The food truck industry in the U.S. is booming. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were more than 5.4 million food and beverage serving and related worker jobs in 2018. These jobs, which include those in the food truck industry, are growing much faster than the average rate and are projected to grow by 14 percent from 2018 to 2028.
People are also spending more money on food prepared away from home. In 2013, people in the U.S. spent nearly $1,500 billion on food away from home. Food purchased from restaurants, food trucks and similar establishments made up 50% of food expenditures. In other words, it's an excellent time for small business owners looking to grow their food truck business to make a move by investing in payment processing solutions and equipment.
Accept More Payment Methods
One way to grow your food truck business is by evaluating the payment options you accept. The days of cash-only service is disappearing, as those who report using cash on nearly all weekly purchases has decreased from 24 percent in 2015 to 18 percent at the end of 2018. More adults — 29 percent — say they don't use cash on any of their weekly purchases. The solution isn't to dump cash altogether, but to incorporate a system into your business that takes both, to help your food truck increase revenue.
If you haven't already, do your mobile food business a favor and start accepting credit cards today. Velocity Merchant Services can equip your business with all the tools necessary to quickly set you up to begin accepting cards like AMEX, VISA, MasterCard, Discover, debit and mobile payments. Since you're always on the go, your food truck business needs a versatile payment system to match your needs. This is why we offer multiple mobile payment solution options that allow you to accept mobile payments with credit, debit and more. These portable options include things like Clover Go and iCharge, which turns your mobile device into a payment system, and Clover Flex — a small device that packs the powerful punch of a full-featured point-of-sale system.
Incorporate Technology to Your Operations
Your food truck business should have technology in place to keep up with your customers. A point-of-sale (POS) system is vital to a small business's success. POS systems allow businesses to track sales, run payments and place orders. Many POS systems are used on a day-to-day basis and for every transaction you process. The systems need to function at their best so that business transactions flow effortlessly. When transactions start to drag, customers notice. If your POS system is showing any of the following signs, it might be time to upgrade.
Three signs it's time to upgrade your POS System:
- Diminishing quality: If you can't remember when you last updated your system, it might be time for a new one. As POS systems age, they usually don't work as well as they once did. Your POS should also have adequate RAM or memory and a hardworking processor to run on, which will help speed up transactions.
- Poor internet connection: A slow internet connection can delay the time it takes to process credit and debit cards. As your food truck business is continuously on the move, look for a provider with a wide enough coverage area to reach anywhere your truck travels. You should also make sure your POS is operating on a secure network that is not being used by any team members for personal reasons to avoid any potential threats, such as malware.
- Frequent use: Too many transactions can slow your system down, so if the business is booming, consider upgrading your POS or add some terminals for backup. You might want to look into switching over to a digital system that can offer your business 24/7 in-house support for added flexibility. A new digital POS system will surely be a faster upgrade that allows you to help customers more efficiently.
One POS specifically useful for small businesses on the move, such as food trucks, is the Clover Flex. The Clover Flex is portable, small and straightforward, leaving you more space in your already cramped quarters. Using the Clover Flex, your business can accept all types of payment including chip cards, magstripe cards and other payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, speeding up and simplifying the payment process while keeping it secure. The funds move to your business's bank account automatically and can appear as soon as the next business day. You can track all transactions made using the Clover Flex online.
Market Your Vision Effectively
When you started your food truck business, you likely had a vision in mind. Now, as you work to grow your food truck, you want to spread your vision to attract more customers. You should connect your vision to what already matters to your customers. One great way to do this is by telling a story. While some people will remember facts like the date you founded your business, people will connect to a story emotionally and remember how it made them feel.
If you are unsure of the story you want to tell or if you have a story at all, think back to what made you want to become a business owner. Ask yourself why you chose to become one and keep asking until you have your story. To get your point across, use a metaphor. Share your vision with the world to boost your business, and share it with your employees to drive your team.
Have a Kick-Ass Team
Having a fantastic dream team of hardworking people around you will help you grow your food truck business. In order to ensure everything runs smoothly, it's a good idea to hire an expert in each area. To manage the customers, you want someone with loads of customer service and front-of-house experience. To prepare food that's to die for, you need a talented chef.
Once you build your perfect team, you must do your best to keep them around. One way to build loyalty is to offer your team competitive wages. If you're not sure what market salaries are for your industry, sites such as Glassdoor or Payscale can help. You can also offer members of your team perks and activities to keep things fun and to help employees feeling valued. Working in a cramped atmosphere like a food truck can sometimes be challenging, but it's a lot easier when the team works together and enjoys each other's company.
Trust Velocity Merchant Services to Help Grow Your Small Business
You've worked hard to grow your food truck business. Now, let Velocity Merchant Services help you by providing straightforward, safe and affordable payment processing solutions and equipment. We want to make the process of running a small business more manageable for our customers across all industries, so they can continue focusing on what's important — moving forward. At Velocity Merchant Services, we've provided the highest caliber of service to more than 5,000 merchants, so it's time for your business to see what we can do for you. We're also available to assist when any questions arise or you need help, providing our top-notch customer support. Don't wait, contact us today.