In the last couple of years, the food truck industry has grown at an enormous rate. More and more folk are starting to see how profitable this can be, especially since the startup costs are low compared to starting up a restaurant, which can be a lot more risky. With the appropriate market research, owners are able to succeed, finding their niche. An increase of over 12% has been reached over the last 5 years, which definitely says something about this business.
Keeping up with the trends
Like with any business, it is obviously worthwhile knowing what the trends are, especially when you are looking at your particular location. It is obviously a good idea to look at something unique because this is going to help with the competition, but folks who are a little too outrageous may find that customers may simply turn their noses up. People still want to go with what they know and with what brings them a little comfort in their lives.
Restaurants turning to food trucks
A lot of restaurants have found that they could become more productive and gain a lot more by turning their operation into a food truck business. Some of these are chains and it can be easier for them to market themselves because people already know who they are. It is also good for advertising. They may still have a few restaurants open, and decide to experiment with a couple of food trucks as well. This has been extremely successful.
Establishing a restaurant from a food truck
If you look at this on the side, many folk have been successful in starting a food truck and turning that into a restaurant. Of course, there is a lot to think about because these two businesses are very different. You will need more capital to start a restaurant, it can be more stressful and a lot of the time it is a bigger operation.
When one has a brick and mortar kitchen attached, there is room for expansion on the menu. A lot of people like variety, but you also have to be careful in terms of what you can manage and how much you can cope with. This is also a good way that one can turn to events and festivals. The Olive Garden has been successful with this, focusing on the locations and focusing on the food that they are offering.
This sort of operation has also been successful when the owner starts off with something specific. An example of this is the Peached Tortilla which people will know about who stay in Austin, Texas.
A less stressful experiment can happen when a food truck builds a separate restaurant after the perfect location has been found. This is something that won’t set you back, especially when you have had that experience of running the food truck. It is simply another way of expanding instead of buying another food truck. It is a lot less risky than investing in a restaurant
There will always be the skeptics who say that this is not a profitable business to run. While you will make a living, selling food on a day to day basis, some have experienced that the profit margin is not great, and this is what holds them back. However, this does not have to be a negative aspect. Many people in this industry specialize in something and begin to sell it online. Of course, one has to have the right type of product. Motley Crew’s Heavy Metal Grille from Minnesota is a fine example of this. This business keeps on growing, and there are many others like this one.
This is always a tricky one because the success will quite often depend on where the business is based and this is why market research is so important. One has to find out what hipsters enjoy should you be selling something in Seattle. If you are based in New York City, you may be looking towards the foodies. Recently, food trucks have been serving beer and wine. However, this only applied to certain states. This also may not suit all types of food trucks. There are obviously regulations that have to be passed and you would have to have the ideal snacks to go with this. It is always important to keep up with these sorts of policies.
What do people want
At the end of the day, this is something that the owner has to ask himself. He may still enjoy a good old hot dog with fries or even something unusual on the gourmet line. However, one has to know what everyone around you likes to tuck into. This will help the business move forward. People will begin to talk about it, and word of mouth is the best thing for any type of business.
Of course, it is not only the type of food that somebody is after, but also the quality and satisfaction. You may find that there is another food truck that is similar in nature. You have to ask yourself how you are going to make your business that much better. What is going to make customers want to try your gourmet burger? Having something people know about along with that creative touch is always a good start. Customers enjoy seeing food being made where owners or chefs have a sense of passion about what they do.
Image by Ted Eytan