Tags Posts tagged with "Failure"

Failure

0 927
food truck success

We continually hear that starting a food truck business is one of the hardest small business can start on limited funds. Often the outcome doesn’t result in a fleet of food trucks, a chain of brick and mortar restaurants or even a company deemed successful. The failure rate that occurs in the food service industry can be attributed to many different factors, but often, it comes down to these three common problems.

3 Reasons Why You May Never See Food Truck Success

You have the wrong menu

The biggest mistake you can ever make as a vendor is to create a menu that doesn’t solve a particular need or fill a void. Once you make an assumption about what your market needs, you’ve already started down the wrong path. One of the best ways to create a concept and menu that people will actually pay for is to involve your prospective customers in the process – from the start.

Do your homework, hit the streets and talk to people about what you intend serve. Ask them if they would eat it. Once you gather enough evidence about the need for your menu, you will spend fewer resources trying to convince people to track you down once you start rolling.

Most of the great food trucks started with menus that the owners were passionate about. Start with what you want, validate and focus on making it awesome.

Related: Why Do Food Trucks Fail?

You can’t adapt or change direction

If a food truck vendor can’t give up on their original ideas when the market requires it and make necessary changes, a mobile food business could be heading for a dead end street.

Most food trucks that we’ve seen fail usually have specific immobile goals they want to achieve. Food service is a fast changing business model and demands that concepts and plans need to be consistently re-visited and altered if necessary. Roles within the truck organization, menus, leadership and goals should be open for discussion and re-evaluation when things don’t go as planned.

How flexible are your food truck’s business goals? Successful food trucks are the ones that can change direction on the fly to adjust as needed. There is nothing wrong with making tweaks and sticking to what sells.

Related: 5 More Reasons Food Trucks Fail

Your market isn’t big enough

You need an existing market that is big enough or has enough foot traffic to be successful. How big is your current market?  How do you sustain growth if you are operating in a town that isn’t growing? You could have a fantastic concept, wonderful food and the best service, but if your market isn’t growing, you will eventually struggle to sustain your business.

We hope this article sheds some light on the issues of food truck failure and shows new food truck vendors how to keep their service windows open for the long haul.

If you have any points you’d like to add to this discussion on food truck success, please feel free to add them in the comment section below, Tweet us or post them on our Facebook page.

0 417
food truck tip of the day

tip of the daySurviving the inevitable ups and downs of being a food truck owner can be tough, but persistence is an essential skill for a culinary entrepreneur. Here are three tips for seeing your mobile food endeavor through:

  • Don’t predict your failure. It’s easy to see everything that could go wrong in your mobile food empire. Instead of looking at all of the possible future failures you could see, focus on the task at hand of you and make it a success.
  • Don’t let feelings get in the way. You may not feel like doing another draft of your business plan or pushing for a 30 day credit line from your suppliers after you’ve heard “no” too many times. But do what you must despite how you may feel.
  • Lean on your family and staff. When you’re having a bad day or feel like it’s not worth all the effort, talk to your family inside and out of your food truck and share what you’re feeling.

1 2276

Of the food truck businesses that failed in 2013, many failed because they didn’t plan.

fail stamp

So how can you avoid failure in 2014? 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.

Here are 4 business systems to use to keep your food truck away from 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.

Budget

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.

The implementation of these types of systems is extremely important to your food truck’s success. They are the keys to 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.

0 450
ST-PETERSBERG-FOOD-TRUCKS
(OCTAVIO JONES | Times, Tampa)

TAMPA, FL - A little air has gone out of the tires of the social-media-fueled, counter-culture revolution on wheels.

Stringent government regulations, increasing consumer sophistication and the reality of long, hard hours have cooled the food truck frenzy, both for starry-eyed would-be vendors and the hungry hoards they serve.

Since June 2, Craigslist.com has listed 21 used food trucks for sale in the Tampa Bay area. If you broaden that search to Central Florida, several dozen more trucks crowd the list board, from Blue Bird school buses to workhorse Grumman Olson vans. The requirements of compostable cutlery and detailed business plans have also dampened some of the fervor of rogue upstarts in cities like Vancouver, British Columbia, and Los Angeles.

Sure, there are plenty of Tampa Bay trucks doing a robust business, like Wicked Wiches, which now has three trucks, and cult favorite Burger Culture. The granddaddy of them all, Taco Bus, which boasts four brick-and-mortar spots and a mobile unit, is known nationally among food truck aficionados.

But others haven’t fared as well.

Jeremy Gomez ticks off names of Tampa’s original food trucks that have already closed or changed hands: Fire Monkey lasted only nine months; the Hogfather BBQ truck is for sale; Keeping it Reel recently sold, as did American Wiener. Gomez is one of the organizers of an August rally at the Florida Fairgrounds that’s attempting to break a world record by gathering 100 trucks.

Rallies draw big crowds, but things are tougher here for individual trucks on the streets. The Tampa Bay area is a car culture spread out across a broad metro area, and food trucks rely on foot traffic. Even the most intrepid local pedestrian may falter in summer’s heat, humidity and afternoon storms. Plus, said Gomez, Tampa diners have a long tradition of patronizing chains and familiar fast-food giants.

Find the entire article by Laura Reiley at Tampabay.com <here>

0 104

It is common wisdom that tells us that failure is inevitable, especially when you run a mobile business based on culinary innovation. If you want the people you employee in your food truck to take risks and try new things, failure must be an option for them. Unfortunately few organizations have actually created cultures within their mobile food business that accept missteps

To show your support for failure, encourage your food truck staff to make the most of their blunders. Try adopting a “forgive but not forget” approach. Forgive honest mistakes, but make sure your truck employees learn from past failures so they don’t repeat them.

 

5 679

With the continued growth of the mobile food industry, there are still some trucks that have not been able to succeed. For some, the reasons lay in the over regulation they face in their local areas, but for most, the reasons can be found simply by looking in the mirror.

failure-success
Which way is your food truck headed?

We have previously written the primary reasons that food trucks have failed, in this article we wanted to extend the number of reasons and show how to avoid them. Owning a food truck requires the owners to wear many hats, and without the knowledge of some of the common shortfalls they can face, they can easily fall into these problem areas without even realizing it.

No marketing plan. 

A marketing plan outlines the steps you intend to take to sell your food truck menu items.  As one component of the overall business plan, it identifies your niche, your product and the strategies you’ll employ to reach your target market, as well as how much you intend to spend on this marketing (with the use of Twitter and Facebook, this can just involve the investment of time).   Marketing is fundamental to your company’s success.  Without it, you won’t have any customers or clients.  For this reason, it’s critical to spend the extra effort to develop one, even if it only is to include social media platforms.

No customer service program.

You and your food truck are in business only because you have people lining up at your service window.  In order to get a customer following and to maintain it, it’s important to have a customer service program.  A program can include anything from the methods you use to gain new customers, to how you service them once they have become customers.  It includes follow up visits to new parking locations, providing information to them about current or new products and services (such as catering), and, most importantly, kind, courteous, and prompt service when they have a problem or issue.  It is time consuming to get new customers.  It’s better and easier to retain the one’s you have by employing an outstanding customer service program.

No strategic partners. 

Successful food truck business owners typically don’t go it alone.  They associate, partner, and network with other successful food trucks.  Partnering with others is a way to quickly expand the reach of your own mobile business.  There’s a wonderful synergy that comes with doing things with other truck in your area.  There are more ideas, more knowledge, and more resources to create products and services.

No ways of monitoring progress. 

You cannot manage what you cannot monitor or measure.  Every food truck business needs to identify its key success factors.  It might be the number of products sold, the number of service hours provided, or even the perception of your mobile business in the local community.  The only way you can improve your business and attain the success you desire, is by measuring the results of your actions.  You’ll be able to identify what is working and also where the shortfalls exist.  You can use any number of methods including internal operating checklists, customer surveys, and even peer reviews.  This valuable feedback will be extremely useful in realigning your business efforts in the direction that maximizes the success of your mobile food empire.

No commitment to learning. 

There is no place for complacency when it comes to being a mobile food entrepreneur.  Successful food truck owners search constantly for new and better ways to get customers as well as to serve the ones they already have.  They are aware of the latest food service industry trends and ideas so they can create products and services which best serve the changing needs of their target market.  They learn about and implement processes that increase the effectiveness of their day-to-day operations.  By committing yourself to learning and to implementing what you learn, you’re committing yourself to success in all parts of your business.

 

8 7786
Food Truck Businesses Fail

Although the mobile food industry has been growing exponentially over the past few years, there are still some food trucks and carts that have not been able to succeed during the industries rapid expansion. Owning a restaurant on wheels in a good economy can be a challenge, but owning one in a down economy can be even more difficult.

We have put together the top 10 reasons why vendors in the mobile food industry have failed (outside of local legislation which in many cases is out of your hands). Take a look at your gourmet food truck or cart business and make sure you avoid these mistakes, to maintain a flourishing business.

Why Food Truck Businesses Fail

1. Constrained by Your Vision.

A savvy owner knows it’s all about the customer, not his or her personal tastes and opinions. Don’t be self-possessed. Be open to opinions other than your own.

2. No Identity.

Lack of identity is the opposite of being constrained by your vision. A food truck’s success depends on its ability to establish a brand and stick to it, so develop an identity and focus on perfecting it.

3. A Bad Opening.

“You never get a second chance to make a good first impression” was never truer than in the mobile food industry business. There’s a reason actors rehearse before opening night—you should too.

4. Hiring & Training.

Just like a bad opening, bad service will kill your business quickly. If your vision isn’t executed properly, the damage to your current and future customers is unavoidable. Most food truck owners lack formalized training, procedural and operational processes. Learn from an experienced owner or hire a consultant for expert advice.

5. No Formal Recipes.

How can your kitchen staff maintain consistency without formal recipes? This step is critical to controlling costs, curtailing waste, and providing effective staff training.

6. Poor Inventory Management.

Outside of the initial capital required to purchase your truck or cart, the cost of food is a mobile bistro’s single biggest expense and, unless the financial control systems are in place, you are vulnerable to a drain on your cash. Reducing inventory means a reduction in food cost, so manage your resources carefully.

7. Undercapitalization.

Unexpected and unforeseen events happen all the time, especially in a food truck business. In many instances, incorrect budgeting is the culprit. Don’t get caught up in the dream of being profitable from Day 1 – make sure you’ve got money left in the bank to help you ride out the difficult days when your truck needs a new generator, or even a new engine or transmission.

8. Poor Ownership.

Don’t be an absentee owner. If you want to own a food truck or cart, expect to work. Otherwise, don’t expect to get paid. But, and this is a big but, if you haven’t put the systems, tools, and people in place that allow you to step away from the day-to-day operations, then you haven’t bought yourself a business; you’ve bought yourself a job with a misleading title.

9. Insufficient Market Analysis.

A thorough examination of locations you plan to sell your fare is vital to know if it is to be successful and, once it is successful, staying on top of business trends will keep it that way. This is another area where an experienced owner, marketer or consultant can help.

10. Lack of a Business Plan.

The previous nine points MUST be addressed in your business plan, and the plan MUST be right the first time. The business plan is what everything your mobile restaurant will do is based on. It will force you to plan ahead, think about the competition, formulate a marketing strategy, define your management structure, and plan your financing, among other things. It is your roadmap to success. Do not proceed without a solid business plan. This link will take you to an article we published about writing a business plan for a mobile food business.

The old adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” is never more critical than in the mobile food industry. Avoid these top 10 mistakes and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you have any additional tips you would like to share with our readers, please feel free to add them to the comments section below.

 

Give-Network-Ad 3