At the time of writing – mid 2019 – in the U.S., there are more than 4,000 food trucks. The food truck industry employs in excess of 14,000 people.
Revenue growth for the food truck industry in the U.S. stands at 7.9 percent year on year over the prior five years.
Nevertheless, irrespective of the healthy industry revenue growth, there’s always a risk in starting your own business.
Regardless that your business plan is solid, and you have a deep-set passion for cooking, there remains many challenges to running a successful food truck business.
On top of that, short- to mid-term success is one thing, long-term success is quite another.
In this article, we highlight the advantages of developing your own food truck business as well as the potential downfalls.
What are the Advantages of Opening a Food Truck Business?
1 There’s far less risk involved than opening a brick-and-mortar-type restaurant.
Minimizing risks is among the top priorities for any and all small business owners.
In the restaurant industry, startup costs are very high. In the food truck industry, startup costs are a lot lower.
There are many chefs who set up food truck businesses that then went on to establish their own successful brick-and-mortar restaurants.
2 Establishing your own business means you’re your own boss.
It will come as no surprise to you that if you do start up your own food truck business, you’ll be your own boss.
That – being your own boss – can bring with it pros as well as cons. But, for the aspiring entrepreneur, when you’re your own boss, the only way is up.
3 You get to cook what you want and set your own menu.
The majority of chefs dream about creating their very own menu and cooking and serving their own foods – foods that they’ve created – foods that are quite unique.
If you own and operate a food truck business, the opportunities to do just that – to showcase your own culinary skills – are right at your fingertips.
You may have a host of family recipes that have been passed down, or you might have an array of your own tasty creations in mind – whatever the scenario, you’re the boss, you can make things happen.
4 Opportunities aplenty.
When you’re getting started as a food trucker, there are a large variety of opportunities available to you in terms of how to market your business and gain custom.
You might decide to park up within the boundaries of a busy office area – ideal to meet the requirements of a hungry workforce at lunchtime. You may prefer to vend at local events. Or how about establishing your business near to a local shopping mall – there’s plenty of competition, but many people prefer to avoid paying restaurant prices.
What About the Disadvantages of Opening a Food Truck?
1 Local zoning laws.
Your restaurant may be mobile, but just because it is doesn’t mean you can park anywhere you like.
Every city has zoning restrictions. These restrictions designate both commercial as well as non-commercial zones.
And it’s because of the restrictions that a savvy food truck owner/ operator will plan months in advance. This way they can obtain the necessary permits that are required to park in particular locations.
Furthermore, there are some cities that do not allow the parking of food trucks in the same spot for any more than a single day at a time. Meaning, you can’t park your food truck in the same location for two days or more in a row.
In the majority of cities, a food truck is regarded as the same as any other vehicle in that you must pay parking fees for certain areas.
2 Competition is keen in the food truck industry.
The food truck industry is very competitive.
As such, prior to setting up your own food truck business, make sure that you’re aware about the consumer demand where you are and whether those demands are being fully met or otherwise.
3 Be aware of the vehicle-related costs.
A new food truck can cost anything between $30,000 and $100,000.
For obvious reasons, not all wannabe food truck business owners can afford to invest that kind of money.
Hence, there’s a large demand for used food trucks.
But, do remember that for every state there are varying food truck construction standards.
Therefore, you should be familiar with these construction standards prior to making an investment in a used food truck so you know what’s required if you decide to do a remodeling job.
Additionally, if your used food truck is in the garage on a regular basis to have repairs done, you’re paying out not earning. That’s a costly business to be running!
Have your say…
Do you own a food truck or do you want to invest in your own food truck and start running your own business?
No doubt there’s money to be made, providing you’re aware of the potentials and the requirements.
Have your say by leaving a comment below.