While restaurant owners might already have established businesses and know their way around a kitchen (and business plan), there are still plenty of issues restaurant owners face when starting up a food truck.
Some of these common issues can be found below.
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Common Issues Restaurant Owners Will Face When Starting Up A Food Truck
- Deciding What To Do With The Food Truck
- Figuring Out What Makes The Menu
- Deciding Where The Food Truck Will Be Located
- Finding The Right Team
- Not Knowing Enough About The Industry
6.) Deciding What To Do With The Food Truck
If you’re an entrepreneur or first-time chef, then you’re likely going to treat your food truck as an everyday business in the sense that you travel from one location to the next on a daily/weekly basis. You might even incorporate some catering gigs and food truck events along the way.
However, if you own multiple restaurants and want to expand with a food truck … you still might not know what to do with the food truck. After all, you could just travel from location to location on a weekly basis, or you could use a food truck as a catering machine for your restaurants. The key is figuring out what’s going to benefit your business and then going from there, whether it be a mixture of ideas (catering and normal locations) or going one route.
You might have a couple of successful brick-and-mortar locations, but capital could still be an issue. You might want to open multiple high-end food trucks but decide you only have the funds for one.
Capital is a common issue for entrepreneurs and business owners in the food truck industry, and it can certainly be an issue for restaurant owners as well.
4.) Figuring Out What Makes The Menu
Food truck menus typically are smaller than normal sit-down restaurant menus, although that’s not always the case. Nonetheless, it’s a common issue deciding what’s going to make your food truck menu. This issue really comes into play if you want to test out new items before incorporating them at your sit-down restaurants.
The good thing is you can get as creative and unique as you would like in this department and you can also change things up as you go, for the food truck industry is known for its creative cuisine.
3.) Deciding Where The Food Truck Will Be Located
If you have restaurants in different cities or states, then this issue will really come into play.
However, the key is doing your research and finding out where your food truck (assuming you only go with one) will have the best chances of succeeding. Food trucks are great in downtown areas and where there is plenty of foot traffic in general. They should be easy to find and travel to different locations to reach more people.
Not only do you need to find ideal locations but you will have to find the right city/state for your food truck, and that is, once again, especially the case if you have restaurants in multiple cities/states.
2.) Finding The Right Team
If assembling a dream team was easy, then every single company would have one.
When it comes to a food truck business, the most important team ingredient is finding a quality manager (if it’s not going to be you, of course) that shares your vision. While you might be very hands-on with the food truck in the beginning, you still need to find a manager who knows a lot about food trucks, the food truck industry, business, customer service, cooking, managing and the list could go on and on.
From there, you find your employees (although it might only be a couple more people since food trucks tend to have smaller staffs than sit-down restaurants).
1.) Not Knowing Enough About The Industry
You might know everything there is to know about sit-down restaurants and the industry in general … but that doesn’t mean you will know everything about the food truck industry. Food trucks are different than sit-down restaurants.
Sure, they have similarities, but you still need to do your research and learn as much as possible about the mobile kitchen industry — if you plan on achieving as much success as possible, that is.
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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.
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