Due to economic conditions and market demand, there has been rapid growth in the street food industry. It offers convenience and cost savings to consumers, while business owners enjoy a lower start-up cost, lower operating costs and of course mobility – which provides flexibility and can attract more customers.
Mobile credit card payment systems have also made it much easier for street vendors to accept multiple forms of payment and therefore run a profitable business. This factor alone has made starting a food truck much more appealing to entrepreneurs.
Food trucks are no longer just a corner taco-selling vehicle or ice cream van. Some sell gourmet food, a wide variety of ethnic meals and even cupcakes. There are many restaurants that have added a food truck to their business to add more revenue to their bottom line and help advertise the company at the same time.
Since these trucks and vans can obviously move around, they essentially can act as mobile billboards in addition to selling food. It’s no wonder that many business owners invest in a unique company name and attention-grabbing vehicle wrap so they can make the most of their “billboard”.
So should you open a food truck?
A big benefit to this type of business is that you can go where the customers are. You don’t have to rely on them coming to your shop in a retail center or having to pay a high price for a well-trafficked location.
You can move locations throughout the day, week or month, seasonally or even locate near popular events or activities on special occasions. If you have a menu that changes depending on location or time of day, make a giant chalkboard (using paint) to display your menu, and change the items as needed.
Another advantage is that you can position your vehicle where there is minimal competition but still a significant amount of foot traffic. Unlike a strip mall or shopping center where there are several eateries to choose from, a sandwich truck or cupcake can park on a road or street corner where there are no other competing food sellers.
Compared to a standalone dining establishment, overhead expenses are much lower.
It is much more economical to setup a ‘roach coach’ vs establishing a brand-new dining establishment and all the linked costs that come with it. As an example, rent, build-out, and operating costs. Given that you are typically paying for more staff members and a physical building your overhead costs are just that much higher.
This is maybe the most important facet of running a mobile company. A good mobile food business can profit around $75-150,000 a year, not a lot of money. If you are serving food around an idea and menu that you have worked tough to establish and really believe in, while constructing relationships with the community around you, it will make the undertaking all beneficial.
In addition, food trucks are ripe for marketing via social networks. The market of customer has the tendency to be a younger, metropolitan crowd, who are effectively connected through social networks. Building a faithful following through advertising and branding using Facebook and twitter is complimentary and fun. Food trucks have been an ongoing trend for numerous years on both the east coastline and west coastline (and west coastline in particular due to their environment) but both coastlines have garnered a dynamic and young audience that have welcomed food truck and street food offerings as special, hip and stylish.
Street food is scrumptious, (usually) affordable, and hassle-free for the client. Even television is getting in on the act with programming featuring street suppliers in The Great Food Truck Race airing on the Food Network.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to running a business out of compact space.