What things make it difficult to operate a food truck?

Posted by Damian Roberti on

What things make it difficult to operate a food truck?



Welcome to a food truck, freights. It's Dami, Roberti, founder and CEO of food truck freights. And in this video, we're actually going to cover a handful of your actual questions and comments in regards to opening a food truck business. So I've got a few things I wanted to talk about. And on this podcast, we'll upload this onto our YouTube channel as well, but definitely check out our podcast and our multiple food entrepreneur channels here on YouTube, down in the description section. So let's jump right into this question and a couple of others. So there are a few things that really do make it a bit of a challenge and difficulty. When you first start, of course, a food truck business, It is always best to have some type of experience, of course, and always have a little bit of funding or quite a bit of funding in order to get up and running.

But food trucks are a bit different in regards to what it costs to get up and running. And a few of the hu-hoops, if you will, that you need to jump through in order to do that. So I'm going to go over five specific things here on this podcast that will make it a little bit more understandable as far as what are some of the difficulties you may face? Number five, one of the biggest things right out of the gate, number five is going to be permits, understanding the permit process and the licensing process. There is no paint brush that kind of paints across every single city and county across the United States. It's all the same. It's just you get this and this and these permits and licenses vary by city and county. And even some of the state requirements will vary, which makes it difficult to kind of understand which one you necessarily need.


What things make it difficult to operate a food truck?


When do you need to get it? What kind of inspections do you have to have? So understanding your city or the county that you live in permits, and what's needed to get going, can be a bit tricky. And of course, making it a little bit more difficult for you to actually get yourself up and running. So find out specifically from the city, what they require as far as permitting. There are a lot of varieties of permits, such as fire inspections, health department resale license sales, permits, sales tax permits, that go on and on, but they don't exactly align with every single city and county. Make sure you find out specifically what the permitting is because understanding the permitting is one of the most difficult operations parts of operating a food truck, especially when you're just getting started.

If you're not sure where number four comes in as an upfront investment, it's probably one of the most expensive aspects of any business in its early stages.I've been in my own business now for over 14 years. And for the first part of opening my business, I dumped a lot of money into it. So understand that upfront, the initial upfront investment is a bit difficult because you may be overwhelmed by the amount that you think that you need to have. A few things that you can look at are the cost of your vehicle. You don't have to have a new vehicle, and believe it or not, you can get great used vehicles for your specific food truck, because the type of menu you'll be making, as well as the equipment inside that food truck, will dictate what type of truck you actually need.But there are a lot of great used food trucks that you can get that you may have to tweak slightly, or maybe even just use right out of the gate.



What things make it difficult to operate a food truck?


But it could save you a lot of money. So your upfront investment comes in at number four because the initial cost of your food truck, the initial cost of ingredients, and about three to six months' worth of payroll for the people you may or may not bring on board too. Of course, paying yourself all of these things can be a big hurdle upfront when you first invest in your food truck operation. Now, before we get to the last three, be sure to watch this all the way through, because at the end, I'm going to hook you guys up with some additional free resources. I've got two more videos that you definitely want to take a look at after this one. And we'll pop 'em up here on our YouTube channel, of course, and on our podcast. We'll put some links on our podcast for you guys to check them out.

Number three, finding reliable help. I'm not sure what's going on in 2022 or why there are so many businesses that are in desperate need of really good quality help finding reliable help for their food trucks.Business can be a huge benefit, of course, because that can help elevate and increase your sales overall. Plus the fact that, you know, you just, if you find a good team of workers and they stick with you, you can grow your food truck business in a lot of different directions. The thing about it is that the biggest challenge is finding reliable help. Those people who will show up when we meet them, stay late. If they have to come in early, this is one of the most difficult aspects of operating a food truck. When you start talking about what things make it difficult to get up and running with a food truck, finding reliable help is one thing.


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What things make it difficult to operate a food truck?


If you've got a family member, if you've got a friend or a brother and you want to go into it and you are passionate about it, that is a huge asset. Take as much of that quality help that you can get at the time, you can get it, but finding that reliable help consistently, that's going to be one of the most challenging and difficult things in the food industry as a whole. When it comes to restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, any of those things that serve food, food service, it's really challenging to really find good help. And when you do, you need to really respect that and treat them really well and make sure that they are aware that one of the things that really impresses you about what they do is that they show up early. Maybe they stay late, whatever that might be, make sure you incentivize that, make sure you give them the paths in the back.

Make sure you show that gratitude because it's going to help keep them with you in times when you truly need them. So number three was actually finding reliable help. So number two, what's really interesting is business licensing. Now, I touched a little bit earlier about permits. This specifically is something that a lot of food truck operators who just start don't realize, and it can be a bit of a challenge to understand the business licensing side of the food truck industry. Many cities, when you cross over a line into another city or you go into another county, and in some cases, even another state, you have to have a business license to operate that mobile food business in that city or county. And a lot of times, food truck operators don't realize, hey, if I'm in, you know, Fort Florida and I cross over into Miami, most of the time you're going to actually need to have a business license there.


What things make it difficult to operate a food truck?


So this is something that is a bit of a difficulty too, when you first start to operate in understanding, because a lot of times food truck vendors who are new to the industry, new they'll go to those different cities or counties operate the business there, and they can get fined. You can lose your license, potentially even your truck, you can get just the fines in general will cost a fortune, but you can get a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars fine. But you don't wanna do that. So find out if you're going to another city or county, one of the challenges of getting the food truck up and running is just that understand whether or not you have to have a business ISIS, I'm not talking about permits for parking. I'm not talking about permits or licenses for health inspections, business license, because technically you're operating a business in a different county, even though it's mobile, like I said, you can be going to another state if you're from Florida and you're going to Texas for a big food truck, rather find out if you're gonna need to have a business license there last but not least the most critical and crucial from our list for what we thought.

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And when we put together this list of what things make it difficult to operate a food truck. Number one is going to be your ingredient sourcing. If you have a menu that has a specific set of ingredients, be sure that you've got not one and not even two. In some cases I, in our, our business here, we have up to three vendors for specific ingredients. Okay? If you're sourcing ingredients locally, fantastic. But in some cases, in some days, I'm gonna tell you right now it's gonna happen because restaurants faces food, service faces all the time, having a reliable source of ingredients, make sure you have a backup, and then you have a backup to your backup. I say this at my own personal experience, you need to have, if you've got sourcing vegetables, produce proteins, any of that stuff. And I'm gonna talk about going to BJs or Costcos or some of these big box stores or such, make sure that if you're supplying getting your supplies locally from maybe a local farmer or local grower, or even someone who has their own meat packing company, whatever it may be, make sure you have a backup to your backup.


What things make it difficult to operate a food truck?

because that's one of the difficulties to operate in a food truck. When you first start is you rely on one single source for your ingredients. And that is something that you can really get yourself caught in a, in a mess. If you have an event and you sell through your product and the next day you go back and throughout a half of the ingredients you need, you're gonna be in a problem in a quandary, make sure that you have someone to back up those specific ingredients. You always have it available. That's one of the biggest difficulties when you operate a food truck. So check out these we gonna pop up here. There we go. We've got a couple videos here. Check out these videos here. They're going to give you some additional resources of direction when you starting your food truck business. And if you have questions about starting, let us know. We do podcasts. We do videos. We have a ton of resources available for food entrepreneurs. And of course, this is a brand new channel. We do have multiple food entrepreneur channels, as I mentioned before. And of course marketing food online is our big channel with about a hundred thousand subscribers. So check out those channels and I'll see you guys.


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What things make it difficult to operate a food truck?