Although developing an operations manual is not a simple task, it’s next to impossible to create and maintain a successful food truck without one. Vendors who take the time include their staff and put the thought into how they want their food truck to operate will enjoy huge advantages over those who don’t.
Creating An Operations Manual For Your Food Truck
Developing an operation manual for your food truck will:
- Help you get out of startup phase. Putting together a system of checklists, forms and procedures will reduce the any disorganization and confusion during the startup of your food truck. Getting out of this phase as quickly as possible is key to achieving profitability.
- Increase the odds of attracting quality employees. Good people want to work for good businesses that are organized. This means building systems for recruiting, interviewing and candidate selection. It will also include job descriptions, training manuals and an employee policy handbook.
- Provide direction. An operations manual expresses to your food truck employees the performance and the results you expect and it provides your staff with the information and training they need to be successful.
- Create consistency. An operations manual makes it possible for your employees to continually repeat a consistent experience for your customers. Consistency will ultimately help create a great reputation and loyal, repeat customers for your food truck.
- Give you a better chance to get capital. If you want to expand your food truck in the future, having systems built into your operations manual will enhance your ability to get the capital needed for future growth.
- Enable your food truck to function without you. Having operational systems installed will allow you to separate yourself from the day to day food truck operations and allow you to take control of growing your business.
- Enhance the value of your food truck when you sell it. Food trucks that are owner dependent are worth less than food trucks that can run on their own even if the owner isn’t on board. Prospective buyers will want to know what will happen once the original owner is no longer involved in the business.
Another valuable benefit of putting together an operations manual is that by documenting your systems and operating procedures is that you’ll have the opportunity to evaluate virtually every task or activity that takes place in your food truck. You’ll learn that many may be happening because that’s the way you’ve always done it.
You will find opportunities to reduce errors, eliminate duplication of effort, and increase productivity while developing your food truck operation manual.
How to Prepare Your Operations Manual
A food truck operations manual will generally cover the following sections or categories:
- Menu and kitchen management
- Personnel administration
- Purchasing and inventory
- Employee training
- Cleanliness and sanitation
- Safety and security
- Marketing and promotions
- Business and financial management
- Equipment management
- Vehicle management
Each of these areas would include forms, checklists, and procedures to document and instruct exactly how every task within the category should be performed to achieve the desired results.
The Bottom Line
Create more structure in your food truck business activities by creating an operations manual. Most food trucks will benefit from this kind of standardization. But it really depends on you, the vendor, to determine if there are work processes that can be duplicated every day within your truck and if it’s worth teaching those processes to employees.