It is only natural for gifted, passionate professionals to want to branch out and start their own business. Many chefs may land their dream job in an amazing kitchen, but sooner than later the urge to be in business for themselves rings clear. More chefs are investing in food trucks, as the investment and risks are significantly lower. In fact, according to Mobile Cuisine 2016 saw an increase in food truck businesses by nearly 13% with an average yearly revenue generation of $300,000. Finding the best food truck manufacturers is paramount to keeping costs down and maximizing your revenue. Here are four tips to help you set the groundwork necessary to a successful food truck career.
The most important thing to look for in a food truck manufacturer is a company that only uses the highest quality part and equipment. Some food truck builders will claim to be saving their clients’ money by offering lower prices on used parts and equipment, or lower-quality materials. In actuality this costs the client thousands because the repair bills, loss of workable hours, and replacement costs are devastating. The cost difference between a reasonably priced high-quality food truck build and one built with inferior parts is not that large of a difference. But if you are going to build a food truck, get the job done the right way using a solid high-grade builder.
2. Look at the Food Truck Manufacturer’s Portfolio
When researching food truck builders, be sure to ask for their portfolio so you can see what other projects they have built, and who the client was. If the builder only has customers in a niche part of the food truck business (let’s say they have only built ice cream trucks) then continue your search elsewhere as poor diversity demonstrates they don’t have the ability to branch out and therefore they are not real experts. Look for a diverse portfolio demonstrating a mix of clients from your small fish taco guy down by the beach to a 20 foot long BBQ restaurant on wheels, to an enterprise fast food chain client down to your traditional mom and pop burger operation. Such a portfolio demonstrates the food truck manufacturer understands all markets and multiple business models.
3. Look for Marketers
The best home builders understand codes and their local real estate market, and the best food truck manufacturers understand their client’s specific market. If you plan to start a food truck business that sells gourmet burgers in Santa Monica, then your builder needs to understand the burger market in Santa Monica in regards to food trucks and brick and mortar locations, know how the competition brands themselves, who their buyers are, what people in Santa Monica look for in a good burger, and why various burger trucks either do well or fail. This information will enable them to design and brand your truck, as well as what kind of technology to embed in the blueprint.
4. Find a Food Truck Builder Who Also Services Vehicles
Make sure your food truck builder also makes repairs and provides regular service. Not only does this further demonstrate their mechanical knowledge, it also gives them credibility as they likely stand behind each build with a warranty or guarantee. Also, it is just better to have the guy who built your food truck also be the person who maintains its good working order.