"You don't need a silver fork to eat good food." The food industry is said to be evergreen. The current state of your economy doesn't affect it. As long as we live, we need food, and we always make sure it's good. When we think about dining out, we could go to a restaurant, a cafe, a diner, a bistro, a snack bar, or a food truck. Restaurants and bistros have always been good weekend getaways for both the working class and the homemakers. Many teenagers, young adults, and even families nowadays are seen enjoying a drive on the weekends and stopping at their favourite food trucks for their favourite dish before heading home for the weekend. Those who love serving rather than savouring the dishes themselves, but lack the investment, can always opt for a food truck service.
In 2020 when the covid pandemic hit us, it saw the restaurants, cafes, bars, and bistros closing down. But the food trucks came as a boon. Undoubtedly, the food truck owners had to mend their ways to survive this pandemic. However, their services made sure that the needy and weak were well fed and watered in these troubled times. If you want to know how to grow your business in these times, you have landed on the right page. Here are some small business tips for those who are thinking about how to grow my business.
1. Your menu chooses your truck
Apart from the "it looks attractive" part, your truck should also serve the purpose. The interiors should be such that they could be easily transformed into an easy-to-use, well-equipped kitchen suited to your menus.
2. It is halfway from everywhere
It is exactly what your regular customers should say when they recommend you to others. Choose an easily approachable location, which does not obstruct the daily traffic but is crowded enough to attract customers. Once your platter gets famous, people visit your location no matter how far they are.
3. Hungry but locked up in your house?
With half the people in the city getting locked up in their houses, it's the food trucks that may bring them hope. Get your food truck approved by the officials to supply food to the needy people through the city. People cannot come to you, but you can keep your work going by accepting orders on your phone. Follow this small but important business tip, and it will take your mind off how to grow business in this crisis. You could switch to the takeaway option again after everything falls back in place.
4. When you serve good food, you serve good health
Food truck owners should be cautious about where they buy their raw materials. Never compromising your quality is one of the most crucial business growth tips that anyone would give you. Good quality means good hygiene, and good hygiene provides excellent health. Poor quality ingredients lead to poor taste. A true foodie catches the deteriorated quality of the dish as fast as the blink of an eye.
5. Cleanliness is next to Godliness
Your house is your responsibility, but so is your workplace. One cannot wholly depend on customers to keep surroundings spotless. Make sure you have enough trash cans placed around your food truck to dispose of used plates and glasses. You can indeed politely request your customers not to litter the area around, and a 'self-service' signboard might ease your extra work just a bit. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to clean up after yourselves before you wind up for the day.
6. Don't be a fool, please follow all the rules
A seven-star hotel or a food truck, none can overlook the rules. A glance at all the available business tips will tell you that all the rules laid down by your FDA are meant to be followed. Renewing your licenses, maintaining hygiene, periodic testing of raw materials, and paying your taxes are the important ones on the long list.
7. Food for all
If your food truck allows you enough space, try to accommodate some chairs for the elderly. After all, it's not only the young that love your food and visit your truck. Neatly arranged chairs will be a welcome sight for the elderly if they decide to taste your menu.
8. A clean plate says it all
A spotless interior makes you trustworthy. When in a restaurant, a customer doesn't have a view of your kitchen. But that's not the case if you run a food truck. The moment you open your serving platform, your interiors are on display. A clean stainless steel working platform, a gloved hand, and a capped head, a cook and waiter with an apron, people see when they approach a food truck. They then do not think twice before ordering their favourite dish off your menu.
9. Ambience sets the right mood
A soft light issuing from the lampstands or some bulbs hanging from the surrounding trees, floral decorations around the truck, and some nice music playing in the background to add, encourages the customers to linger around for a longer time. In effect, your menu orders keep rolling.
10. Brand your truck
Branding your business is at your fingertips and quite literally so. A decent and catchy business name with all its social media accounts on your mobile is all you need. Daily posts and some patience will get you all the publicity to attract your consumer.
11. Turn your taste into your signature
Customers come back to you only if they love the taste you serve. Your flavour makes all the difference in the world. It all depends on your culinary skills and techniques and the best and carefully chosen quality ingredients. When a particular dish on your menu list becomes your bestseller, it's your signature dish. The slightest change in the making could change the taste, which wouldn't be appreciated by many. Let your customers savour the flavour.
12. Many chains, more gains
Anyone who starts reaping the benefits naturally thinks about how to expand business. Well, if restaurants can have their chains, why can't a food truck? Food truck owners, too, can have another branch in another location, though in the same city. It's undoubtedly a tedious job to train someone else up in your area of expertise. But once done, it establishes you and your food truck as a brand.
Finally, let's assume that you have the culinary skills to try different exotic recipes and even make some of your own to make the connoisseurs drool at the sight of or even think of your exceptional cooking and make them lick fingers. You also have the urge to feed them and monetise your virtues. But every lone wolf doesn't have the financial resources to launch a restaurant. But so what! You can invest a small sum in a barely running truck, convert it into a mobile restaurant and make a small beginning. There are incidences galore of unique food items available in small joints, which even big and exorbitant joints cannot boast about.
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Q. What is the most profitable food truck?
Ans. South Indian cuisine and Maharashtrian breakfast, pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, and other kinds of street food make the most profitable food trucks.
Q. What is the best business structure for a food truck?
Ans. A sole proprietorship is more convenient and the preferred structure of business for many.
Q. Is it worth owning a food truck?
Ans. A food truck is a good business idea for those who don't have the funds to invest in a proper restaurant or a cafe. The funds arranged are mostly spent buying the truck, though renting one out could also be opted for.
Q. How do I start a food truck business?
Ans. First, decide the kind of menu you would like to serve. Research different cuisines and choose what you think you are best at. You can always learn different cuisines later and keep adding them to your menu. Arrange for the funds. Buy a convenient-looking truck. Get the necessary permissions, clear your paperwork, and get registered.
Q. Can you make a living with a food truck?
Ans. Yes, you can earn quite well with a food truck if you don't spend too much on outsourcing the services: your truck, your efforts.