As the mobile food industry grows, food vendors continually look for ways to expand their food truck businesses. Some food truck owners have expanded the number of trucks they operate. Others have taken their brands to grocery store shelves and many have moved into brick and mortar locations. Today we’ll look at another avenue for food truck owners to expand; the mall kiosk.
Even though online shopping has taken a bite out of mall profits over the years, shopping malls are still communal places in most communities. Shopping at a mall provides convenient, comfortable settings with a variety of stores in one location. Many consumers go to malls to browse rather than to pick up a specific item, or to hang out with friends. Food trucks are parking at community centers, opening freestanding restaurants, but opening a mall kiosk provides an advantage for food truck owners.
Advantages Of Opening A Mall Kiosk For Your Food Truck
One advantage a mall kiosk provides a vendor is heavy foot traffic. People go to malls for many reasons, but no matter their original intention, each of them is a prospective customer for your food truck’s mall kiosk. Shoppers often must walk through the mall to get to their intended location. This increases the chances they will stop by your location on the way. Other shoppers go to the mall to shop without a destination in mind. These people are likely to stay for awhile, and the longer they stay, the more likely they are to get hungry.
Another advantage of opening a mall kiosk is that malls are enclosed, and thus provide controlled environment. Air conditioning and heating allow customers to shop comfortably all year. Ask any food truck owner how important protection from rain, snow and excessive heat is. Malls also offer seating for shoppers. This allows them to shop longer, buy more and sit down to a meal.
Hours and Management
From an operations standpoint, malls offer a food truck vendor a set of standard hours. This gives you a systematic and predictable time for employee scheduling. Mall security provides protection from shoplifters and vandals during operating hours and after closing. Leasing a mall kiosk space in a mall can be costly, but your rent can include utilities and cleaning service. You also have the added benefits of the mall’s marketing efforts to attract customers.
Create Your Personal Commissary
Because a mall kiosk is front and center, mall lease usually prevent many back of house operations from being done inside the kiosk. This means you will need to have an area outside of the kiosk to wash dishes, store large quantities of food and even preparing some types of food. This gives you the opportunity to open a small commercial kitchen to supply your kiosk…and if designed properly, your food truck too.
The Bottom Line
A kiosk can be a good way to expand your food truck business on a small scale. Leasing a mall kiosk costs significantly less in upfront investments than establishing a permanent brick and mortar location.