Running a successful food truck is like putting together all the elements of your mother’s secret sauce. There are so many components that need to come together, which you then have to tweak from time to time. The recipe is not simple, and you cannot just follow it. Similarly, there are some components your restaurant consultant can talk about that will help you operate a food truck effectively and profitably.
A food truck is a microcosm of a restaurant, which means you need to market it. All successfully run restaurants are identifiable by their brands. With marketing mostly free in this day and age, there is no reason not to advertise your food truck. Facebook and Twitter are excellent platforms to market mobile restaurants. However, you need to monitor, be creative and put in a lot of effort reap its rewards. You just need to have a few customers show up when you first set up your food truck. Then, it is word of mouth advertising that works best, where people will start to talk about the delicious food being served down the street.
Be prepared to be flexible. Do not think one strategy is going to work from start to end. This is not always the case, and if you are inflexible it is likely your food truck will not last into its first year of operation. Do not over-execute a strategy. For instance, if you are open on Sunday night for one year, but can just break even, close the food truck on Sunday night. What is the moral of the story? Be prepared to shift operating hours, be even prepared to shift locations.
Most customers that enjoy eating out of food trucks are not likely to restaurant hop. They will eat off different food trucks. The best things to do is to partner with a food truck connoisseur which will give you better success, as there is already a steady stream of customers visiting a particular location to hope from one truck to another.
Do not do business in a cocoon. It will kill it. Your hospitality consultant will help you network with other businesses as this will help you get referrals, catering jobs, event invites and other service opportunities. Build partnerships in your community.
You need to have a good product, then you need to charge for it. If you offer a good quality product people will be willing to pay an appropriate price to get it. Do not mark your menu items too cheap, it will not give you any profit at the end of the day.
Invest in good restaurant staff. There is no point in hiring new people, training them and have them leave at the end of the month. Hire people that will stick to their jobs and reduce turnover.