As more and more food trucks are delving into catering to supplement their time while not on the streets, we have been inundated with more questions specific to this side of the business. There are many common mistakes beginner caters have run into over the years. We have collected a number of them and used them to create this handy list of food truck catering tips to follow when taking the dive into catering.
Easy To Remember Food Truck Catering Tips
- Never give anything away for free. If you give something away for free, clients will always expect freebies. Just as you train your food truck staff to behave in a certain manner you must train your clients to pay for your services and value your talent. You can give a discount for a charitable event, but make sure you cover all your costs as well as your time.
- Get paid up front. Always request a 50 percent (minimum) deposit before you start working on a job. This will give you enough money to pay for the food needed for the event.
- The rule of 4. Quadruple your food cost to determine a base price for a client if you need to give an estimate off the top of your head.
- Bring a contract. Always put in writing what you’re going to do for a client and what the client is going to do for you. Never rely on a verbal agreement.
- You must expect surprises. Be ready for unexpected things to go wrong at a moment’s notice, and be able to handle it with split-second decision making.
- Staffing is key. Hire fantastic staff that will work hard with you and not allow you to fail. They must be ready and willing to walk through fire with you.
- Why so serious? Have a sense of humor and use it often.
- Catering is not easy. Be ready for some intense manual labor.
- Know when to say no. In order to protect your reputation, you have to know your limits. Saying no to something that you aren’t equipped or trained to do or turning down an event on a day when you’re already booked is better than doing it poorly.
These food truck catering tips will become ingrained in your memory after you start catering and gain experience. For now, it’s helpful to have a list to refer to.