Starting a food truck business is an exciting venture, but there are many things you must consider that slip most people’s minds. This is especially true when it comes to staying organized. With this in mind, let’s go over five organizational tips to help your food truck business succeed.
1- Estimate Food and Non-Food Stock
The types of food sold by food trucks tend to go bad very quickly. Hamburgers, hot dogs, cupcakes, and pizza (just to give a few examples) must be sold within a specific timeframe. This means that you’re put into a tricky situation. Order too much food, and a lot of it will have to be thrown away. Order too little, and you’ll make less money and potential customers might get mad. To avoid this problem, track your data to see exactly how much of each food item you should order each time so that you waste as little as possible without running out of stock.
In addition to ordering food, you also need to order non-food items. This includes things like napkins, cups, and straws. Unlike food, these items don’t go bad so you aren’t pigeonholed quite as severely. Even so, you want to get an idea of how quickly you use up each item to order the correct amount. The “correct amount” is essentially the amount needed to make it so that you can order all of these items at once instead of having to order them individually because each one ran out at a different time.
2- Accept Payment
Sure, you can accept cash when running a food truck, but many people these days only carry debit and credit cards. This means you’ll need a payment processor that accepts these cards and a method of swiping them. On top of this, payment processors for cards take a percentage of your sales. While this may be profitable in the long run, it can make the cheaper items you sell much less profitable. To counter this, you may need to consider a minimum order price for your customers if they’re using cards to pay.
3- Use Prepaid Phones
Having a dedicated business phone line is a smart move in most businesses. However, this isn’t the case when running a food truck. As with your food and non-food items, phone service needs to be more carefully managed to keep it from becoming wasteful. The best way to get around this problem is to use prepaid phones. This will allow you to pay for the minutes you use without wasting money on expensive phone plans that may be overkill.
4- Think about Bookkeeping
Tracking your sales data is essential for any business, including food trucks. The good news is that there is software that can help make this a lot easier since hiring someone specifically to do bookkeeping may not be reasonable for this kind of operation. Also, keeping track of all of your data can help you to make better decisions when it comes to ordering and stocking both food and non-food items.
5- Plan Your Route
When you run a food truck business, you need to know where you will be and when. You also need to make sure that you’re complying with all of your local laws and aren’t showing up in areas you’re not supposed to be. Also, keep in mind that developing a predictable route will make it much easier to attract repeat customers since they’ll know when you’ll show up and where.
Running a food truck is actually one of the easier businesses to get into and manage. As long as you’re planning things out and tracking your data, you’ll be able to tweak your business plan to fit the situation. This will help you to produce more revenue and optimize your business.