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Food Truck 101: 5 Tips for Starting a Mobile Restaurant

food truck

Head to any city or local event and you're sure to spot a few food trucks serving tasty morsels. Are you considering becoming a food truck owner, but don't know where to start? While working as your own boss may seem simple, running a successful food truck business is anything but.

Here are 5 must-follow tips to start a successful food truck.

1. Inventory Yourself

Being your own boss and working as an entrepreneur may sound like a dream come true, but the fact is that running a food truck isn't easy. You'll have to be headstrong, decisive, and completely committed to making your food truck work. Your appetite for success must know no bounds.

In the beginning you can expect to work long hours, which means personal relationships can be challenging. You'll have to spend hours developing a brand, a menu, and determining a vision for your food truck. As the owner you'll also be responsible for training your staff, food inventory, truck upkeep, and much more.

So before hopping into the food truck industry, ensure that deep down you're the right person for the job. Otherwise the heat of the kitchen may become a bit much.

2. Know How to Shop for a Food Truck

Obviously there's no food truck business without your very own food truck. But before you venture out to buy a food truck, you'll want to know exactly what you're looking for and how much you can afford. Depending on the appliances and bells and whistles that you need in your food truck, prices can range anywhere between $25,000 to $125,000. It's important to get a food truck that has all of the items you'll need to properly prep and cook food.

If you're looking to run a food truck but on a smaller budget, consider looking at used food trucks for sale. A used truck is a budget-friendly option that allows you to get out on the road and selling your food. As you make profit, you can consider purchasing a brand new truck.

3. Be Willing to Learn

Entrepreneurship is all about networking and learning. Long before you ever open your food truck, you'll want to soak in as much information as you can. Network with other food truck owners and get the inside scoop about the industry, local customers, and challenges you can expect.

It's also beneficial to experience hands-on learning. If possible, work on a food truck before opening your own. This allows you to get your feet wet so that you can make 100% sure that this career path is the one for you. Working at a restaurant is another great way to learn the ins and outs of the food and hospitality industries.

Other ways to boost your knowledge of food truck ownership include:

  • Reading books
  • Joining a local entrepreneur network
  • Attending food truck events
  • Browsing blogs

The more you learn before opening your food truck, the more prepared you'll be. In turn you can face challenges head on and know what to do when things don't go as planned.

4. Be Unique

These days there are an endless amount of food trucks that sell good tasting good. In order for your food truck to beat the competition, your menu, branding, marketing, and everything in between have to be top notch. Your food truck needs to be unique and you have to provide a good customer experience.

Find ways to work some magic into your food truck. Instead of cooking behind the metal walls, opt for transparency and allow customers to watch their food being prepared. Use fresh ingredients that are locally sourced. Host competitions and giveaways to pique interest.

5. Be Realistic

The dream of opening your own food truck may be much closer to becoming a reality than ever before, but make no mistake, running a successful food truck is no easy feat. While it seems like a carefree way to make a good amount of money, especially on those sunny days, the fact is that operating a food truck is anything but easy.

Your days will be filled with food prep, interacting with customers, and hopefully dishing out dozens of orders each hour. You'll have to find time to market your company on social media, take pictures, and communicate with potential patrons on social media. And let's not mention the dreaded truck breakdown.

Being your own boss has its perks, but know that accountability is key. You're not only accountable to yourself but also to your customers, vendors, and anyone who has invested in your business.

Conclusion

If you're a foodie looking to share your delicious bites with customers, owning a food truck may seem like the no-brainer option. But before jumping into the industry, be sure you follow these 5 tips to pave your path to success.





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