If you are looking to expand your food based business, Firefly manufacturers custom food trucks and concession trailers to help you grow. A custom food truck or other mobile kitchen has many advantages over a brick and mortar restaurant expansion.
Top reasons to expand your restaurant with a custom food truck:
- Mobile Kitchens Generate Offsite Catering and Event Revenue
- A Custom Food Truck is Cheaper Than a Restaurant
- Shorter Construction Time than a Brick and Mortar
- Custom Food Trucks are a Mobile Billboard for Your Business
- Food Trucks Require Less Staff to Operate
- Emergency, Back Up Kitchen
- Custom Food Trucks are Cool
A Mobile Kitchen Generates Offsite Catering and Event Revenue
First off, with a food truck there’s no waiting for customers to come to you. A food truck can help you target new revenue streams not available to brick and mortars. By taking your kitchen on the road, you can reach new customers through profitable mobile catering, festivals and events.
Check out our 20+ food truck revenue stream ideas to explore how a food truck can make your business more profitable.
Custom Food Truck are Cheaper
The average cost of a brick and mortar expansion cost is $150 – $300 per square foot or more if you’re building a second restaurant location from the ground up.
That means both a new custom truck or used food truck will cost up to 10 times less than opening a brick and mortar. Really the only difference between new and used is when you will spend the money…. Money upfront for a brand new kitchen, or money over time due to costly, unexpected repairs for an older used kitchen. And even that isn’t certain. If you choose to finance your new food truck, the monthly payment is often cheaper once you factor in the repairs and lost revenue from a used truck.
Shorter Construction Time than a Brick and Mortar
Restaurant builds often get mired in endless construction delays, red tape, and building inspections. A brick and mortar kitchen renovation may take up to 6 months or more in a city with strict regulations.
If you opt to build a brand new custom food truck with a reputable food truck manufacturer, the build time will be about the same as opening a brick and mortar. Buying a used food truck can get you serving faster, though there are serious risks if you don’t choose the right used food truck.
Mobile kitchens are also cheaper to operate, especially once you factor in staffing.
Every new build comes with a Firefly Warranty
Your success is our success. We stand behind our work with an industry-leading, 2-year warranty on every new build so you can spend more time connecting with customers and less time in the shop.
A Custom Food Truck Requires Less Staff to Operate
Since a food truck has no “front of house”, the amount of staff required to man a food truck is much lower than a brick and mortar.
The US has been experiencing a restaurant staffing shortage for years. As of mid 2022, restaurant job openings exceed monthly hires by 500,000. A food service footprint that requires only a couple of staff members to operate is a serious asset in today’s economy.
It’s a Mobile Billboard for Your Business
The typical 18′ food truck offers about 416 sqft of blank space to advertise your brand. This is just shy of the average billboard size that companies pay thousands of dollars per month to rent.
The vast majority of food trucks take advantage of this free advertising space with a durable, custom food truck wrap. Wraps are made of stretchy vinyl that is custom printed with any design you can imagine. Properly installed wraps cost between $3500 and $7000 and last about 2-5 years before they need a refresh. A food truck wrap is a must-have investment to attract new customers to both your food truck and existing brick and mortar.
Check out Firefly’s full Wrap Design Guide to get 10 insider tips to help you design the perfect food truck wrap.
Emergency Back Up to Brick and Mortar Kitchen
What happens if your existing brick and mortar kitchen has to unexpectedly stop service?
Having a food truck or concession trailer is great back up plan if your regular restaurant kitchen has an emergency. From equipment malfunctions to health department shut downs to scheduled remodeling, a mobile kitchen can function as your main kitchen in a pinch.
Even if you ignore the value from the peace of mind this creates, avoiding the lost business caused by interrupted service to your brick and mortar restaurant could be huge.
Food Trucks Hold Their Value
If for some reason you do need to sell, you will get a higher percentage of your food truck investment back than a brick and mortar investment.
As restaurant liquidators will tell you, you won’t recoup much from closing a brick and mortar. The front of house eating area in a new restaurant is often completely remodeled, and individual kitchen equipment depreciates quickly.
On the flip side, the relative rarity, mobility, and low cost of food trucks keeps them in high demand. Sure, buying a custom food truck is 100% better than a used food truck. But since many people choose to ignore the pitfalls of purchasing a used truck and only look at the lower purchase price, used food trucks are sometimes just as expensive as a new ones. Obviously this is great if you’re trying to sell your food truck and recoup your investment.
Should You Expand Your Restaurant with A Custom Food Truck?
Yes! Food trucks are a strong compliment to any brick and mortar restaurant footprint. The combination of flexibility, low cost, and low risk makes them a better investment than opening another brick and mortar.
Whether you run a coffee shop and want a small concession trailer to vend outside office parks, you’re a taco restaurant that wants to cater weddings, or a national brand looking for unique outlets, Firefly can help. We’re a one-stop shop to design, build, wrap, and repair your mobile business. Call Firefly today for your free consultation, quote and expert business advice.