The food truck business is booming! Last year an upsurge in restaurants extending their menus onto the streets via custom food trucks went up significantly. In addition, an influx of new entrepreneurs dedicated to buying custom food trucks and starting their own culinary business went up by more than 36 percent compared to the previous year’s impressive growth in food trucks. Also, family businesses have turned to food trucks in droves. Now, more than ever, the need to find high-quality custom food trucks is greater than it’s ever been. But how can you tell if the food truck company performs the best work, offers great pricing, and is a great business investment? This article is going to take an unbiased approach to help people aspiring to start a food truck businesses or expand their restaurants through custom food trucks learn the common industry red flags so they may steer clear and partner with a builder worthy of their investment.
1. Used Food Truck Equipment and Platforms
We all love to save money, and often people think that used food truck equipment and platforms are a great route to take in order to shave off some of the upfront cost. But in reality if your food truck company is trying to sell you used equipment and previously used platforms, this presents a big red flag. When food trucks builders go under and aren’t able to compete against their higher quality competitors, it is almost always due to lack of skill that destroys them. So rather than folding, they buy previously owned food truck platforms, clean them up, and retrofit them to trucks. They also get used equipment for next to nothing and charge a bit more so they can make a profit, and the customer appears to be saving.
Here’s the reality: you may save up front, but in the long run this play almost always costs food truck owners thousands of dollars. Used food truck equipment is not reliable and is notorious for breaking down. Not only does used equipment require ongoing costly repairs, but the time you are off the street and away from your customers creates massive financial losses and a drop in your customer numbers because they go to your competition. Instead, look for a high-quality food truck builder that provides clients with new, latest and greatest food truck equipment priced lower than the competition while still being very competitive. You are only paying slightly more anyway, but you get a guarantee that your food truck equipment will be reliable and only need routine maintenance.
2. Buying Custom Food Trucks with No Repair Center
Avoid doing business with food truck companies that don’t offer repairs or perform maintenance. If you were shopping for a new car would you buy one from a company that doesn’t have repair and maintenance services in their dealerships? Of course not. Not only is it a bad look attesting to a lack of quality, but it presents a huge risk, as nobody knows a product better than the manufacturer, and it just makes sense to have service offered by the best. Often, food truck builders that don’t perform maintenance or repairs run this way because they lack skills. Whether they aren’t able to employee a regular team of technicians, or they outsource certain technical positions during the building process and are therefore not able to schedule routine repairs, this is a red flag to look out for. Be sure to work with a food truck company that can make repairs and maintain your food truck.
3. New Food Truck Companies
Just because someone is new in business doesn’t mean they are bad. However, when you are buying custom food trucks, new companies can present red flags for two main reasons. First, some bad food truck builders have tainted the entire industry by performing poor quality work, getting fined or called out, and then they change their business name and re-open under a new disguise. This doesn’t happen often, but it is known to be an issue. So if the food truck company is new, research the owner of the food truck builder business to ensure there isn’t a paper trail of deceit trying to be hid. Finally, new food truck builders simply lack the experience that veteran builders have. Look for a food truck company that has at least 20 years of experience to ensure you will get a high-quality custom food truck capable of helping you hit your growth goals.