Food trucks can be a great opportunity for getting into the restaurant business.
Base your cuisine on what you see as a local market need and you can be shifting into high gear as successful restaurant entrepreneur.
The industry’s rise began in 2008, as the recession hit. According to Mobile Cuisine revenue has increased at an impressive annualized rate of 12.4% over the five years to 2014.
According to IBISWorld, a market research firm, from 2011 to 2016 industry revenue grew at an annual rate of 7.9%. But from a per state and local regulation standpoint trucks are more trendy and popular in some places than others. Places such as Portland, Oregon, is city known for its culinary scene, and has had small food carts on its streets for decades.
The food truck industry, which is the fastest-growing concept in today’s food service industry, has grown from $650 million in 2013 to a projected $2.7 billion 2017, according to Emergent Research.
With less than $100,000, an entrepreneur can launch a food truck that can earn $250,000-$500,000 per year, according to a 2015 IBISWorld report. I’m sure many have started with less than $100,000! In fact I know I’ve consulted with and helped owners get started for much less.
To be successful it’s important to have a focused niche just like any other restaurant or small business for that matter.
All you need is one great item. The majority food vendors do not have diverse menu offerings. In fact, the majority offer one or two choices.
Smoothie / Healthy Drink Trucks
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Cupcakes and desserts
Street tacos and burritos
Mediterranean / Gyros
Crepes with special toppings
Vietnamese Banh Mi Sandwiches
Ice cream and soft serve
Shaved ice / Italian ice
Matt Rhodie, owner of Carpe Donut in Charlottesville, Virginia, relies on his homemade cider donuts. His advice is to “…make three items and do them well…I’m not going to have room to be Dunkin’ Donuts, so I have to stick to serving one type of doughnut, locally roasted coffee and hot mulled cider. And people love it.”
Even existing restaurants are getting their TRUCK ON! Jeff Blank, owner of Hudson’s on the Bend in Austin, Texas, opened a food truck last year when revenue at the restaurant was down almost 25%. Thanks to the revenue from the lunch truck, the Mighty Cone, he has more than made up for the losses.
A food truck is a great way to get into the business before starting a brick and mortar restaurant. You’ll get hands on experience, find out who your target market is and if your idea can be developed into a sit down or if it’s more lucrative to be on wheels.
Keep On Food Trucking!!!
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