Control COGS In Your Food Truck

Control COGS In Your Food Truck

food truck cogs

In the mobile food industry, the term “COGS” stands for cost of goods sold. The term describes the amount of money a food truck spends on supplies and food ingredients – such as beverages, seasonings, meats, fruits and vegetables – used to prepare the menu items they sell. Your COGS should ideally account for no more than 35 percent of your sales.

By following these steps you will be able to cut your expenses and waste which in turn will increase your profits.

5 Steps To Control You Food Truck COGS

Categorize your food expenses. 

It’s easier to control your COGS when you keep track of how much is spent on each group. For instance, if you allow 11 percent for meats, 10 percent for produce, 6 percent for dairy, 5 percent for baked goods and 3 percent for beverages, you’ll stay within the suggested COGS of 35 percent. Break down your food items into groups and set guidelines that govern how much to spend in each category.

Comparison shop to find better pricing. 

Though most food truck owners prefer to maintain solid, ongoing relationships with food suppliers and distributors, it’s a good policy to stay informed of cost-effective alternatives. Continuously be on the lookout for more economical suppliers and order from those who offer the best deals. Ensure that bargain pricing does not sacrifice quality products.

Measure all ingredients in food-preparation procedures.

Food truck owners are at risk of losing considerable amounts of profit when food-prep staff members don’t properly measure ingredients. For instance, if you or your staff continually uses a full cup of butter for a recipe that only requires 3/4 of a cup, your cost of butter will quickly rise by 25 percent. Enforce strict measurement guidelines for your recipes.

Adjust your menu or prices accordingly when using seasonal ingredients. 

Certain fruits and vegetables increase and decrease in price according to season. Limit the sales of seasonal items to periods when they are plentiful and acquired at minimal price. If you continue to sell such goods during off-season periods, adjust your menu pricing to offset the extra cost.

Design specials that reduce waste and use slow-moving stock. 

Meal specials are typically offered for a limited time at a bargain price to entice customers to buy them. Make use of soon-to-expire foods by including them in specials. For instance, if your sliced breads are about to become stale and your cheese is about to expire, create a grilled-cheese special.

Have you used these strategies or something similar in your food truck? Did they bring your food truck COGS under control? We’d love to hear your thoughts. You can share them with us via email, Facebook or Twitter.

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.