According to Statista.com, the food truck industry was worth 856.7 million dollars in 2015 and it has continued to grow exponentially. While owning a food truck has become a popular way to start a business or expand one you already own, there are some pitfalls that can trip you up on your road to success.
Here are 7 mistakes to avoid when running a food truck:
1. Not Picking the Right Size Truck
When you are planning and preparing to start your own food truck business, there are so many decisions you have to make that can affect the daily running of your food truck. If you buy too small of a truck to save money, it will be hard for you and your employees to work in cramped quarters every day and it will affect how efficiently you can serve your customers.
And on the flip side, if you buy a big truck, and it is too expensive, it can cut into the money you need for the actual running of the food truck. When you are creating your business plan, be honest with yourself exactly what kind of space and equipment you need to run your business successfully and what the food truck startup costs and license cost look like.
2. Not Planning Your Territory Carefully Enough
As a food truck owner, it is imperative that you take your truck to where your customers are. A strong marketing plan will help you identify potential customers and where they might live and work. Whether its city street corners, college campuses or street festivals and farmers’ markets, you need to have a plan for where you are taking your food truck every day. Wandering around looking for business is not going to get you the volume of customers you need to make a profit.
3. Mismanagement of Staff
Unless you are running the food truck on your own, the right staffing of your food truck business is also important. Besides figuring out how many people need to be on the bus at any given time, you will need to hire the right people and create employee schedules. Leadership skills are also essential if you want to motivate and inspire your employees to always do their best.
4. Taking a Part-Time Approach
A big draw to owning your own business is to avoid the 9 to 5 trap of most office jobs, but it would be a big mistake to think that means you can take a part-time approach to your food truck, only working the hours you feel like it.
You need to be prepared to work hard, often 24/7. The food truck business just like the brick and mortar restaurant business requires dedication and hard work. You need to remember that 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. You need to be prepared to commit to doing what needs to be done so that you can have a long-running, successful business. It is also important that your employees share your drive and commitment.
5. Not Making Time for All Aspects of the Business
When you have a busy food truck, it is easy to get caught up in the front end of the business, making and serving the food and interacting with the customers, but there are other aspects of the business you need to keep up with as well.
Make sure you or a designated employee is also handling the back end stuff like returning phone calls, paying bills, making sure permits and licenses are all up-to-date, and scouting out new locations to take your food truck.
A presence on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram is also a must to reach potential customers and spread the word about any promotions you are running or special dishes you might be trying out.
6. Not Appreciating Your Customers
Quality customer service should always be your number one priority. In order to build a loyal customer following, you need to offer delicious food and top notch customer service. If you don’t make a point to show appreciation for your customers and to handle any problems that crop up right away, then you are setting yourself up for failure.
7. Not Keeping Workspace Clean & Organized
When you are handling food during the running of a food truck, keeping everything clean and organized is of utmost importance to keep your customers safe. And even on the back end, if you don’t stay organized with all the paperwork and bills, you are risking something falling through the cracks.
It is important to avoid all 7 of these mistakes when running a food truck. Zac’s Burgers has food truck licenses available for passionate entrepreneurs looking to get into the business. Philadelphia food trucks are great revenue makers. If you are interested in starting a burger food truck, contact them today.