The start of the new year is always the perfect time to take a broader look at your food truck business and look to the future at ways to grow your business and create more culinary magic. Adopting upcoming food trends can keep your business current and competitive and give you the inspiration you need to be a trendsetter yourself.
Check out these X ways to incorporate food trends for 2018 into your food truck.
More Greens Please
One of the biggest 2018 food trends is the push for more plant-forward cuisines. As more people are starting to see the light about the important role vegetables play in a healthy diet, customers are looking for more dishes chockful of vegetables. To distinguish yourself from fast food, food trucks, you should try to offer more greens at your truck. This can be done in many ways. You can simply add more vegetarian dishes to your food truck menu or by adding more vegetable side dishes or toppings to your meat dishes.
According to the National Restaurant Association, chefs are focused this year on finding creative ways to substitute vegetables for meat and carbohydrates like cauliflower rice and mash potatoes or zucchini spaghetti. Peas and different types of nuts are also getting used in unique ways. Popular dishes are a beet-green pesto or broccoli stem slaw. The key is to have enough variety for everyone.
Dessert as Art Form
Most food trucks unless they specialize in desserts pay a lot of attention to offering cakes and other sweets. If they offer any type of dessert menu it is usually limited to one or two items and rarely its home made. That is starting to change though. Everyone loves something a little sweet every once awhile and cake as breakfast is becoming really popular too.
Another dessert trend is to sneak some vegetables into your dessert like cauliflower in chocolate mousse.
Arepa, the New Taco?
Who doesn’t love tacos, right? This Mexican delicacy has become very mainstream in America with most people enjoying “Taco Tuesday” every day of the week. The taco may have a stiff competitor coming from South America though. The Arepa, a corn meal dough filled with meats, cheeses and other goodies and grilled to perfection popular in Colombia and Venezuela, is starting to show up in restaurants and food trucks across the United States too. Could it be the new taco?
Homemade Breads Are Back
Bread is no longer the evil carb when it comes in the form of homemade breads from healthier whole grains. More and more restaurants are showcasing more homemade, rustic breads and customers are eating it up. While it probably isn’t practical to bake bread on your food truck because of lack of space, you can still add it to your menu by doing your baking early in the morning at your commissary and just bringing it out on the road with you.
More Indian Cuisine
More chefs will be playing with Indian flavors in 2018 and Indian cuisine could be a popular addition to your food truck. Not sure how it will go with the rest of your menu? Consider starting with just sneaking in some Indian flavors into your dishes to amp up the taste.
Transparency in Food Prep
With allergy and overall health concerns about our diets, consumers want to know exactly what they are eating and this desire will only increase into the new year. Whether you display ingredients and calories on the front of your food truck or just make it easy for customers to find out what is in your dishes, it will be important for you to be transparent about what goes into make your dishes.
Deep Fried Everything
Despite all the interest in being more health conscious, people still can’t deny the deliciousness of fried foods. This year though you will see more than just the traditional fried foods like fried chicken and French fries. You will see savory combinations like deep fried squash and deep fried and battered eggs even fried pizza. If you have a deep fryer on your truck, why not start experimenting with different flavor combinations?
Are you a Fungi?
In 2018 you are also going to see a lot more mushrooms in kitchens across the country. There are a lot of ways you can incorporate this fungi into dishes and it can bring some added fun and flavor to your menu.
Waste Not, Want Not?
Restaurants are not the only ones concerned with food production waste. Food trucks are also being more cognizant of their daily waste from food scraps to paper products. Do some research on some eco-friendly changes you can make to your food preparation process that will help you cut down on unnecessary waste.
If you are just starting out in the food truck business, also consider these couple of other tips:
- Always be prepared for the unexpected. In the daily running of a food truck business, your motto should always be to “be prepared for the unexpected”. Just like with a brick and mortar restaurant, each day is filled with its own set of challenges, but some of yours will be a little more unique. Have a contingency plan for everything from the truck breaking down to running out of food to problems with finding locations to park. Time is money so you can’t afford a lot of downtime when you are not selling your products.
- Commit to long hours and hard work. Any food truck owner will tell you that if you are looking for a business where you can make your own hours and only work when you want to then the food truck business is not right for you. With all the food shopping, prep, marketing and paperwork you have to do, there is so much more to the food truck business than the time spent on the truck cooking for customers. Be prepared to commit to doing what needs to be done so that you can have a long-running, successful business.
- Carve out the time you need for all aspects of the business. You could hands-down spend all day, every week just with the food prep and cooking, but if you ignored the other parts of your business you could end up with outdated permits and bills left unpaid. To make sure that you are getting everything done that is essential to your business, you should carve out time for specific duties. There will be time when you will have to be in your home office doing unglamorous things like paying bills and returning phone calls. It can all be a little overwhelming so make sure you hire additional staff to help share duties as your business grows.
For more information about incorporating 2018 food trends into your food truck, contact Zac’s Burgers today.