Maximizing food truck revenue checklist
Check the 7 most important things to do right if you want to make the most out of your food truck business and increase revenues.
7 most important things to do right if you want to make the most out of your food truck business and increase revenues:
Consistent image and clear message
Make sure people know what you are selling. Ideally, people should be able to figure out what type of food you are offering at first glance and from a distance. It is good to have your food truck colors and logo aligned to the type of food you are serving. You don’t need to have the newest nor the prettiest truck, but make sure to communicate to people what they can expect to get in your food truck.
Small menu and a picture of every single item you offer displayed on your truck
Keeping your menu small, and by small we mean no more than 5 items, (not including variations) will ensure two things. First, it will be clear to people what type of food you are selling and your image will be consistent. And second, you will make people believe that you are able to maintain the proper quality of food offered. If you are selling burgers, ice cream and curry on the same truck, you are very likely struggling to keep the proper quality of food, and you will certainly be perceived as so.
Having a small menu will allow you to have a picture of every single item you offer, displayed on your truck. Remember that people are buying with their eyes. This easy and quick trick will make it very simple for people to decide to buy.
Quality of products used to prepare a food
It is important not to take shortcuts when choosing products you use to prepare the food. It is a huge magnet and differentiator for your food truck, to offer, let’s say, a homemade sauce instead of a bought one. Don’t underestimate the power of small details, this will make all the difference to your customers.
Offer must match with the target audience (Or target audience match with offer)
In the food truck business, it is crucial to match your food offer to the target group, or the target group to your food offer. Most of the food trucks are mobile, which gives their owners the power to drive up to the downtown business district where people are less price sensitive, but they also need a more sophisticated food offer, and to the University, where there are students to be served, who are price sensitive but not so demanding. It all comes down to thinking about who might be interested in the type of food you are offering and driving your food truck to places where such people could be met. It is not worth fighting with windmills and choosing places and events where our food will not sell.
Food truck exact location
Once you know to which place or event you should go to meet people interested in your food offer, it is equally important to choose the right spot for your truck. It makes a huge difference to have your truck parked by the University entrance rather than have it parked in a corner where no one is walking. Even the best food truck locations and events could result in very low sales if your food truck spot is just not right. One of the tactics to secure the best spot in the popular location is to send a “staging car” ahead of your truck to reserve the spot before another food truck takes it.
Food truck condition
In order not to lose money it is extremely important to keep your food truck in good condition. If your mobile kitchen breaks down, you will not only lose money by spending on having it repaired but most importantly you will lose a lot of money by not being able to keep selling. Remember to service your truck regularly. If your truck breaks down suddenly on an important day, it will mean big losses for your business. You will lose the opportunity to sell, the food prepared in advance will be wasted and fees for permits will not be refunded.
In case the worst happens and your truck breaks down suddenly on a day, or just before an important event, it is usually worth hiring a car carrier to get your truck to the place where you were heading. This will allow you to take advantage of a big sales and not waste food prepared in advance, as long as your kitchen works. A truck could be repaired later on when more quiet days come.
Measuring, tracking and analyzing
A food truck is a business like any other and every aspect of it need to be monitored, tracked and analyzed in order to bring the highest possible profits. Obviously, the most important thing is to sell and to have a line of people waiting to get served. Nevertheless, it is also important to monitor food-related aspects of your business, like food costs, and overall business costs like permits/events fees and employees costs. If your food costs start to be too high, your business might simply become unprofitable. Consequently, it might happen that you are selling a lot and still losing money.
Try not to lose track of the big picture of your business and concentrate on finding the perfect formula that will bring you the biggest profits. It might be that certain days of the week are most profitable in downtown business areas, while on other days it is better to park next to city green areas. On certain big events, you might be able to have huge sells, but permits and preparation cost might eat up all your revenues, or your truck might not be prepared to store a large amount of food. In conclusion, weight should be the best friend of the food truck owner, and analysis his favorite exercise.