Firefly is not just a custom food truck builder. We are advocates of the LA food truck industry and want your business to succeed. If you want to grow your mobile business or start a food truck business, these top 10 tips will make it a success:
1) Simplify Your Food Truck Menu
Maybe you can “cook anything”. That’s fantastic. However, you will get more business if your menu offers 5 – 10 great options. Showcase your signature dish and surround it with your best supporting options. A simple, delicious menu makes it easier for customers to decide what to order. It will also limit your cost of ingredients, speed up your prep times, and increase order volume. Ultimately, these all add up to making you more money.
2) Chat with Your Customers
Get to know the people who are eating from your truck. Developing a relationship will encourage them to come back and bring their friends. You may even set up tables out front so people can relax and build memories with your food.
3) Embrace Social Media Marketing
Facebook, Twitter, and especially Instagram, are still awesome ways to market your food and serving locations. Post photos of your food, of events, and yourself. Use Hootsuite or another free social media management platform to manage multiple accounts at once.
4) Keep Your Custom Food Truck Clean and Running
Because, health inspectors aren’t the only ones who like a clean truck. Obviously, so do your customers! Keep your kitchen spotless, and give the exterior a wash if you’ve had a big storm. Some commissaries provide cleaning facilities and mechanics to help you out. Keep your truck well maintained, and keep a contingency fund in case you need repairs.
Are food truck repairs costing you too much?
The cost of repairing your truck is just the beginning. What about the hidden costs of canceled events, disappointed customers and lost marketing opportunities? Learn why a new Firefly food truck is actually cheaper than a used food truck.
5) Get Your Paperwork in Order
Secure your mandatory permits and tax forms early. Set calendar reminders to renew them. When health inspectors show up for surprise inspections, be ready for them.
6) Get a Food Truck Point of Sale or POS System
Consider processing payments with a POS system like Square or Toast. Here are a few great reasons why:
- 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 credit card or smart phone.
- 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!
7) Diversify Your Offerings
Food prep is an art form, so have fun with it. Foodies love limited-time offerings (e.g. McRib), so try out a special menu item for holidays or events. Mixing it up will keep your passion and creativity alive, which will appeal to more customers. Who knows? If you do well enough, you may well open a second custom food truck.
8) Network with Other Food Truck Business Owners
Because no food truck is an island, talk to your fellow food truckers between shifts. Join a local food truck association. You’ll gain more knowledge, event leads, and friendships to grow your business.
9) Hire Good People
Hiring for any kitchen is a challenge. As a result, investing a few extra bucks and some time to cement lasting relationships with your kitchen team can make a huge difference. A happier team will pay for themselves quickly by making more sales, reducing turnover and giving you peace of mind.
10) Do Your Homework
Finally, read up on how people are engaging with food trucks in their community. Keep your knowledge of events, regulations, and food types fresh. Keeping your custom food truck business current is a great way to take advantage of trends to build lasting loyalty.
Are you ready to start your mobile business? Call Firefly Fabrication today at (941) 524-4981 and get your custom food truck or trailer shipped to you in as little as 12 weeks.