Understanding The Disadvantages Of Food Truck Ownership

There are many rewarding things about being a food truck owner. The autonomy, the recognition, the creativity, not to mention the fact that you are pursuing your culinary dreams. Starting a mobile food business is never easy and not everyone is cracked up to be their own boss. Before you embark on a solo venture, remember that there are disadvantages too.

Being a food truck owner requires high risk, hard work, and many, many trade-offs. The glamour of the got-rich-quick mobile food entrepreneur is often a far cry from what it’s really like in the trenches. Take a hard look at your life and be sure you know what you are risking before you set up your own food truck business.

Four Major Disadvantages Of Food Truck Ownership

Name Recognition

The easiest way to attract people to your service window is to make sure consumers already has your truck in mind before they leave the house. Large restaurant chains have this advantage, since they have much more money for advertising than the the typical mom and pop food truck.

A lot of these restaurant chains have also been in business for decades. This has provided them with years of exposure in the market.

RELATED: 10 Food Truck Branding Tips To Double Your Profits

Getting The Best Talent

Every food truck owner knows that in order to succeed, you need the best employees available. But it’s much easier for restaurant chains to attract the higher level employees because, in most cases, they can afford to pay them more.

The way to get around this disadvantage is make up for it in non-financial perks. Consider providing employees with the ability to move up the ladder quickly. You can also provide flex time in order to woo employees who otherwise might want a bigger paycheck at your competitor.

RELATED: Food Truck Recruiting: 10 Tips To Find The Best Employees

Purchasing Power

Another way large restaurant chains keep costs down is by negotiating with their suppliers for lower prices. For example, most food service providers have to buy proteins in order to make their menu items. Because of the large volume the larger restaurant chains order, the supplier has an incentive to lower its prices.

It would hard for a much new food truck to get the same deal; the meat producer simply doesn’t have as much reason to bend its price. And since the food truck is paying more for it’s ingredients, it’s receiving a slimmer profit on every dish it sells.

RELATED: 4 Steps To Effective Negotiating With Your Suppliers

Raising Capital

At some point, food service businesses need to raise outside capital if they want to expand. If a large restaurant chain plans to build a new location, it has the ability to get a bank loans or in some cases, even issue stock to the public. But small food truck businesses don’t have this flexibility.

RELATED: Food Truck Loans: Why The Difficulty In Getting One

The Bottom Line

Some people think that big food businesses take advantage of small food truck businesses, which are the underdogs. While this is a bit of a stretch, new food trucks have a number of disadvantages working against them that they may have to overcome in order to be successful.

What other disadvantages do food trucks have versus their brick and mortar competitiors? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on social media. Facebook | Twitter

2017-05-05T09:41:16+00:00 By |Features, Startup Basics|

About the Author:

Richard is an architect by degree (Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, Michigan) who began his career in real estate development and architectural planning. In September of 2010 he created Mobile Cuisine Magazine to fill an information void he found when he began researching how to start a mobile hotdog cart in Chicago. Richard found that there was no central repository of mobile street food information anywhere on the internet, and with that, the idea for MCM was born.

2 Comments

  1. Enduring the Trials of Food Truck Ownership « Street Food Locator Sep 26, 2013 at 4:20 am

    […] Understand The Downsides of Food Truck Ownership […]

  2. Tony McBride May 7, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    Storage is another problem and depending on the size of your truck it can be limited or very limited.

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