Modern American culture highly values independence and mobility. Our daily schedules have become packed frequent movement between our place of work, stores, restaurants, and more. In fact, our culture is so mobile that only 8.7% of houses in the U.S. do not possess a vehicle.
The fast pace of American life is reflected in the way we eat. More and more, busy professionals, parents, and students use drive-through and grab-and-go food options to fuel their work days. This market trend has lead to an influx in food truck popularity. Hungry travelers looking for a convenient bite with more flavor than fast food flock to food trucks for their delicious quirks and quick service.
For the right individual, starting a food truck business can be an incredible opportunity to take a passion for cooking on the road. If you’re hoping to find fun and glory by running a food truck, start your business right. Stick to these three expert tips to avoid mistakes and find early success in the food trucking industry:
1. Advertise, Advertise, Advertise
In any industry, marketing and branding are essential to pulling in customers. Without a company image, your food truck will fail to intrigue hungry passerby. Start by incorporating interesting, bold, and memorable signage that can be seen on your truck from a distance. Since 79% of Americans remember a business because of its sign, imagery and signage are absolutely crucial to getting your food truck business off the ground. Develop a pitch for your business, too– if someone asks you what your food truck is all about, be able to state your mission and passion in 30 seconds or less. Having a stated goal will help your team rally around your cause, and it will help customers or potential investors see your business as legitimate.
2. Pick One Thing, and Make It Amazing
Food trucks are small. Unlike a full restaurant, a food truck can only offer a handful of menu items because there is limited storage space for ingredients. Rather than trying to fill the menu with a little bit of everything, simplify and focus your customer’s options. Pick a few main dishes, appetizers, and drinks to perfect– your customers will value flavor and quality far more highly than a variety of choices.
Also hone in on the style of your cuisine. For example, rather than simply saying your truck makes American barbecue, specify which of the four American barbecue styles (Kansas City, Memphis, Carolina, or Texas) is your area of expertise. Customers will better remember your business if the cuisine seems specialized and unique.
3. Get Out There and Do It
Starting any kind of business is frightening, and it can be tempting to hesitate before launching your food truck. Take time to plan the details of your business investment, but don’t spend years of your life waiting for the perfect moment to get out there. The best food trucks are made through trial and error. After you’ve researched all you can and practiced making your cuisine, hit the road, and start learning through doing. After all, in the food truck industry, practice makes perfect. With patience and resilience, your startup will become well-rounded and well-seasoned in no time.
It takes a certain bravery and passion to succeed as any kind of entrepreneur. However, making it as a food truck operator takes even more grit and heart. With an eye for advertising, a few good recipes, and a leap of faith, your food truck dreams could soon become a delicious reality.