The food truck industry remains the fastest growing segment of food service, Growing from $650 million in 2013 to a projected $2.7 billion in 2018. The recession of 2008 pushed talented chefs and restauranteurs out of brick and mortars to realize their dreams of owning their own business through a food truck. The food truck industry is seeing global interest from customers and restauranteurs alike.
“The Food Truck Handbook, Start, Grow, and Succeed in the Mobile Food Business” by David Weber and “Running a Food Truck for Dummies” by Richard Myrick are both very helpful books to start with. Like every new business, it takes a committed planning process to get you concept from idea to the road.
Is the food truck industry easy?
Don’t be fooled by the movie Chef that portrays an easy path to success. If you plan on owning and operating your food truck, you should expect long work days. The daily routine of a food truck operator is long and tedious: planning, shopping, prepping, marketing, cooking, selling, cleaning, storing, bookkeeping, forecasting, scheduling, advertising, etc. You will soon become an expert on many domains of the restaurant business, adding to this the joys of mechanical issues of your trucks and weather hazards.
Where should I start?
Start with your business plan. Grab your favorite pen and a paper pad, and start writing down all your ideas to establish a business model and a brand. Financial planning is key, and beyond the construction and build out costs, you will need an operating budget to cover the first difficult months on the road. Networking and consulting is key as it will help avoid errors that would be inevitable if you were launching yourself in the adventure with no consul.
What should I know?
It’s important to be aware of the local and regional regulations, including permit and certification needs to get your business started. Education is key as the food service industry, as rewarding as it seems, is extremely detailed and exhaustive. Food trucks operators are not only responsible for the happiness of their customers, but for their safety as well. Research is crucial, on the legislative side of the business, but also on the operational aspect of the mobile food venture.
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