Food Trucks and Food carts can be hugely profitable and before you start

Posted by Damian Roberti on

This Damien from marketing and food online and this podcast, I'm going to show you the nine essential skills to be a successful food truck operator and we're going to get to it right now.


Damien from marketing food online and I'm going to show you nine different skills that will be a huge asset to you if you are looking to become a food truck operator, but not just a food truck operator, but a successful one at that. There's a lot of glamour that kind of goes along with the food truck industry and the food truck business as a whole and some of it is definitely merited, but a lot of it is kind of over run with this glamorous lifestyle that food truck operators have and that they live day by day. But it is a really grueling and in many cases a hard day's work in order to make it successful and to pull it off to be a profitable business. But there is a lot of huge advantages to actually running a food truck compared to a brick and mortar restaurant.

And flexibility is the number one word that comes to mind when we talk about that. So I'm going to give you nine of these skills that they are not in any particular order, but these are nine skills that you would definitely need to either perfect. Maybe you actually you're good at two or three of them. Maybe you're good at all of them, but you should really strive to be great at every single one of them. And for that you'd have a hugely popular and hugely profitable food trucks. So let me jump right into it. Number one, and this is the what are the non glamorous sides. As I was opening up with what I was talking about is your ability to take care of and maintain your truck. And I mean that on kind of a of repair level in a sense that you need to understand the mechanics of your food truck.

Before we dive into anything about food knowledge or understanding how to market your product or customer service, you need to understand how the actual truck and the mechanics work. And here's the reason why I'm of course, if you have a big major issue with the mechanics or engine aspects or if you've got some other faulty issue electrically, you can take that in and have it fixed. But in many cases when you are at an event or at a food truck rally or somewhere where there you're obviously not near a convenient, um, garage to fix those repairs, you need to understand how your truck works. Now that doesn't necessarily mean you need to go out to become a mechanic, but re having kind of like repair skills is something that is a major plus when you're operating a food truck. And a lot of people don't realize that or think about it.

It's one thing to know how your kitchen works inside of the truck, but the mechanical aspect of it is something else a unto itself. So brushing up on those skills, actually familiarizing yourself specifically with the model truck that you are operating and knowing it kind of like the back of your hand is going to save you a another just just money but save you the headaches and the time, uh, to fix it when you're on site or if you happen to be somewhere where you don't necessarily have a mechanic available instantly. So touching up on that and understanding how your truck, where every single food truck is different, there's different makes different models. There's different types of equipment that has put into them. They actually run differently, they operate differently and the list goes on and on. But knowing how your truck works and the ability to fix it at winn is definitely something you need to be good at.

Now, next one up, and this is like super, super important, especially if you're looking to grow the awareness of your food truck. Now this is where a brick and mortar business, a brick and mortar restaurant compared to a food truck varies greatly because obviously your restaurant, a brick and mortar restaurant doesn't move. It is stationary. It has an address and you could simply advertise market and promote it through social media and such in a way that's much different than a food truck because as you travel around in other certain city or county or state, um, what's really great is understanding how social media can benefit your food truck. I'm utilizing Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and all of these social media platforms. It's going to allow you to give almost up to date status on where you're going to be with your food truck if you have followers or if you have people who love your food or your cuisine and definitely is a great way to interact with your customers on an instantaneous level in a sense that they could be there at a food truck rally.

Uh, taking pictures, taking selfies. I'm riding up menu co comments about how the food tastes and how fantastic the uh, the truck was and the customer service and all of that is in real time kind of instantaneous. But in order for you to use all of that, you need to have some skills in social media and understand how it works and how you can take advantage of it. Once you get the basics and get the gist of how it works. Keeping it up and running and maintaining a social media presence is something that is almost taken over by your customers in a sense. And that is what you want. You want that organic traffic, the traffic and the recognition and the notoriety that you're not having to pay for through advertising and as a huge plus in a food truck business. Now next up is of course you may love food, you may love to cook it, but having an understanding of food, flavor profiles, seasonings, and the types of recipes for products that are gonna really sell well where you are, that is totally different.

So having that love for food of course is a great starting point. But understanding how the food works, how your recipes work with your clientele. If you're going to certain events, you may obviously prepare certain foods that are going to sell better than other types of foods or other types of snacks or other types of, of, of products. Um, and being aware of where you're going to go and who is going to be there is ultra important. So that's Kinda like where they bring together the recipes and the knowledge of your customers to create a menu that's going to really make you money. Otherwise you're going to be preparing food or offering food that nobody's going to line up for. Add an event to eat. So be aware of your food, exactly the food that you're making, the type of food, um, if it happens to be ethnic food of happens to be a certain type of a food. If it's a deep fried type of situation or if it's a healthier version, maybe a salad, a salad, trucks. I think that's more how the, your light, you being aware of what fits best, where you're going to be, that is going to make you way more money than just randomly pulling up in a truck that sells hot dogs. And Pizza.

So in the next one up is your customer service skills. So now this is something where a lot of people think they have great skills at, but when they begin to interact with customers easily, they get set set off where it's stressful situations arise or someone complains. And then the temporary comes into flare. And I've actually seen this at food truck rallies and food truck events where they're great ed cooking food and there are people, some people are great at being chefs, but mixing and the two of those together, if you have a staff, here's something that I would say, if you know yourself and you know that you're not 100% amazing at customer service and that's okay. No one has to be perfect at all of these attributes. And I'm talking about, but maybe your staff find someone or hire that person that you know is great with people while you're working the, the, the stove or you're working back in preparing the food itself and you're not coming direct contact with customers.

Find someone who can. And there's nothing wrong with that. No. And again, like I said, you don't have to be perfect at every single one of these nine attributes that I'm talking about because nobody really is amazing at all of them at the same time. Okay, you're not a robot and that's, that's understandable. But find a staff member, find somebody who helps you out, who's got those great customer service and put them in the front, front of the front of the, uh, the truck, the one that dealing with the money. Interchanging though the money in, uh, the menu and taking the orders and working with the customers directly because they're going to be an asset to you and make any more successful and financially obviously more profitable.

Be Creative. This is something that in the food business, as a chef, that's always the most exciting aspect of being a chef is coming up with new flavor profiles and new combinations of ingredients. So being creative is a utmost importance when you're doing this. This is not something that can just be done once. Set Menu fits all. But coming up with creative company co compositions and flavor profiles and trying new things, experimenting, introducing him one or two new items in your menu at every new show, just to see what you know, test the waters and to see what fits and what sticks. And maybe that is something you could bring to your next food truck rally or next food truck event or wherever you're going. So you're always evolving, you're always changing something up. Don't always get stuck in a Rut if you're serving one type of food, try some variations of those recipes.

Okay. And being creative is Billy, I believe it or not. At the end of the day it's going to create much more of your bottom line and more of a profitability for you. So the next thing up, are you in it for the long haul? This is something that a lot of food truck entrepreneurs, when they first start out, they're energized, they're excited, they have a couple of great shows or the couple of great food truck rallies and then it kind of dies off and the interest gets, they get exhausted, they get worn. So having the ability to go for the long haul is something you need to keep in mind. If you want to do this for quite a few years or as long as possible, be aware of how much energy it's really going to take out of you. The more help you have on on hand, the more hands on deck in a sense, the better off it is for you because you're not having to put so much on your shoulders and that trusts me will not wear you out.

I operate several, uh, over six businesses, online food businesses, and I handle a lot of the day to day operations and I've begun to realize that delegating these things, uh, to other people is something that is a must. So same thing goes with the food truck. If you love what you're doing and you're in the kitchen, that is the aspect you like bring on board a staff or additional help who can take some of those responsibilities off your shoulders. Next up, you've got to be really, really good at. And this is something that I've actually experienced with my food business. Uh, and our candy and snack business really good with numbers. It doesn't mean you got to be a physicist or a math major in in college, but you really need to understand your ingredients. You don't understand how much you're using and how much is it costing you because your margins can be sometimes very tight in the food business, but if you can make that up in a food truck, having a, obviously a lot smaller overhead and there's a lot of benefits financially, which we won't get into in this specific or specific video, but some of the benefits to knowing your numbers and knowing them really well, it's going to create a better margin and profit for you.

Okay, so be aware of every aspect where every single penny and dime is going to go so that way you can track it and control it and add and add more money to your bottom line. Then it would be if something that you're just kind of guesstimating or estimating that that is something that I would not recommend. Now, are you good at doing multiple things? One of the biggest aspects of a food truck is multitasking because you may have a couple of people on hand to a couple of staff to help you out. But in the meantime, you're back there cooking, you're setting up the new new, uh, tray. You may be getting a new order set through. You may be also on the front assisting a customer. You may be answering questions about your, your menu and there's a multitude of other things. So if you're not really good at doing more than one thing at once, or understanding the stress level that comes with that kind of a multitasking concept, that food truck may not be something you may be wanting to do because you will be doing more than one thing and account and being accountable for way more than just one singular aspect of the food truck.

So lastly, setting up the last one, and I touched briefly on this a little while ago, marketing, okay. Again, this is something that you could potentially actually, um, hire someone to do for you. If you're not great at marketing and it's going to really take advantage of social media for the most part, predominantly it's going to be done through social media and that is the way most of you, your publicity, your, your promotions, the marketability of your food truck is really going to go through social media. And if you're not good at that, there's actually a lot of companies out there, very small, even a small startup companies that can do that media aspect for you and help you market your truck. So if you're going to be in a certain city or certain county, but you're in certain food truck areas on a regular basis, on certain days, that is a great thing to have at least some stability in your schedule.

And that way you can feed off that and you can play with that. Um, when, when social media comes into play with that, so you could bring out your customers who know you're going to be a certain place every Thursday or every Monday you're going to be at a certain, uh, park and you're gonna have a food truck rally on Saturday, wherever it may be. Um, having a marketing plan in place is going to allow you to have a constant flow of those customers plus the potential of the word of mouth, which can increase your customer base when they go to these events. When people start telling their friends, hey my God, this one truck is amazing. You've got to be here. We go on Thursday night and they bring their friends and then it begins to grow and grow. So marketing your food truck is something that a lot of Food truck operators don't really give it much time about or think about, but it's truly the backbone of beginning a brand and beginning, um, your, your truck getting recognized at certain events and building up a, um, a group of customers who are going to be there constantly.

So really quick rundown. I wanted to throw that out there for you. Food truck operators, or if you're looking to be in the business of starting a food truck. Just a few aspects to think about in regards to what it takes to run one. And if you have any questions, do let me know down below. And of course, if you are not subscribed, please do subscribe to marketing food online. We've got over 500 videos to help you get your food business up and running or start a food product and get you online or in retail stores. And I'll see you guys on the next video.