There are many different things a chef, entrepreneur or business might need to start up a food truck business.
However, we wanted to bring five more things into the mix, things that are universal and are must-haves when it comes to achieving success. While we have mapped out essentials like business plans, permits and an actual food truck in the past, the five things below are important when it comes to seeing success in this industry once you are actually a food truck owner, or add a food truck to your already established business model.
5 Things You Need To Start A Food Truck
- A Great Manager
- Backup Funds
- A Unique Idea
- An All-Star Plan
- The Willingness To Adapt
5.) A Great Manager
No matter what type of business we’re talking about, a great manager is a must-have.
Having a great manager at your food truck is essential (whether you’re the manager or you plan on hiring one) because this person has to be able to do so many different things, such as cook, inventory, manage and lead employees, drive the food truck (which isn’t a cakewalk), find great locations and catering events … and the list could go on and on.
A great manager alone could lead to food truck success … if you have a high-quality product, of course.
A great food truck manager has to wear many different hats, and that’s really just the beginning.
4.) Backup Funds
Backup funds will take a lot of stress off of a business or owner, to say the least. After all, while your food truck might be up and running, it might take a little while for it to become established in the form of great sales and a lot of customers. Not to mention, your food truck might see some success right off the bat since it’s new and attracts people as a result … but sales could drop off after the initial launch.
While this step is easier said than done, if you have backup funds (which is why food trucks are a great option for restaurant franchises), then you won’t have to worry as much about making a ton of money in the beginning, and this is especially important for chefs and business owners.
The last thing you want to worry about is your rent, the salary of employees, inventory costs, etc., when you’re a business owner. Ideally, you will have some funds to fall back on until your food truck business is established in the sense that it is breaking even and then some.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but so many people quit their day jobs and go after their dreams before they are truly ready, with the money department being one of the biggest areas of being unprepared.
3.) A Unique Idea
Everyone thinks their ideas are unique and they were the first people to come across said ideas. However, did you actually do your research to see if this idea was truly unique? There are many unique twists and ideas in the mobile kitchen industry, so it’s important to do your homework on this subject. Of course, if you already have established sit-down restaurants, then you will likely go with the food concept of those restaurants because they already have proven results attached to them (and an audience/customers).
It’s important to also see what types of food trucks are in your desired location. This might actually impact your food truck concept decision.
Nonetheless, do your homework, and also cook what you truly want to cook, for if you aren’t passionate about your meals and recipes, then it will likely show in your work.
2.) An All-Star Plan
While an all-star plan can certainly be covered in your business plan, what we mean by this is…
Come up with a system and strategies for your food truck.
Figure out how many times you plan on doing catering gigs a month. Decide how many hours you need to stay open to achieve success, and also figure out what types of locations you plan on venturing to. Your plan should also include services your truck plans on providing, such as being able to order online and ahead of time, just as an example.
While it’s okay to throw things at the wall and see what sticks, it’s also important to come up with an all-star plan before you start throwing things at the wall.
1.) The Willingness To Adapt
There are many different things a person needs to achieve success, and things like motivation, determination, a great schedule and consistency tend to be great ingredients to have; however, in the food truck industry, you will likely have to do a lot of adapting, so it’s important to also have this ingredient: The willingness to adapt.
While we aren’t saying you should change your strategies up all of the time and when your sales take a bit of a hit on any given week, we do think you need to be willing to adapt with your strategies and on the job. Things are going to happen at your food truck business, and you can either complain about it and proceed by not making any changes, or you can try to adapt on the fly and solve the problem in question.
Being adaptable is one of the best things a business owner can do. It makes it so a business owner isn’t stuck in his or her ways, and it can also turn a bad situation into a good situation and a good situation into an even better situation.
There are many different ingredients one must include to start a food truck, but the five ingredients above should help you see some success once you do break into the mobile kitchen industry.
Want more food truck advice? Check out more blog posts here!
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