Food trucks that opened brick-and-mortar Counterparts

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.

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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.

Does the U.S. Really Have More Than 3 Million Food Trucks? Is It That Saturated?

In 2012, Entrepreneur Magazine (online edition) reported that the street food business has reached the $1 billion mark in revenues with an 8.4% growth rate in the past 5 years.  This does not just include food trucks but also kiosks and other street food establishments like carts and permanent food stands. However, of all of these small food business ventures, it is the food trucks that are experiencing the highest growth and expansion.

Why? It’s simple. In business one of the key factors to being successful is location. Well, with food trucks, you can keep moving around until you find the right location! With one major headache out of the way, many budding business entrepreneurs have taken up the challenge of owning a business. Food will always sell but it’s got to have flavor, freshness, right market, and an excellent concept.

3 Million?

According to online site, Digital there is at least 3 million food trucks and 5 million food carts in the country. The TV reality show did wonders for the industry because it gave a lot of Americans ideas on how to earn money after the stiff economy caused lay-offs and lower pay.

However, one group decided to challenge this figure of 3 million because it would mean that the food truck business is generating about 10 million jobs which it obviously isn’t.  A more conservative estimate therefore would be about 50,000 based on 3 employees per food truck. This is based on the US Census figures that the country has about 600,000 restaurants and 1 in every 5 is a street food business.

Worry Not Then

As a new business, the food truck is not as saturated as reported. It is very possible to make money in this business provided you have enough start-up capital, great-tasting food, affordable pricing, and a superb concept. You don’t even have to go all fancy with your food because lots of people really prefer good food instead of swanky food.

Find your cuisine. Make sure it is authentic and delicious. Do sample testing among strangers. Forget using family and friends to critique your business concept and food because they’ll either be too harsh which will upset you and ruin the relationship somewhat are try to be nice and say something … anything good about your ideas and food.

Finally, it’s vital that your food truck be clean at all times. This is very important because word travels fast if a customer feels that your food truck is sloppy and disorganized. It would reflect on your management style and food.