The food truck phenomenon is taking over cities all across the U.S. From New York to LA, they are navigating their way to a street near you.
Running a food truck sounds easy: get some supplies, get some gas, serve up some food and drive off with the dividends. In fact, the food truck industry is much more complicated and deserves the attention and consideration a regular bricks and mortar restaurant concept needs to run. A business plan? You bet. Menu design? Absolutely. Branding? Vital to capturing- and keeping – guests. Top food consultants developed the following list on some Dos and Don’ts for running your own Food Truck:
- Get Noticed. An innovative name, concept and logo will get you noticed from afar. Get creative!
- Clean Your Machine. A clean, fresh-looking food truck will keep customers happy, and neighbors and authorities at bay. From the counter to the grill to the wheel rims, make sure to sanitize and clean inside and out every day.
- Prep Please! Prep as much of the food as you can before you set out, but finish the items/meals in the truck before serving your guests so dishes are as fresh as possible. You should be able to do the scooping, icing, baking, reheating and even final cooking in the truck.
- Play Music. Create a fun, festive atmosphere inside your truck so patrons can hear the music. You want to attract them, not over take the neighborhood with your tunes
- Be Friendly. Even though you may be competitors, make friends with your fellow food truckers. Exchanging information, swapping good spots and informing each other on the latest food truck regulations are crucial to your business.
- Overcharge. Remember: no matter how fabulous your truck looks, how convenient it is for your customers and how delicious your food is … you are still serving food out of a truck! Keep that in mind when creating your mobile restaurant business plan.
- Be Too Fancy. If your customers need a knife to cut their food, don’t serve it. The whole idea is ease and convenience. Keep this in mind while creating a menu.
- Be Pretentious. Sure, you may think your food is the best and your operating skills are unmatched, but keep in mind your not operating out of The Ritz. Focus on serving good food and creating an inviting vibe for your customer, not your ego.
- Neglect Your Permit. Make sure you keep your permits and all necessary paperwork up to date and up to code.
- Have Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen. Any food consultant will tell you to keep kitchen help down to the minimum. It is already a tight space, so hire chefs that can multitask, cook the food, plate it properly, and serve the customer with a smile.