Creating a menu for your new food truck can be overwhelming. What dishes should you offer, and which should you skip? The best food truck menus offer a balance of unique dishes and local favorites that match your concept. Avoid a menu full of food fads, such as low- or no-carb offerings. Although you want your menu to be exciting and trendy, you need to include cuisine favorites as well.
Tips For Developing Start-Up Food Truck Menus
Today we’ll share some additional pointers for putting together food truck menus.
Create Easy To Prepare Dishes
Make sure your menu items are easy to prepare. Unless you plan to compete with local fine-dining establishments (and really, what food truck can?), you need to be able to prepare your menu items quickly. Any menu item that takes abnormally long to cook or prepare can bog down the line at your service window during a rush.
Include Multi-Use Ingredients
Use ingredients in more than one dish to keep food spoilage to a minimum and to stretch your budget. For example, if you offer various proteins for a sandwich or wrap, try to offer other items that can include those same proteins.
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Keep Your Menu Short
Gather the core group of menu items you want to serve. Being realistic about how many items you’ll be able to serve from the limited space in your truck will help you determine the number of menu items you start with. The basic premise of “quantity doesn’t equate to quality” definitely applies to food trucks. Most vendors across the country average between 6 and 12 menu items.
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Remember Your Pricing
As you build your menu, keep the financials in the back of your mind. Each item on your menu should be affordable to customers but priced to keep your profits up. Expensive ingredients result in high-priced menus.
This doesn’t mean that you should use the cheapest food available, but you need to balance high and low food costs for a reasonable profit margin. In addition, balancing expensive items, which are prone to price fluctuations, with items that have stable costs can help maintain your desired menu prices.
Go ahead and include some lamb and beef on your menu, but be sure to temper them with some less expensively priced chicken and/or pasta dishes.
RELATED: Don’t Let Trendy Ingredients Rule Your Food Truck Menu
The Bottom Line
Great food truck menus will almost certainly enhance a consumers dining experience, help customers make satisfying choices and stimulate their appetite. Your menu is more than just a list of dishes your food truck has available. It is an advertising tool to help communicate your food truck’s identity and drive up your mobile food business profit.
Do you have any additional tips for those developing their food truck menus? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section, our food truck forum or on social media. Facebook | Twitter