When seeking companies that specialize in building food trucks, there are a number of things that need to be in place in order to ensure you are making a solid investment that will enable you to run a successful business right out the gate, and for years to come. All too often, aspiring food truck businesses have good intentions, but when it comes to buying a food truck for the first time, they make a lot of uninformed decisions that usher in financial losses.
This article is intended to help people make educated decisions when building a food truck to ensure year-over-year growth by sharing the top three tips to focus on, according to a group of surveyed businesses.
1. Demand a Growth-Driven Design when Building a Food Truck
When you interview various companies that specialize in building a food truck, make sure the manufacturer has an advanced understanding of your customers, your business model (and menu), and your revenue goals. The food truck design should support a plan to achieve your growth goals. Otherwise, the design has no growth-driven attributes. For example, if you currently have a team of two, and your menu has 8 items then you may need a 16-foot platform with a griddle and fryer. But your two-year growth goal is to expand your business by doubling the menu items and hiring two additional employees, then you may need a 20-foot food truck with the addition of a stove, oven, and a bigger refrigeration system. But sometimes going too big in your first year of business can lead to expenses that don’t justify your current earnings. This is where the best companies building a food truck step in and engineer a vehicle that offers an ideal platform size and equipment that will help you find immediate success while setting you up for add-ons down the road so that you may continue to grow and stay prosperous.
2. Building a Food Truck that’s Custom, or Buying Used?
Unfortunately, a lot of people invest in used food trucks because they create the illusion of better savings. After all, the sticker price is significantly less. However, used food trucks often lead to business failure. Last year, more than 80 percent of food trucks failed to be profitable after having run in their first two years. The number one reason for this was that the business owners bought used food trucks. A used food truck is someone else’s design to accommodate their own growth goals and customers; it’s a shoe that simply won’t fit your foot. In addition, used food trucks saw a spike in breakdowns which lead to expensive repair bills and revenue losses by taking the food truck off the street. This also caused customers to go to competitors, and this gave the competition an opportunity to win the crowd over. You may pay more up front for your own custom food truck, but you will have an 85% higher chance of being successful and securing your ROI within the first year of business.
3. Food Truck Exterior Design
When building a food truck, you will want to work with a company that truly masters the exterior design. Whether you have a visual concept that requires a professional to polish up, or you want a company that creates a food truck design from scratch, the food truck’s exterior must resonate with your target customers. In addition, knowing whether or not to use paint or vinyl is important. If you plan on working near the sea, or in a hot climate, a high salinity level can cause paint to erode, and the heat can cause paint to fade, and yearly touch-ups create an unnecessary expense that could otherwise be avoided. In this case, vinyl would be more ideal because it is more rugged in harsher elements. However, if you will be working in an area with cool and moderate year-around temperatures and a low salinity level in the atmosphere, then paint could be the better option.