If you have been paying attention to the mobile food industry you will have noticed that more and more food truck owners have been converting their mobile food businesses into brick and mortar establishments. Most of these conversions have been created from the years of brand building these mobile vendors have put into their trucks. Here are the top 6 things to carefully consider before undertaking establishment of a restaurant based on scaling your food truck brand.
Scaling Your Food Truck Into A Brick & Mortar Restaurant
Know what your restaurant wants to be
We highly recommend that you spend the time and resources to develop of your restaurants brand strategy. This must happen long before to opening your doors. Will your restaurant expand on your food truck’s menu? Will it take over for the truck, or will it become your truck’s commissary?
What’s in a name?
While selecting a name for a restaurant can be difficult for beginners, food truck vendors already have a name to use. The key question is how to use your truck’s name to brand your restaurant. We recommend that you try to look at the name through your target consumer’s eyes. What would push them to choose your restaurant over your food truck or a competitor’s?
Invest in a well-designed sign
As you know, consumers will always judge you on their first impression — which is usually your logo and sign. Your food truck used a wrap, but this won’t work for your storefront. If your restaurant has synergy with your food truck, keep what you have just convert it into proper signage. If you are planning to have your restaurant’s menu differ from your truck’s let people know through your signage.
Make the menu manageable
The easiest way to build your first restaurant menu is to use your knowledge of the success you’ve had on your truck. While most food trucks limit their menu’s to 5 or 6 entrees, your restaurant can use these items as well as others that have been successful in the past. Understand what your restaurant team can manage, and deliver on it consistently when you first open your doors. It is much easier to grow your menu than to shrink it. People prefer surprises, like new additions to the menu, as opposed to discovering the thing that they liked is no longer available.
Understand what your customers want
The atmosphere that restaurants and food trucks provide will always differ. Speak with your food truck customers to find out what they would expect from your restaurant. Do they want a romantic environment with mood lighting and comfy chairs, or a more upbeat atmosphere with jazzy music and interesting art on the walls? Understanding what your consumer wants and or needs from you and meets with their expectations will keep them coming back time and time again for a consistent experience.
Stay true to your concept
Ask yourself if each and every component of the restaurant measures up the concept that you built with your food truck. Insure that all pieces complement one another.
The Bottom Line
The consumers in your area already like you (based on the fact that you’ve been able to open this restaurant). Don’t let this success boost your ego too much. Don’t make the mistake to believe that just because you’ve run a successful food truck that it will be easy scaling your food truck into a brick and mortar establishment.