Entrepreneurs who choose to invest in a food truck come from the most different business sectors and are a constantly growing reality.
Food trucks are purchased for various purposes
- as a primary business, as an alternative to opening a restaurant
- as a means of opening up new markets and business opportunities
- to expand the range of services with proximity deliveries
- to promote new products and services
- for branding and giving visibility to the brand
- a combination of these elements
Starting a successful street food truck requires enthusiasm and planning.
Lack of planning does not necessarily lead to failure, but it certainly complicates the work of those who have to manage the business and has a negative impact on productivity.
So, what does it take to start a food truck business that works well and exploits its full potential?
A Marketing communications strategy
To start a food truck business, one must be prepared to manage two delicate aspects: storage space and distribution of the product on the road.
However large, a food truck is not the size of a traditional restaurant, storage space is limited, and this must be considered in order to understand what production volumes can be sustained.
At the same time, customers are not served at the table, they wait standing in front of the food truck and receive everything directly in their hands. This means that the product must be easy to prepare (possibly only to assemble or heat) or must be cookable in a few minutes without detriment both to the quality of the meal and the presentation of the dish.
A typical example is pasta, which cannot be served in a classic plate because it would be uncomfortable to eat, so it must be placed in different containers, similar to those used for noodles. This opens the question of packaging, which must be functional, economical and designed to effectively communicate the corporate identity.
It is therefore necessary to have a product strategy, nowadays you cannot start a business in the street food sector without a market study and a well-planned project.
Establishing a trusting relationship with reliable suppliers is essential to count on a quality product and a constant supply. The professionalism of suppliers is particularly relevant when starting a food truck business. In addition to the products, they can provide useful advice to improve the flow management and the product itself, so that it will be perfectly adapted to the sale.
A good working relationship with suppliers allows support in extreme situations; for example, when stocks of material run out during an event and extra supplies or urgent shipments are needed.
A skillful supplier can also be a support in communication, an underestimated aspect by many food truckers.
Unlike the restaurant, which usually has its own target group, the food truck is transversal, breaks down the barriers between itself and its customers, and opens itself up to the world with cheerfulness. Faced with an extremely varied clientele, the enthusiasm and sociability of the food truck operators will undoubtedly contribute to the success of the business.
In addition to preparing and serving dishes, the operators will be responsible for:
- driving the vehicle safely and park it properly each time
- keeping it clean and tidy
- managing routine maintenance
- providing energy supply
- managing properly the space and the storage of goods
It is always useful to establish a procedure for managing the food truck, planning all the activities to be carried out in order to arrive prepared for appointments with the public.
In addition, when starting a food truck business, it is advisable for operators to carry out some previous training sessions in order to familiarize themselves with the vehicle.
THE EXTERNAL WAREHOUSE
A well-equipped food truck is prepared to store large quantities of material, however having an external warehouse offers many advantages:
- more storage space
- a place to install a workshop to process the raw material and prepare the products to be sold
- a convenient point of connection to electricity
- a useful area for emptying the food truck and cleaning it
- a place to keep the food truck away from onlookers and rodents.
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY
It should be planned before starting your business, with steps to build the suspense, organize the opening and get people to try the product by winning the first brand ambassadors, i.e. spontaneous promoters of the business.
Where can the food truck be found? Which events will it participate in? What dishes will it offer?
This information must be communicated trough any available channels, including advertising if necessary.
Furthermore, it should not be forgotten that in the communication strategy the food truck is also included: your vehicle is your first business card.
A HIGH-QUALITY FOOD TRUCK
The food truck is also an object of communication, which must be incorporated into both the graphics and the set-up itself, conveying a strong brand and product identity.
Customers notice everything, they appreciate the aesthetics, the lighting and the equipment fitted, as well as the quality of the paintwork, the furnishings and of the materials used; all these elements support the sale of the product.
Starting a food truck business means getting into the mindset that everything will revolve around this vehicle. There is no reason to save on the initial investment by foregoing a high-performance, safe and solid vehicle.
The food truck will be used daily for many hours a day, will have to travel many kilometers and endure all kinds of climates. What you save by settling for a mediocre, only apparently well-made food truck, you will pay for with interest in the form of extraordinary maintenance, higher energy consumption and lower labour productivity.
We have already dedicated an article on how to buy a food truck and avoid unpleasant surprises. It is important to do good research, to understand what does and does not justify the price differences and to ask the right questions of the manufacturers.
Choosing a professional food truck builder allows you to get a lot of useful information and advice in order to reach the best solution for your needs.
VS Veicoli Speciali assists its customers from the design to the after-sales phase, putting the experience accumulated over many years in the creation of vehicles for street cooking entirely at the service of the customer.
If you are planning to START A FOOD TRUCK BUSINESS, you are in the right place: VS will give you all the support you need.