So, you’ve got funding for your food truck (loans, crowdfunding, etc.…) Congratulations! We know how stressful funding your food truck can be, so we wanted to give you a few ideas on how you can maximize your return on investment by spending the money wisely. We’ve compiled a list of the top 6 things you should purchase now:
Top 6 Things To Purchase After Funding Your Food Truck
The first thing you should purchase after funding your food truck is one of the biggest expenses of running a food truck… kitchen equipment. You’ll need commercial equipment such as a stove, refrigerator, flat-top, fryer and all of the necessary supplies to fully outfit a professional food truck kitchen. If you plan on using a point-of-sale (POS) system, you may also have to purchase the equipment needed for printing receipts.
Do your research carefully; read online reviews and make sure you’re buying equipment from reputable dealers. You might even be able to find good deals on used equipment from liquidation sales.
You may be surprised to see that we listed your kitchen equipment before the biggest expense in operating a food truck, the truck itself, This is because you need to understand what size truck you need to fit all of your equipment into. Speak with your local inspection agency and determine if they have maximum sizes and where you’ll be able to park to help you make this choice.
Also, how will your truck kitchen be fit out? Will you do it yourself, or do you need to hire a fabricator to do this work? You can buy a used step van if you will do the work yourself but if you have no idea how to do this, we always recommend seeking out a food truck builder. Some food truck builders have trucks already built out, or you can have them customize a truck for you.
Not only do you need to understand how large the truck needs to be but you will also need to understand how to power the equipment as well. Look at your equipment and determine which are powered through propane or electricity. This will help you determine the size of generator you will need to operate.
Your food truck’s wrap is an important part of your food truck’s personality, so before you start spending money on your brand’s artwork, you should consider the following:
- What is the theme and concept of your food truck?
- What style of food are you going to serve?
- Who is your target market?
- Do you want a to serve street-side, catering events, fairs and festivals?
- Will your food truck be parked in an area designated as a casual hangout for young adults, with big TV screens and alcohol being sold? Or will it be a truck where people will grab something from your menu and take it back to their office?
All of the answers to these questions will should affect the design of your food truck wrap. Your food truck doesn’t have to appeal to everyone, but it should have a clear target market.
Your food truck menu is your truck’s number one selling tool. Good menu design can help vendors make extra money in food sales. As part of your overall food truck startup costs, don’t be afraid to invest some decent money in hiring a graphic design firm, working closely with you and your kitchen staff, or hiring a food truck consultant to help create a profitable menu.
There are many tricks to good food truck menu design, but here are a three of the big ones are:
- Keep the menu simple. The most effective food truck menus allow customers to quickly read and choose exactly what they want to eat. If a menu has too many items, customers may get. A simple menu will help your customers have a better experience and be happier with their meal.
- Don’t use dollar signs. Psychologically, when people see a dollar sign on a menu, they subconsciously think that the menu item is too expensive. This leads to them ordering something cheaper. It’s better to just use numbers to indicate the prices.
- Stagger prices. When food prices are shown clearly in a straight column, people tend to buy the cheaper option. Instead, design your food truck menu so that the price is listed a few spaces out from the end of the item description. This way, people will start drooling over the description and won’t be as likely to worry about how much it costs.
RELATED: Food Truck Menus: An In-depth Look
After funding your food truck but before your food truck opens, you’re going to want to invest some money. Consider areas likes marketing to help spread the word and get people standing in line for your grand opening. Also consider using some of your food truck financing on free samples of menu items, a booth at a street fair or carnival, a private pop-up restaurant event with influential people in the community, or even hiring a PR/marketing firm to help promote your food truck with local news organizations and get people talking about it on social media.
The Bottom Line
Working in the food truck industry is a labor of love, but it can be profitable. If you’re opening a food truck, make sure that you’re spending your money to maximize your chances of success. Hopefully your food truck lines will be full of happy customers for years to come.