The Big Question: How To Avoid A Small or Dwindling Profit Margin With Your Food Truck

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Anything that is trendy in the market is like a short story. It has a definite beginning, peak, and end. If you are planning a new food truck business, or you have a food truck business, one of the most nagging concerns should be about becoming irrelevant or rejected by customers. This is nothing unusual with trends. People get tired of the old menu or get distracted by new food ideas and quickly shift their attention away from your business. How then can you stop this from happening? The dream obviously is to be the reliable and delicious food truck in the area with a loyal following and an unsolicited, market-propelled word-of-mouth phenomenon that brings in new customers daily. You can start with food costs.

Control Food Cost

You should watch what you waste in your daily operations but you should never compromise on quality. An example of waste would be overcooking food or putting more cooking oil than is necessary. Compromising quality would be purposely not changing the cooking oil in your deep fryer because it will make your food taste greasier. According to Food Lab, once food starts tasting greasy and cannot crisp up, change your oil. Other signs that your cooking oil is old are when foam collects on the surface and when the oil turns dark and dirty.

Other ways to control food costs are by:

  • Measuring individual portions ahead of time
  • Updating your costing at least once a quarter unless the price of raw food prices and supplies changes unexpectedly.
  • Ticketing every meal or item that is sold. Unrecorded sales will ruin your inventory and tempt you to be sloppy with your accounting.
  • Being meticulous when shopping. Check weights when deliveries are made including expiration dates, odors, appearance, and change in pricing.
  • Not having just one supplier for any item or ingredient. Always have at least 2 suppliers for everything you buy so you never get shanghaied by a supplier. And don’t be scared to negotiate for terms or lower rates for cash payments.

It is also critical to know the buying patterns of your customers so you know when to stock up and when to slow down on purchasing. This means to be vigilant with your sales figures which you should graph after every 3 or 6 months. After the first year, you should have an idea of your peak seasons and low seasons.


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