Food trucks have become a staple of New York food culture, and every food trucker’s dream is to grow their business and get their food in front of more people. Fortunately for you, this year may be the best time to do so.
In our post on ‘Why We Need Food Trucks in a Recession’, we mentioned how popular food trucks have become, particularly since food served from a food truck is generally cheaper and people don’t have to sit in a restaurant to consume them. Plus, the selections are wide and uniquely delicious.
If you’re scaling your food truck business, here are some things to consider:
4 Tips For Scaling Your Food Truck Business:
1. Calculate your new costs
Before you start scaling, you first have to deliberate on whether you have the capital to pay for all the additional costs to keep your trucks operational. For instance, you need to buy a new vehicle, which can cost around $15,000.
The new kitchen equipment is also a factor, with stoves alone costing up to $500. New trucks mean new licenses, permits, and insurances too, adding to the sum. What about initial inventory (like ingredients)? Maintenance fees? Employee wages? Calculate the costs and make sure that you’re ready for these expenses.
2. Switch your business structure
Different business structures bring different benefits, and for food truck owners looking to scale your best bet is a limited liability company (LLC). A sole proprietorship won’t give your assets enough protection, which you’ll be needing more than ever if you grow your business. Meanwhile, owning a corporation means having to appoint a board, which you don’t really need for a food truck business unless you plan to franchise it.
An LLC is flexible with less paperwork. Plus, you only need to pay one tax type, allowing you to take most of your money home. Every state has different criteria for forming an LLC, which needs to be taken into consideration.
The procedure for forming an LLC in New York involves appointing a registered agent and creating an operating agreement. New York also has an additional mandate that requires new LLC owners to publish a copy of their LLC’s formation in two newspapers within 120 days of its formation.
3. Partner up
You need to generate the money needed to keep the business growing. And while driving around the city is more than enough to battle the costs, you’ll make more if you reach out to other businesses and organizations.
In New York, there’s the New York Food Truck Association, which gives partners the opportunity to drive their trucks to different events, allowing them to reach new markets. You can also directly look for businesses that are looking for caterers and offer your services.
Some places across the country might even have open outdoor “spots” you can permanently park your new food truck in. Food truck owner Christy Guzenski drove her classic New York style bagel to Kentucky, where she partnered with craft brewery Fusion. They then offered her truck a place in their building.
4. Grow your social media presence
To drive more traffic (literally) to your growing food truck business, you need to attract new customers and find a way to engage your old ones so they come back. For this purpose, social media is your best bet.
After all, due to its reach and convenience, social media is also the best way to get customers talking about you. Food truckers can also adapt other strategies like responding to customers who say thank you, sharing their customers’ posts, and conducting contests.
Scaling your food truck business may pose a challenge, but it’s something that can be overcome with proper planning. So, before you start anything, make sure to consider the above points.