Take a look at these useful strategies and help your food trailer business grow! Enjoy the read!
9 Strategies to Increase Your Food Truck Revenue
by: Briana Morgaine
“This article is part of our Food Cart Business Startup Guide—a curated list of articles to help you plan, start, and grow your food cart business!
Here in Portland, Oregon, you can’t swing a stick without hitting half a dozen food trucks serving up a range of delicious options.
The craze for mobile eats has been on the rise. Between 2008 and 2014, industry revenue increased at an annual rate of 12.4 percent. While momentum has slowed slightly, food trucks continue to be a profitable restaurant business model.
However, to be as profitable as possible, you’ll need to strategize. It’s not enough to buy a truck and offer a few of your favorite recipes. Here are 9 solid strategies that will help you bring in more money, attract more customers, and grow your food truck business.
1. Create a solid, memorable concept
Your food truck should have a cohesive design, a clever name, an established brand, and a unique offering.
2. Offer something no other food truck is offering
To make more money as a food truck, you’ll need to find a specific food truck niche that no other cart is occupying.
3. Offer mobile ordering and payment
Beyond being found by third-party food truck locator apps, you might want to consider creating an app specifically for your food truck. The process may sound intimidating, but in reality, it’s relatively simple. Beyond that, making sure your website is optimized for mobile use is an absolute must.
Finally, if you really want to stand out, consider offering mobile payment and mobile ordering options.
4. Change or add to your menu seasonally
To bring in more customers and make more money, consider varying your menu seasonally.
5. Partner with other local businesses
Consider approaching nearby businesses and dropping off menus, or partnering with offices and offering lunchtime specials (potentially with delivery).
6. Cater weddings, parties, and office events
Food truck weddings are especially popular, as they are a unique, less-expensive dining alternative. From a consumer standpoint, food truck weddings are incredibly appealing, as they can cut food costs per person
7. Attend local festivals
By attending local fairs and festivals, you’ll be maximizing your visibility and positioning your food truck where crowds of hungry diners will be congregated.
8. Grow your social media presence
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an industry where social media marketing isn’t recommended. However, the fast-paced nature of the food truck industry makes having an equally responsive, up-to-date social media presence of huge importance.
9. Offer delivery
Expanding beyond the confines of your truck might seem like a big step, but offering delivery is a great way to increase sales.”
5 Ways To Increase Profitability On Your Food Truck Today
“Increase Profitability On Your Food Truck Today
Improve your purchasing system
Food costs are one of a food truck’s biggest expenses. If handled well, they will be a key factor in your success. If handled poorly, they can make it impossible for your mobile food business to make any money. Good food costs start with good ordering, which is largely dependent on how useful your inventory is.
The goal of purchasing is to have just what you need. This means when you need it, at the best price you can get it for. Every purchase should be determined by your menu, and your anticipated amount of business. Ordering things you don’t need, especially if they are perishable, is a careless and expensive mistake.
Integrate ingredient usage throughout your menu
An often overlooked step in a food truck’s success is a menu that contains items that come close to 100% utilization of an entire product. This is not something most food truck customers will ever be aware of. But for increased profitability it’s something you need to pay a lot of attention to.
If you serve chicken in one of your entrées, think about buying whole chickens and using the legs and thighs for other dishes and the remainder of the carcass to make stock for soups or sauces. Not only will you not waste a perfectly good product, your sauces will taste a lot better than the truck around the corner that uses store bought stock.
As anyone that has ever worked in a kitchen knows, processing vegetables almost always results in scraps that can be used in something. Using these scraps for stocks, sauces, garnishes or even appetizers, is a lot better than throwing them away.
Know your cost for every item on your menu
A food truck owner needs to know that not all of the items on your menu are created equal in terms of profitability. Unless you know exactly what you’re paying to create each dish, you don’t really know what the money is made. This will help you direct your service staff which items they suggest more often, which items you should raise the prices on, or which items you might consider eliminating from your menu.
Steps to knowing your menu costs:
Update your inventory list with accurate, current prices.
Understand exactly how much of each ingredient costs. This includes everything in a dish (use Edible Portion costs rather than As Purchased costs).
Raise prices when you need to
So far we’ve touched on how to increase your profit by keeping our expenditures in check. More often than not, this is the way to go. Most of your customers won’t hold it against you if you become a more efficient operator, especially if it results fresh, consistent dishes. Unfortunately, in the food service industry, prices must rise.
When your food cost increase, no matter much you sell, you won’t make up the difference in volume. When raising prices on select items that your customers will be able to relate to. This way it’s more clear that you’re passing on some hard costs and not just being greedy.
Offer regular, profitable specials
Including specials regularly on your food truck menu is a good idea for a few reasons. Not only do they keep things interesting for you and your staff but they are a great way to utilize product that might go to waste.
Take the time and effort to cost the specials out, so you’ll know how to price them. Don’t underestimate the importance of making sure your service window staff is familiar with the new dishes.”
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