We are often asked, “What can I do to improve my food truck and make it more profitable?” Part of Mobile Cuisine’s mission has always been to assist failing food trucks and turn them around; but we also help non-failing food trucks get even better. Food truck errors need to be avoided like the plague, but if you don’t know what they are, it’s hard to dodge them.
Because we have worked with a broad range of trucks, we have been able to identify common issues that lead to poor performance. Here are the top-five food truck errors we have seen in failing and healthy food trucks. If you find any of these mistakes in your truck, correct them fast to help turn a bigger profit.
5 Food Truck Errors For Vendors To Avoid
- The menu is not a selling tool. Your food truck menu shouldn’t just be a list of food. It is the most important piece of real estate on your truck. It is a sales tool that should be designed for encouraging customers to purchase your highest profit items.
- Many food trucks try to be all things to all people. Many vendors we’ve spoken with have told us, “We cannot remove that item from the menu because several of our guests will be upset.” The problem is, you can’t keep an item for just a few consumers. If you have regular customers who like a particular dish, as long as you have the ingredients, offer to make it for them without keeping it on the menu.
- Menu isn’t priced out. Many food truck owners are bewildered when they can’t control their food costs. The problem in most cases is that they haven’t analyzed the actual costs of each of their menu items.You need a clear understanding of the specific costs associated with each and every one of the items on your menu.
- No recipe or presentation documents. When tracking a menu, food truckers need to keep detailed records of, not only what is in the menu item’s recipe, but also what is required for the the dish’s presentation. You cannot cost it out and determine a menu price if you do not really know what is served.
- Menus drive labor costs. When you know labor costs are high, it makes sense to look at your labor. But what’s on your menu drives the labor required to make and deliver the food to your customers. Balancing low prep menu items with more labor intensive food prep is a good way to ensure quality dishes, while keeping labor and food costs in line.
The Bottom Line
I wanted to share a few common errors we see time and again just to spark your own internal dialogue about how your food trucks are performing. This isn’t a fully inclusive list nor is it in any particular order. I hope you find it helpful in just getting another perspective on common food truck errors.