Today we discuss the best practices to help fight rising food prices to give food truck owners the ability to maintain or even improve your profit margins.
If you’ve spent any time watching the recent national economic trends (and I always suggest every food truck owner should), you will have noticed some disturbing figures. Those figures are showing that the prices of food products such as meat, produce as well as a whole grocery list full of food items are up dramatically this year and are projected to get even higher.
To the mobile food business owner this means that even with a long list of summer food events to attend, steady sales and long lines at your food truck’s service window, food and other cost increases are putting additional stress on your already narrow food truck profit margins.
Now might be a good time to step back and make sure you’ve installed smart purchasing practices and doing everything possible to maximize the yield of every product that makes it into your shopping cart and minimize losses to shrinkage, waste, spoilage and over-portioning.
Here are 5 tactics used by many of the most successful and profitable food trucks. If you aren’t currently using them, now is the perfect time to retool and improve your food cost control systems.
5 Proven Tactics To Fight Rising Food Prices
- Don’t over buy. Buy just what you think you’ll actually use on a given day. This will reduce waste and improve portioning, as employees won’t think they have an endless supply to use. Weekly head count historical data should be reviewed to know how much you sell from location to location throughout the year.
- Understand your product. Are you using the most appropriate grade or quality of product for a specific cooking technique or dish? If 99% of your customers can’t tell the difference, maybe it’s time to reconsider the specifications on some ingredients on your menu.
- Look at your portion sizes. You never want to lower your food truck customers’ perception of the value your dishes provide, but when faced with price increases or modifying the amount of certain ingredients, you have to choose wisely.
- Consolidate vendors. Is it possible to get lower overall prices by buying more products from one supplier? Some food trucks have lowered their food cost overnight 4%-5% and more by using a single supplier for their shopping lists.
- Know your weekly food cost. Weekly food costing will make your food truck staff more aware and accountable for food cost fluctuations. You’ll be able to respond to problems quicker and it will change the culture in your mobile food business with regard to food cost control.
Maintain Your Already Narrow Margins
Ultimately, when food costs go up for food truck owners, you have three options to maintain your already narrow margins.
1) Do more to control your food costs
2) Raise prices
3) A combination of both
To keep your customers and your accountant happy, make sure you’re doing everything to fight rising food prices. Using the tactics provided in this article will help you make the most of the food you purchase at the best prices possible.