Whether you are thinking of opening a new food truck or already own one, you like to cook or want to be your own boss. These are great traits to have in the mobile food industry. But to be an effective food truck owner, you need to be efficient in many other areas as well. When food truck vendors are just starting out, many don’t realize that they are doing more than just offering a great menu when it comes to food truck ownership.
As the owner of a food truck, you are in charge of hiring, payroll, marketing, as well as truck and equipment maintenance. Being organized from the start and knowing what you can do and what you should delegate to others will help you be the most effective food truck owner possible.
Three Things Vendors Need To Know About Food Truck Ownership
Know What You Can And Can’t Do
If math isn’t your thing, seriously consider hiring an accountant to handle your payroll and other financial matters. Another area to consider outsourcing includes legal work. If you are new to the industry, track down someone familiar with food service small business law to handle anything in the legal arena that needs to be handled.
Marketing responsibilities is another area that you may want to delegate. There are a lot of programs available to make inexpensive websites and with social media, many food trucks don’t even have a website (but they should). Unless you can carve out the time necessary for maintaining effective social media outreach it is better to hand it off to a professional.
Keep Track Of Your Sales
As soon as your truck hits the street, you need to start tracking your daily sales. You can generate a daily business report through a POS (Point of Sale) system or by tracking your numbers by hand. A simple way to do this is to jot down the number of lunches in the upper left hand corner of each day on a calendar and dinner numbers in the lower left hand corner. At the end of the year put your monthly calendars into a three-ring binder for easy reference down the road. Also keep track of the weather, since it plays a vital part in keeping track of information related to sales from your food truck.
If there is a weekend snowstorm, it can explain low numbers, or if there is an usually warm spring day, it can help explain a particularly busy day. The start of vacation season might signal an uptick in sales, therefore you’ll know to add extra staff at this time of the year.
Keeping track of your sales will help you plan for staffing and inventory. It can help food truck vendors purchase the right amount of food and beverages, based on last year’s numbers.
Food Truck Staff Management
The hardest part of owning a food truck for many, is handling staff issues that come up. Creating a staff handbook which outlines your food truck’s business policies, rules and regulations may sound boring, but it is instrumental in effective food truck ownership. Having a set of clear expectations as well as consequences for poor performance can help prevent problems later on.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to food truck ownership, you are the leader of your mobile food business. There are certain steps to take when opening a food truck, but once you open your service window, you need to understand that there is more to vending than just making food. Today we shared three areas where every vendor needs to understand to create a great food truck business.