Food Truck vs. Restaurant
Running a food truck can be a highly profitable business. It shares many similarities with running a brick-and-mortar restaurant, although there are some differences that can make a food truck more profitable in particular circumstances. Running a food truck allows one to adapt to their surroundings more easily and test out different locations to determine which is the most profitable. A restaurant is stuck in the same location and if the area is bad then the business is doomed to fail.
Before one actually starts selling food, they need to acquire a food handler’s license for the city they plan to sell in. Be sure to check with the health department in your city to see if the neighboring cities honor the permit. It may be necessary to acquire multiple licenses if you plan to sell in more than one city.
Next, you need to determine the type of food you will sell and prepare the menu. It can beneficial to stick to a particular type of food as it can help you brand your truck. For example, if you make Italian food, you can design attractive pictures and logos that go with that theme to attract business.
Determine where you want to sell food. Areas that have lots of workers that walk to restaurants on their lunch break are great locations. Make a list of at least 3 locations that you feel will be good and try each out for 1-2 weeks. After this, compare which received the most traffic and focus on that location.
How to get business
Festivals are fantastic places for a food truck to earn a name and earn lots of money in the process. You will have to pay a fee to reserve a spot, but it can pay for itself many times over if people like your food. It is possible that you will not get much business but the access to a large amount of people that are all in the same place for an entire day will allow you to get a large amount of feedback in a short period of time. Try to offer something unique that you don’t think other people will be offering, this allows your food truck to stand out and get people to visit. If your food truck is a big hit, then you can expect an increase in business as people will recognize your truck when they see it around town. Word of mouth is extremely powerful as well. Add your food truck to sites such as Yelp, Facebook and TripAdvisor to allow people to have an easy way to discuss your business.
- Cook a few plates of your best dishes and offer small samples for free. This will get people interested and if they like the food, there is a high chance they will buy from you. Make a big sign advertising the free samples and put it on your truck for people to see.
- When you park your truck and are preparing for the rush of lunch-hour traffic, begin by cooking a few dishes of your best smelling food. Hungry people will walk by and smell a plate of ribs, pizza, burgers or whatever your speciality foods are and instantly be attracted to your truck.
- Make sure to advertise your specials in a way that people will be able to easily see them.
- Bring a boombox or small portable stereo and play music to get people’s attention and to please the customers eating.
- Set up tables and chairs so patrons will be comfortable while they eat.
Shaun D. Russell Entrepreneur and owner of russellconcessions.com, a concession trailer manufacturer located in Lucedale, Mississippi.
image credit: fotolia