too cold to stand outside and wait for your food. Warmer locations like that of Austin, Texas are perfect as there is a huge outdoor culture and even bars that have spaces food trucks can rent out. Smaller towns with people that are generally spread out might not be a great place for a food truck either. The larger number of people that can see and order from a food truck at one time is the best way to boost profitability. Every second the food truck is moving or not selling food is a loss as food spoils and gas costs pile up.
Expansion of Your Current Operation or Food Truck Only
Food trucks are a great way to expand a current operation by making a mobile option. A restaurant that is a city favorite but is located on one side of a large city is a perfect example. Sending the food truck to the other side of the city can help maximize profitability during the lunch and dinner hours. With a solid name already established only minimal marketing will need to be done for the food truck. Simply showing up in a populated area on the other side of town will create a chatter which will spread the word.
If the food truck is establishing a new business and stands alone, it faces other difficulties. Gaining a reputation for great food at a great price takes quite a few things. Finding enough customers is the first challenge then getting them to talk about it via reviews or social media is another challenge. Online reviews can help build a reputation in a short amount of time so reward first time customers and ensure they have a pleasant experience.
The adventure of starting a food truck can be rewarding. With the close quarters of a food truck it is important to get along with your staff. Leaving best sellers on the menu and trying out other options is what will perfect your food truck menu. Start a food truck then expand when it’s successful and you may yet have a fleet of trucks in a matter of years.