Aspiring restaurant owners are sometimes so focused on a brick and mortar restaurant that they forget that there may be other opportunities to achieve their dreams. Opening your own restaurant requires significant capital, which makes it out of reach for many entrepreneurs. A food truck, on the other hand, may be just the right balance of risk and reward.
There are several advantages to owning and operating your own food truck instead of a more traditional restaurant. From a business standpoint, it makes a lot of sense.
1. Significantly Lower Upfront Investment
By the time you consider expenses like rent, location improvement costs, insurance, permits and licenses, and marketing, opening a new brick and mortar restaurant will often run between $450,000 and $525,000. Many budding entrepreneurs simply do not have access to that kind of capital right up front.
In comparison, a food truck for sale can cost more in the range of $80,000. Even the most high-end trucks will generally “top out” at around $200,000, which is still under half of the startup capital investment for a restaurant.
2. Overhead is Much, Much Lower
You generally have just a few employees when you own a food truck. Most will have only a handful that will rotate shifts on a regular basis, but you could run a successful business with just one or two people as well. There is no need to pay wait staff or cleaning crews.
While you certainly will have ongoing costs, they may be more controlled and predictable once you have established your customer base.
3. You Serve a Real Need: Mobile Food
The world is not slowing down anytime soon. Food trucks offer a way for people on the go to still eat great food. They can stop at your truck, grab a quick bite, and be on their way to their next destination within just a few minutes.
From a business standpoint, being able to cater to this fast-moving crowd is crucial. Food-spending habits have shifted to eating out more, and fast-paced millennials are expected to keep that trend going. There is also a trend toward fast-casual food chains for millennials, which allows them to eat healthier than most fast-food restaurants, but quickly. Food truck owners can cater to this audience in a way that many brick and mortar restaurants cannot; you are right on the cusp of eating trends.
4. You Have More Control
As a business owner or a head cook, you want to know that your workers are carrying out their tasks appropriately. You want to know that every customer is getting great food every time and their experience is nothing short of excellent.
In a traditional restaurant, there is a front of house and back of house separation. It makes it much harder to ensure that everything runs smoothly because of the disconnect between you and the customer. You may not know whether your greeter is enthusiastic or if your rolls are being served warm for every client.
When you own your own food truck, you are often the primary point person between you and your customer. You see every customer’s face, and you watch everything as it cooks. You are the eyes, ears, and brains of the entire operation.
5. It Provides an Outlet for Creativity
Food trucks can be creative in ways that traditional restaurants cannot. For example, food truck owners can change up their menu more often. They can try different pricing or marketing schemes. They can also move the entire business at a moment’s notice. Food trailers and trucks offer a great way to try out new designs, foods, and so much more.
With all of these benefits over a regular restaurant, it is easy to see why so many entrepreneurs are considering a food truck business.