Planning Ahead To Avoid Food Truck Failure

Planning Ahead To Avoid Food Truck Failure

avoid food truck failure

Of the food truck businesses that have failed, many failed because they didn’t plan. How can you avoid food truck failure? It’s simple, plan for success.

It’s rather simple…plan for success. You put yourself and your food truck in a place where you can handle anything thrown your way.

Planning for success requires the implementation and consistent execution of systems and someone (in most cases the vendor) who will keep an eye on these systems and make sure your staff is following them on a daily basis.

4 business systems to help avoid food truck failure:
Sales Forecasting

Predicting sales is critical to any food truck. If you don’t document what you think you are going to do in sales for each day of the week, you run the risk of buying too much or not enough product. You run the risk of bringing in too many or too few employees.

Each scenario results in lost opportunity and profits because you probably wasted products, 86’d items, lost money at the time clock or provided your guests a terrible experience.


A budget is critical to the successful implementation of systems, because it gives you cost of goods sold (COGS) and labor targets. Without targets, you simply cannot make the right decisions and cannot measure your success, because you don’t even know what success looks like.

Purchase Allotment

A purchase allotment system is based on sales forecasts for the entire month, your actual sales for the entire month as they happen, as well as your food or beverage purchases as they are made each day.

This system ensures that you will know how much money you have to spend to not only make sure you have enough product, but to do it within budget.

Labor Allotment

Labor allotment is a system that’s based on sales forecasts for the next week and the actual hours worked and sales for last week. With it you can easily alter your schedules to meet budget by knowing how many hours and dollars you have for next week’s schedule.

Freshbooks Will Help Make Billing Painless

The implementation of these types of systems is extremely important to your food truck’s success. They are the keys to help avoid food truck failure. Your planning process and will guide you to a successful operation each and every day. But the piece of the puzzle that makes this all work is someone that inspects that the systems are not only being used, but completed on time each and every day.

Do you have additional tips for food truck looking to avoid food truck failure? We’d love to hear your thoughts. You can share them 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.