In today’s retail driven world, running a business can be pretty simple. Think about it! You buy a product, you mark it up for profit, and then you hire people who can sell it. If you run a more expansive retail business you may also manage a warehouse, and a manufacturing line to produce your product. Successful food trucks require so much more. But why? Today we’ll show you the ways.
Owners Of Successful Food Trucks Wear Many Hats
The Warehouse Manager
Food truck owners have to have the same skills that the warehouse manager has. This includes a system for checking and tracking everything into your inventory, protecting it from theft and keeping your suppliers honest. All this for what…maybe a 50 to 100 item inventory of perishable goods, not a group of items that can sit in the warehouse until they are sold.
You run an assembly line every shift and fill the orders for your product faster than any manufacturing line. You’re not just making one product either. In most cases it’s upwards of 8-10 all with the same crew. You also have a quality assurance system in place because if your products aren’t being prepared efficiently, consistently, and cost effectively, the operation will shut down.
The Sales Team
Your service staff not only need be experts on each of your products, but they also need to understand how to sell customers your highest profit products. In addition to being your sales team, your service window employees are your customer service representatives.
The Repair Technician
If you don’t want to pay someone else to do it, there is a lot of equipment in a food truck to break. This includes the truck itself. A breakdown in your truck or equipment will keep your operation on the side of the road until it can be fixed.
Food truck owners have to understand how to run all these different types of businesses under the guise of one mobile food business. Not only that, but addition to being bookkeepers, marketers and human resource professionals. And if that wasn’t enough they also need to stay on top of legal issues. Especially topics such as labor law, health codes and food truck ordinances.
A lack of experience in any one area of a food truck can drive it off a cliff. That doesn’t mean it will. There are many poorly run food trucks that make money despite the mistakes of their owners. Then again, that doesn’t make it a good idea to try.
Our advice has always been to anyone interested in starting a food truck business without experience is to tap into someone else’s. Either pay someone who is knowledgeable on the subject to mentor you in the areas you don’t know, or look into opening a food truck franchise where all the planning and systems are already in place.
The Bottom Line
If you are looking for the reasons some food trucks fail, they are easy to find. On the other hand, if you are looking for reasons why food trucks succeed, that’s a much more difficult task. The problem is that no matter how good a vendor is in one or more aspects of their mobile food business, any one thing they don’t do well can counteract their greatest strengths.