Starting a Food Truck
The popularity of food trucks has continued to grow! As such, new food trucks continue to open throughout the United States (and the world). Every new food truck has an opportunity to add to their respective market. They can do this with their cuisine, their service and their organization. But where does the prospective new food truck start? Should the new food truck merely go to where all of the other food trucks vend? Many new trucks are frustrated with their inability to find places to vend in their first few weeks on the road. Ongoing lunch lots are typically booked up and organizers usually like to wait and hear how a truck is received before booking them at their events. Starting a food truck requires a lot of time spent developing your market.
New food trucks must understand the importance of creating their own market and customer base. It’s not the industry’s job to find new food trucks customers, and it’s best not to be at the mercy of your regional event organizers. So how do you acquire customers? Start with your friends, relatives and coworkers. Does anyone in your group of friends/family work at a building or complex that has limited food options? Do you have friends that need food for a private party? It’s important to reach out to everyone that may need your services and let them know that you’re now the proud owner of a food truck! There is no easy answer and it’s important to have enough cash reserves that you can make mistakes and/or develop your market.
Many food trucks that have been on the road for a long time have developed spots and areas that are popular with customers. These spots can be parking lots near a building, or just streets where food trucks congregate. As a region’s industry grows it’s important that new opportunities are developed. If newer trucks simply go where other trucks have already created the market, an oversaturation occurs. In instances where a space is on private property, many new food trucks get frustrated when they’re not allowed by the organizer (often the organizer is another food truck) to vend. The best way to ensure your new food truck has access to organized spaces is to organize some spaces of your own. Asking an established food truck if you can vend from one of their developed spaces is much easier when you can offer that food truck something in return.
Developing your own market ensures success without having to rely on others. The more places and spaces you can develop yourself the better your chance for success. Don’t forget how important catering is. Make sure that everyone who walks up to your food truck, sees it driving on the road or checks out your website knows that you cater!