Are you one of the many people with culinary aspirations? A food truck is a great way to follow that dream without making the huge investment required by a sit-down restaurant. Here’s how to get started:
Create a Core Concept: This involves creating your menu and determining a consistent look and theme. Marketing your food and truck will be easier when the concept is creative and coordinated.
Check Your Finances: A new, custom-built food truck can easily run $70,000. Some will be twice that much. Many used trucks will cost less. Determine how much money you have to invest in your truck and what you will need for other start-up expenses, such as food, permits and insurance. Know where your money is coming from – your savings or a loan. Be prepared for emergencies and stash some money away for those inevitable rainy days.
Prepare for Hard Work: Food trucks are fun to patronize and look like a fun business to operate. However, the food-truck industry is demanding, with many operators starting their day three or four hours before taking their truck on the road. You’ll need to research the best locations for connecting with customers and get all appropriate permits to ensure you can operate.
Know Health Codes and Parking Restrictions: Each city or municipality has the different health regulations and parking restrictions. You must study and meet the regulations in each town where you operate or you could find yourself paying with some expensive fines.
Manage Social Media: If you aren’t familiar with Facebook and Twitter, you’ll need to learn about social media in order generate customer traffic on a daily basis. That is just one more of the non-food jobs – along with bill playing and cleaning – that a food truck operator can expect to tackle.
Food truck newbies find it helpful to meet with an experienced consultant before jumping in a food truck and driving off down the road. Mike Mikhail, owner of some of the best food trucks in Los Angeles, serves as a food truck consultant to new and potential operators, assisting them as they prepare to join the food truck industry. His years of experience can help new operators avoid painful and costly gaffes. To discuss his consulting services, contact Mikhail at one of his food trucks.
And keep these phone numbers on standby in case you need a first-class caterer. Whether it’s sandwiches, wraps or salads on wheels or even a dinner for 400, these gourmet food trucks can solve your catering problems.
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