Connections for Success

 

07.23.14

Is a Food Truck Right for Me?

Food trucks are becoming more popular in cities across the nation. Current restaurant operators and entrepreneurs are considering whether a food truck is right for them.

Statistically speaking, food trucks rarely generate high profits. Time, space, legal and weather limitations can present obstacles to a food truck’s ability to generate profits. However, food trucks can still be excellent financial strategies for new and existing operators.

Start-up restaurant operators can use food trucks to test a new concept or menu, gain customer loyalty and develop their brand before eventually opening a brick and mortar location. Existing restaurant operators can use the food trucks as an advertising tool for their restaurant. Food trucks can also serve as a catering tool for their operators.

The following are some tips to consider before purchasing a food truck:

  1. The first step should be to thoroughly understand the rules and regulations applicable to your area. Is a commissary kitchen required? What restrictions (time, distance, etc.) exist?
  2. Get to know the current food truck operators in your area. The food truck community has a reputation for working together and being an excellent resource for information. Changing laws can have detrimental consequences to the food truck industry. Operators often work together to lobby for regulations in their favor.
  3. Due to high gas prices, consider purchasing a diesel truck to keep fuel costs down.
  4. When looking at the cost of purchasing a truck, cutting corners from the start is not recommended. It is nearly impossible to add features (e.g., bigger generator, bigger oven, etc.) at a later date.
  5. Smaller trucks (18’-20’) are more advantageous in areas where parking is difficult or restricted.
  6. Use social media (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, etc.) to get your customers involved. The more successful food trucks ask their customers to vote where they should be located daily or weekly.
  7. Consider bad online reviews as a positive opportunity. Responding to negative reviews by trying to resolve the issue is a great public relations move and, if done correctly, will strengthen your brand.

Deciding whether a food truck is right for you is an exciting and difficult decision. There are many factors to consider. Please contact us at 312.670.7444 to discuss whether a food truck is the right vehicle for you.

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