The number of food truck businesses has skyrocketed in recent times and for good reason. For starters, food truck businesses can be incredibly profitable, and they can be a lot of fun (though there’s also a lot of hard work involved).
If you’ve recently started your own food truck business or are about to, read on to learn the best tips for running your business successfully.
1. Maintain your truck
One of the biggest risks associated with a food truck business is the truck breaking down. Although maintenance cannot completely prevent breakdowns, it can certainly lower the risks. Preventive maintenance is key to keeping your truck running. If you detect the slightest hint of possible technical problems with your truck, it’s best to temporarily call it a day and fix the problem before hitting the road again.
Ideally, you should invest in a heavy-duty vehicle that can withstand a lot of wear and tear before breaking down.
2. Think beyond street service
Some food truck businesses become stagnant over time because their owners don’t think beyond street service. Of course, street service is how it starts for all food truck businesses. But as time goes by and you build your reputation, you can start looking for clients on private and public events.
If your business is known for serving quality food, there’s no reason why it can’t make the most of off-site catering opportunities.
3. Identify your target audience
The most successful food truck businesses have clarity in terms of knowing their target audiences. Simply put, a food truck is too small a space to prepare every cuisine on earth. So, you will need to decide what kind of food you want to serve and where your potential recipients will be located. This will allow you to map out the routes you need to follow to do good business.
In addition, identifying your target audience can also help you build your brand. For example, if your food truck business primarily serves Chinese cuisine, you can spice up your truck with Chinese design elements.
4. Pay attention to the technological requirements
Food truck businesses are mobile businesses, and the logistics involved in a mobile business are radically different from those involved in a brick and mortar store. For example, a food truck business simply cannot operate without a point of sale (POS) solution. In addition, the solution must be high on flexibility, i.e. it must have offline capabilities. If it doesn’t, expect to lose both time and a lot of money.
5. Get all required permits to avoid legal problems
Various licenses and permits are required for food truck businesses, and it is essential that you sort them out before you start running your business. Some permits and licenses can take a long time to secure, so it is essential to research them early.
Legal rules and regulations also tend to vary from one place to another. For example, if a particular route spans several states, you will have to comply with all their laws. Failure to do so could land your business in legal trouble.
6. Make the most of social media
Before you set out with your food van in search of your first customer, you should visit social media and let people know about your business. Set up official business pages on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest. Once the pages are set up, be active and post consistently across all of them.
Social media can simply go a long way in building the hype for your business, so when you finally hit the road, your target audience has an idea of what your business is all about.
7. Commit yourself to hard work
Last but not least, it is important for you to remember that running a food truck business involves a lot of hard work. On all working days, you will have to get up early in the morning and inspect your vehicle to ensure that it is in good condition. You will also need to start preparing for the day ahead and get everything in order.
So when you finally hit the road, you’ll be ready to serve your customers.