Just like start-up restaurants, there are food trucks that flop and close shop. In Canada, Calgary city government has made major changes to its licensing rules that a number of food trucks have not been able to comply with. In the United States, many city authorities are also feeling the pressure from brick and mortar restaurants who complain of a considerable drop in their profits blaming food trucks for their losses.
Yet, many food truck owners are reporting robust sales and a friendly relationship with authorities. How then can it be reconciled for some food trucks to work tremendously well while others give up?
The Secrets to Staying in Profit with a Food Truck Business
The biggest challenge for a food truck is making enough money with limited space, products, and work hours. The honeymoon stage of owning a food truck does not last 12 months – unless you have a huge capital to see you through as you sort out the problems of a new business.
You might also want to consider these potential situations that can drain your capital and income fast.
- Failing safety and health inspections – This can cause you a lot of money and non-profit days as you are forced to comply with city and state regulations. To avoid this, either research for the information from the right source or hire an expert to make sure you get it right the first time.
- Failing to clean equipment daily – Not being careful about clean-up after a day’s work will takes its toll on your kitchen equipment. It will hasten its life span and force you to spend for new equipment earlier than should be the case. Even replacing low-end equipment like cooking and serving utensils can eat into your profits.
- Being lax with inventory – Everything has to be accounted for from the single vegetable slice to the cooking oil. If you can’t hire a cost accountant, pre-measure everything and know the loss you will sustain for every ingredient that is wasted. If you have staff, charge them for carelessness and waste.
- Look for a parking spot that is close to your target but not too close to aggressively compete with a brick and mortar restaurant especially if you know the restaurant owner is anti-food trucks. He could cause a ton of problems even in your first month of operations. If possible, look for an untapped location where your target market can be found. Be creative.
Finally, get together with other food truck owners and compare notes. You’ll never know – you could learn a lot from the more experienced truck owners and benefit from their wealth of knowledge.