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Good Luck, Truck

GOOD LUCK, TRUCK SPECIAL The Realities of Starting a Mobile Restaurant Gourmet mobile food trucks have hit the mainstream. They've made curbside dining cool; they've got their own reality TV competition; and the National Restaurant Association recently launched the Food Truck Spot at its annual restaurant show. But with all the hype surrounding the mobile restaurant, many people underestimate the real costs and difficulties of owning and operating one. FAD OR LASTING TREND? Is the mobile food truck trend here to stay? Many say yes. 7% 1% Only 7% of food truck patrons expect to curb their visits over the next year. 91% of those familiar with mobile food trucks say the trend is here to stay. CONSUMERS AND THE MOBILE RESTAURANT THEY'RE WELL-KNOWN LOCATION IS CRUCIAL TRUCKS ENCOURAGE SPENDING THEY IMPACT FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS ? Only 1 in 5 people isn't 61% of customers found 34 of customers who find 54% of customers say if they hadn't bought from a mobile food truck, they would have bought aware of or has never seen out about mobile food trucks multiple trucks together a mobile food truck. by just "happening upon them." make combined purchases from two or more operators. from a fast food restaurant. THE REALITIES OF RUNNING A MOBILE RESTAURANT BUSINESS Beyond the basic necessities (truck, insurance, employees, and food), a mobile food business will encounter somewhat unique challenges to get up and running and remain successful. STARTUP COSTS PERMITS GAS PRICES Acquiring a permit can be tricky. Some places (like New York) require more than one, and may have a cap on the number that can be issued. Also, the cost of a permit varies by location. For example: With a truck as the main hub, The cost of starting a food truck business is a fraction of what it takes to open a mobile restaurants are at the mercy brick-and-mortar restaurant. But costs to of fluctuating gas prices, which are expected to increase over the next year. maintain the business can add up between permits, gas, staff, supplies, and truck repairs. $125,000-$500,000 Colorado Springs $115 $ 3.705 As of Aug. 1, 2011, gas prices in the U.S. averaged $3.705 per gallon. Worldwide demand and lack of production could push prices even higher in the near future. $30,000-$80,000 Los Angeles $695 Traditional Restaurant Mobile Restaurant BAD WEATHER BLUES CAll Jn a Day's Work Customers won't wait in rainy or snowy weather, so locations with temperate weather year round are best for starting a mobile Several obstacles are unique to the mobile restaurant business. restaurant business. PARKING WARS STORAGE SHORTAGES Mobile restaurants often will require more space Many major metro areas have strict parking and zoning requirements. Parking fines can add up quickly, so business owners must research where they're safe to operate. than the truck affords to prep and store food. Business owners might have to rent kitchen space or extra storage. TURF BATTLES RESTAURANT RANTS #a! Many mobile restaurant operators report being targeted by brick-and-mortar restaurant owners who argue the trucks take business away from their establishments, Location matters when it comes to mobile food trucks. As the trend becomes even more popular, business owners will see more competition for prime spots. THE SOCIAL SIDE OF BUSINESS Mobile food trucks have the benefit of being their own biggest advertisement, driving around town and capturing attention everywhere. Beyond that, word of mouth and social media play a key part in food truck marketing success. 84% Of consumers who follow food trucks on social media, 84% check their favorites' pages at least once a week. Uhat Other.Small Businesses Can Learn From Mobile Restaurants Mobile food trucks have established a reputation as social-savwy businesses – tweeting, checking in, and Facebooking locations and specials to new and existing customers. The National Federation for Independent Business offers several social media practices that small businesses in all industries can employ. BE PERSONABLE Tweets with personality remind customers that there's a real person behind the business. MAKE SMALL TALK Build customer loyalty by striking up conversations with followers. DRIVE TRAFFIC Attempt to drive people to a website or blog as well as the physical business. REWARD FOLLOWERS Encourage repeat business by tweeting promotions, contests, or deals. SPREAD THE WORD Not everyone is on Twitter, so pay attention to how your Twitter strategy affects day-to-day business. QuickBooks Online Sources: OpenForum | | New York Times | Technomic | AAA I National Restaurant Association | National Federation of Independent Businesses intuit.

Good Luck, Truck

shared by ColumnFive on Aug 24
Gourmet mobile food trucks have hit the mainstream. They've made curbside dining cool;, and they've got their own reality TV competition. But with all the hype surrounding the mobile restaurant, many ...




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