The most profitable food truck business are the ones that invest in great design at the beginning of their food truck journey. Choosing key food truck features that will improve your food truck business performance is a must. Or maybe you’ve already invested in a food truck and are looking to upgrade.
Whether you’re new to operating a food truck or are an industry veteran, here are 5 food truck features that will give a boost to your business.
1. Eye-Catching Food Truck Wrap
A food truck is a rolling billboard for your brand. Don’t squander all of this marketing opportunity by leaving it blank.
Lots of people think food trucks are hand-painted. But most food trucks are actually wrapped in a stretchy vinyl that can be custom printed with any design imaginable. Software like Adobe Photoshop is used to create the design, then special oversized printers translate the digital design to vinyl. Finally, a skilled wrap installer adheres the wrap to the vehicle.
2. Effective Food Truck Menu Board
How to display your food truck menu is often the last thing that food truck owners think about. But it should be one of the first. The menu board is your most important sales tool. It affects whether a customer approaches your truck, how much they order, how quickly they order, how much they spend, and how disappointed they are when you’ve run out of an item. Your menu board should:
- Be big and up high so people can read it from far away
- Light up at night
- Include pictures because good food photographs sell
- Change menu item prices quickly and easily
- Add new menu items quickly and easily
- Remove menu items on the fly that aren’t available
- Look professional
We’ve seen a variety of menu solutions: chalkboards, whiteboards, TV screens, menus integrated into the wrap, butcher paper rolls, sidewalk A-frame signs, printed 8.5″ x 11″ taped all over the serving window, and finally oversize printed menus that slide into a frame. Each of these menu options achieve some of the goals, but not all of them.
Firefly has created the first menu board solution that does every single thing a food truck owner needs it to do. Learn more here.
3. Food Truck Specific Kitchen Equipment and Layout
First off, food trucks are small, space is at a premium, and the aisle can’t be blocked. That means you need smaller equipment models to fit into the cramped dimensions of a mobile kitchen.
Next, all kitchen equipment should be NSF-certified commercial grade. Many health departments will fail your food truck for using equipment intended for residential use. Also, even if your health department allows residential equipment, it just won’t hold up over time. Food truck equipment needs to be able to withstand serious road vibration from being driven or towed. Residential models, and even many commercial models, just can withstand this beating. Some of Firefly’s favorite brands to use are Nelson, Taylor, True, Turbo Air, Beverage Air, American Range, and Connerton.
Also, if your food truck uses liquid propane or natural gas to cook, your equipment hoses and connections need to be rated for mobile use. Hoses intended for stationary applications will eventually leak creating dangerous and explosive conditions.
And lastly, you need to leave countertop space! Mobile kitchens are small so it’s understandable that you would think that packing them with as much equipment possible would add value. But one of the most undervalued features in a food truck kitchen is actually counter space. Clear work surfaces allow you to assemble orders quickly and efficiently so the kitchen can keep up with incoming orders.
Look to your custom food truck manufacturer to help you determine the best food truck specific equipment and layout that your money can buy.
4. Point of Sale or POS System
- Knowing how much money you made (or didn’t make) on every shift is critical. Patterns in high and low sales will help you understand what works and what doesn’t.
- Worried about employee theft? A POS system can reduces “shrinkage” from cash handling by encouraging more customers to pay with their smart phone or credit card.
- Most people carry less than $20 in cash in their pockets which may drive customers to buy less from you than they would have otherwise. Again, easily accepting credit can lead to a boost in sales.
- A POS system makes reporting income tax and sales tax way easier!
5. ANSUL Kitchen Fire Suppression System
Kitchen fires can and do happen. An ANSUL fire suppression system uses a fire retarding foam to put out a fire big enough to automatically trigger it. ANSUL systems are installed by certified fire professionals and, like fire extinguishers, need to be re-inspected regularly to ensure they’re in working order.
While cleaning up the foam may sound like a headache, it’s way better than you or an employees becoming burn victims or your food truck exploding. Like insurance, it’s best to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
At Firefly, your safety is not optional. Every Firefly food truck of food trailer we manufacture comes equipped with an ANSUL fire suppression system along with a bunch of other safety features.
If your existing food truck just isn’t working out or you’re ready to start a new food truck business, contact Firefly today. Firefly is one of the best custom food truck manufacturers. We are a licensed trailer manufacturer, guaranty your food truck will pass health inspection, and include a 1-year warranty on every new build.