The decision to start or improve a food truck places you in a long-standing concept that harkens back to ancient Rome. The convenience of food trucks and the menus that sweep across multiple cuisines and cultures are the primary reasons this industry continues to thrive. As the appeal of food trucks has gained momentum in recent years, so have the challenges for new food truck owners. That’s why some clever food truck business plan ideas are critical.
Increased competition, the availability of fewer original ideas, and increased regulatory scrutiny places an emphasis on planning. Standing out from competitors, as well as developing a sixth sense about what locations best suit you, are required pieces of knowledge to have in your pocket. When designing your food truck strategy, putting your designs, financial projections, and market analysis into one place makes it easier to execute and adjust.
The business plan is the perfect place to build and show in detail what it is your food truck is all about. A well thought out business plan must show potential business partners, investors, and banks exactly how you plan to launch, open, and sustain your food truck vision. At a minimum, it will serve as a guide and a reminder as you put forth your vision into the world.
Creating a Business Plan Requires Thought and Reflection
The initial stages of business plan development are heavy on dreams and research, with doses of reality sprinkled on top. Doing your homework around items such as market demand, cuisine potentials, truck layouts, and locations may reinforce your original ideas or obligate you to change direction. Staying open to change is crucial, as is the ability to maintain patience. Your business plan at the end should contain a few critical elements to be considered complete and must leave you feeling confident in the choices you are making.
Gauging the Marketability of your Anticipated Menu Items
Let’s face facts; people do not visit food trucks for their ambiance or to watch the Super Bowl. They visit food trucks for one thing and one thing only: to eat delicious, quality food and to obtain their meal or snack as fast as possible. Performing intensive market research is required to determine not only if your menu fits your areas of operation, but what, if any competitors are serving on their menus.
Part of your research must include looking at local regulations. For example, if your operating area is strictly against serving food cooked at less than 120 degrees, you may find that your raw almond salad dressing would be served in violation of health codes. These determining factors must be included in your business plan, and must be left open to adjustment as your operating conditions change.
A final consideration when examining your menu offerings in detail is the amount of effort required to put the meal together, and the viability of doing so in a small, enclosed space. You must also take environmental conditions into account as well, such as ventilation in the summer or heating in the winter. When you place these aspects on paper in your business plan, a solid overall strategy will start to form.
Streamlining Operations Through the Use of the Automation and the Cloud
The flexibility demonstrated by the food truck owner above was made easier, and arguably more successful, thanks to the forward-thinking of the POS solution he implemented. The ability to gather data and to effortlessly analyze it regardless of where you are is a game-changer for developing a flexible food truck operation. Accessing and adjusting ordering, pricing, and digital menus in a timely manner not only works to increase your margins, but aids in building a following.
Cloud-based POS systems can utilize next-gen automations that will show instantly in business plan financials. The ability to show a bank, investor, or potential partner the cost savings you have brought to the table simply by leveraging the advanced technology of the right POS solution brings them closer to establishing a profitable relationship with you. Not only does this demonstrate your capabilities, but it shows that you have your finger on the pulse of the culture your food truck is projecting.
Building in Flexibility to Change Your Vision
Determining if the menu you would like to serve will be well received is an important first step. However, you will need to build in flexibility for a variety of reasons. A changing of seasons may not make some foods as popular as others. Also, the competition in the areas you frequent may change, or in some cases come into existence. You must also be watchful so your menu does not grow stale (no pun intended) as your food truck business starts to mature. Let’s look at an example.
Food truck “A” was operating near a large business park. Emphasizing Indian cuisine, the food truck consistently had lines of 20 or more people from 11am to 2pm. Suddenly, the people stopped coming. There was no warning, no slowing of sales, just no customers. After a few days of this, the owner did some research and discovered that the cafeteria of the largest building in the business park just started offering Indian food as a lunch choice.
Instead of panicking, the food truck owner discovered a new option that was not offered in the cafeteria: a Middle Eastern menu. Using the customer data that was stored in his cloud-based POS solution, he discovered that he could still use most of his inventory. And, leveraging the app that his customers used to pre-order food, announced the menu change and offered a significant first-week discount. This brought customers flocking back to his food truck and averted the need to seek a new location and the new permits that a move may have required.
A Mentor for Your Food Truck Business Plan Ideas
Building a future as a food truck owner requires perseverance and a vision for your food truck business plan ideas. Developing food truck business plan ideas can lay out the blueprint for where you want to go, how will you go about doing it, and the methodology you will use to make necessary changes. While having a unique idea is a valuable element to present, so is having a methodology that is managed by a cloud-based POS solution.
Mobile businesses face additional challenges that their brick and mortar peers do not need to worry about. Enlisting talech to be at your side during this process presents you the opportunity to have an experienced partner help in building your business from the ground up. We work with you to develop a POS-based business strategy that takes advantage of emerging technology so that you can reap a clear operational advantage. Contact us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how talech can be your expert POS partner.