The idea of going into the food industry is to make money, be your own boss, and enjoy doing something you love. The food truck is a great way to start because it does not require the capital of a full-blown operations. However, the ultimate dream to be financially stable or prosperous has a greater chance of being realized if a food truck owner can transition to a brick and mortar restaurant which will allow the entrepreneur to sell more food to a larger market at regular working hours.
A few hardworking food truck owners have been successful in doing this. Take a look at their inspiring stories.
Josh Saltzman and Trent Allen started their food truck business, PORC, in 2011. They bought a UPS van and converted it into a food truck selling pulled pork and coleslaw. After almost getting into an accident on the food truck, they decided to turn their business into a brick and mortar establishment. Their products were selling well but they were not happy with doing everything. There are around 19 food trucks in the DC area that have also followed suit like Far East Taco Grille, Popped! Republic, Curbside Cupcakes, and SOL Mexican Grill. The road to moving into a permanent spot is easier because you have already established a history as a business success. Banks are more willing to sit down and discuss a business loan with an established business person. You can show your assets, Twitter followers, and even give them a taste of your food to seal the loan!
According to Kristi Whitfield of Curbside Cupcakes who opened her brick and mortar restaurant last October after running a successful food truck for more than 4 years, “If it weren’t for the food truck, none of this would be in existence.”
Quick Tips on How to Know When You Are Ready for the Big Time
Moving from food truck to permanent location is a huge step and sounds like the perfect ending unless you want to start franchising. It is important to know when this can happen so you don’t waste a golden opportunity with lenders and investors.
- Build your market and reputation. Investors look at your online reputation as well as your standing in the community you serve.
- Don’t change your menu frequently because it will take you longer to build your name and reputation
- Start introducing yourself as an enterprising individual with big dreams to your customers. You never know who among them would be willing to invest in your business.
- Save, save, save if you do not want to apply for a business loan.