by Grace Barone
Food trucks have revolutionized the dining scene by providing a delectably distinctive experience that is unmatched by more formal restaurants. There are several advantages to having a food truck, including more visibility, greater flexibility, financial savings, and more. A food truck might be the answer to your success, whether you're an established restaurateur trying to grow your company or a new business owner looking for an economical method to enter the food industry. I've researched the food truck industry and have created the top 5 benefits of running a food truck.
Restaurants can be a costly investment. Renting out a space, utilities, large equipment, inventory and more. One of the major benefits of starting a food truck is the affordability. Food trucks offer a much lower cost of entry. This makes it much easier for people to get into the restaurant industry with a lower financial risk. Approximately 60% of restaurants fail within the first year. One of the major reasons for this is business owners can't keep up with the cost of keeping a restaurant open. By starting with a food truck, the cost is lowered substantially. This raises the chances of the business staying open longer.
Another huge reason restaurants fail is poor location. When you run a traditional restaurant, you're tied down to one spot. With the cost of rent rising along with inflation issues, you may be limited with location options. If you get stuck with a less than ideal spot for your restaurant, you could be setting your business up for failure right out of the gate. With a food truck, you have the freedom of going to essentially, any location you want. Of course there are limits, but food trucks have the ability to park at popular events, outside office buildings, or in high-traffic areas, making it easy to attract a steady stream of customers.
If you really want to take every opportunity to make a profit, you can spend some time figuring out what locations are the most profitable at certain times. You can then base your route on that to maximize revenue. The ability to move around can also be a good opportunity to scope out areas for a potential permanent spot. You can see what areas have more potential for success and which you should stay away from.
Since you're saving a lot of money on your initial investment, its a good idea to spend a little extra decking out the outside of the truck. You don't need to go crazy, but making sure the name of your mobile restaurant is visible and clear is a great idea. When you do this, you essentially have a mobile bill board at all times. This is free advertising for your restaurant. Food truck owners can establish a strong marketing machine that serves to increase traffic and gradually gain loyal customers by branding the vehicle with a logo and social media handles. Having QR codes on the truck can also assist with advertising and marketing efforts.
As mentioned before you have major flexibility as far as location of your restaurant. But the flexibility doesn't end there. You also have flexibility in terms of hours and staff. You also have the freedom to create your own hours and how many staff members you employ. There are obvious space limitations so you don't need the same amount of staff that you would at a traditional restaurant. Since you aren't bound to set hours you can pick an choose when you're open and for how long. Of course, if you want to be successful you should be open at regular hours. But, if you find that you get no business at certain hours, you have the flexibility of not wasting money by staying open during unprofitable times.
Another area where you get more flexibility, is the menu. You have much more room to experiment with menu items. If you're trying to figure out what food items do the best, you can try out different options much easier than at a traditional restaurant. Of course you don't want to be changing your entire menu everyday, but you can switch it up to see what people like the best.
5. Customer Reach
This goes hand and hand with location and advertising. You're going to the customers, not the other way around. If you're trying to find your customer niche, you can explore and work on your advertising and location scouting to find them. People really like the idea of food trucks, they're fun, quick and much more sanitary than other street food. Food trucks are more than just a source of delicious food – they're also an opportunity to build community. Food trucks can bring people together around a shared love of food and a desire to experience new flavors and cultures. By participating in local events and festivals, food trucks can become an integral part of the community and help to support local businesses and organizations.
Tools to Help Food Trucks
You'll need a few different things to get you started on your food truck journey. The obvious items are of course a truck of some sort, kitchen supplies, food inventory. But you'll also need a POS system. This is were some people get hung up. You cant really have a huge cash register, there is limited space and you don't want to use up your counter space on a POS system. Many food trucks go the cash only route to make it easier. But food trucks don't need to worry about that anymore! Clover offers a few different mobile payment device options that are perfect for food trucks.
The first option is the Clover Flex. This is a hand held POS device that you can take with you anywhere. The Flex works on both LTE and Wi-Fi. This means that no matter where your food truck goes, it will be able to accept all forms of payment.
The second option is the Clover Mini. This one also works on both LTE and Wi-Fi, the only difference is this POS system is stationary. The Mini is 4 x 7, so even though it is technically stationary, its small enough that you can move it around if need be.
Both options do everything the larger systems do just on a smaller screen. You can also connect all of your Clover devices. Maybe you have a traditional restaurant and a food truck, all your inventory, sales tracking, business reporting for both locations will be stored on the same interface.
Food Truck Apps
With the Clover systems, there is a whole marketplace full of apps available to download. There are hundreds of apps to choose from but one app that is made for food trucks is called "Food on a Truck". With this app, you can input the location and hours of your food truck. The app connects to Twitter and will send out tweets giving the information of where and when you'll be at various spots. This ensures your customers know where you'll be at. This ensures you aren't missing any potential business as well as growing your customer base. This app also provides great sales data, you will be able to see how well your food trucks sale's were based on location. This will help you scout out areas and make educated decisions on your locations and routes for the future.
Getting a Clover Device for your Food Truck
If you're interested in getting a Clover device for your food truck, visit getvms.com or fill out the form below. We will help you get a Clover POS system of your own and set you up with the right apps for your business. Starting a food truck can be a fun endeavor, make sure you have everything you need for a successful business!