People purchase and build out food trucks for many different reasons.
For example, chefs join the food truck industry with their own mobile kitchens because they want to cook food for a living and they also want to run their own businesses (among other reasons, of course).
Universities might join the food truck industry because they want a catering service that’s easily accessible when big events are going on and they want to increase their profits. Restaurant franchises might purchase multiple food trucks to spread brand awareness at special events.
The point being, people and businesses join the mobile kitchen industry for many different reasons, and for the purposes of this article, we’re going to focus in on restaurant businesses joining this wonderful industry.
With that in mind, below you will find questions that restaurant franchises should ask before opening up a food truck.
Questions To Ask Before Adding A Food Truck To Your Restaurant Business
- Do We Have Enough Employees?
- Who’s Going To Be The Manager?
- Should We Change Up The Menu?
- Are We Going To Implement Catering?
- What’s The Main Goal Of Our Food Truck Business?
- How Many Food Trucks Do We Need?
Do We Have Enough Employees?
This is an important question to ask because if you don’t have enough employees, then you’ll need to do a round of hiring (if you will). In fact, you might want to hire folks within the food truck industry (ones with food truck experience) for the simple fact that mobile kitchens are different from sit-down restaurants, meaning different strategies go into them, among so many other things.
Luckily, food trucks don’t typically need that many people to run them since they are smaller businesses. You might only need a manager and an extra employee or two to operate your food truck.
Who’s Going To Be The Manager?
A food truck manager is, of course, going to make the day-to-day decisions and run the food truck. Not to mention, a food truck manager tends to have a lot of duties, such as cooking food, taking orders, interacting with the customers, driving the food truck, managing the employees, possibly running the social media accounts, looking for catering jobs and food truck events (although this might happen at a higher level) and the list could go on and on.
As with any business and manager, this person needs to be trustworthy, a leader and amazing at his or her job.
Should We Change Up The Menu?
The food truck industry tends to put a unique twist on normal food items. While, yes, your business might already have a food concept in mind since you already have sit-down restaurants, it’s okay to change up the concept some, or even get creative with a unique spin on food items (or create new items altogether), at your food truck business. It’s also okay to test new things at a food truck. If they sell or if a new strategy is a success, then you might want to think about incorporating the item/strategy into your sit-down restaurants.
Nonetheless, how do you plan on sticking out in the food truck industry when it comes to the food department?
Are We Going To Implement Catering?
Yet another valid — and very important — question to ask. As previously stated in this article, some companies (such as universities) have food trucks for the sole purpose of catering during special events. Some big businesses and restaurant franchises follow along with that strategy as well.
Nonetheless, is your company going to implement catering? Is it going to have normal food truck locations? Perhaps it’s going to have a mix of both? You might even decide you want to travel to food truck events.
Needless to say, there are many different things you can do with a food truck, and traveling from location to location on a daily/weekly basis is just the beginning.
How Many Food Trucks Do We Need?
You might need one food truck all the way to five (possibly more). Many business owners and chefs have their own fleet of food trucks. Some people just need (and want) one food truck.
Of course, you will need to see what is in the budget and what you plan on using your food truck(s) for.
What’s The Main Goal Of Our Food Truck Business?
Why are you planning on getting a food truck in the first place? Is it to add a stream of income or another layer to your business? Maybe you only want your food truck business for special events. Or maybe you plan on attracting people to your restaurants with your mobile kitchen. This will also help with brand awareness. Perhaps you just want to try new things with your food truck.
Whatever the case might be, you need to figure out why you are planning on opening up one or more food trucks. This is your why, and your why is going to be what you tailor everything around. It’s also where your motivation is going to come from.
So, what’s the main goal of your company’s food truck business? In other words, why do you plan on opening up a food truck in the first place?
There are many questions you’ll ask yourself before opening a food truck business, and everyone’s situation is going to be different. During this process, just make sure you cover the questions above.