Ten years ago, the closest thing you would see a commercial food truck was the tired old Mr Whippy van that circled the neighbourhood, or the Dagwood Dog van at the yearly show. Neither seemed like a terribly appealing prospect to future business owners, did they?
But fast forward a decade and the humble food van has had a serious facelift.
A burgeoning international food trend, the food truck business has hit Australian shores, with our major cities now boasting a growing fleet of exciting new food trucks, food vans, and food trailers serving up international cuisine at awesome prices. What’s not to love?
Buying into the food truck game isn’t limited to those with years of commercial food experience. On the contrary, many food truck owners are new to the industry, simply looking for a career that takes them outside of an office and into the real world. If this sounds inviting, here are a few good reasons that you should consider getting involved.
As long as it moves, the sky’s the limit.
One of the greatest attractions in the food truck game is that there are no rules when it comes to creating your own vehicle. You can buy anything from an old caravan to a brand-new truck and have it custom-made to suit your chosen cuisine or location.
There are three main options to work around:
It’s easy to get started with a low setup cost, and limited barriers to entry.
So, you’ve got a killer food concept – but no money. A food truck is much cheaper than setting up a shopfront, and you can avoid the red tape associated with renting or buying a space.
With the fitout of a bricks and mortar cafe or restaurant costing between $100,000 and $500,000, you could set up a food truck or coffee van using quality renovated secondhand vehicles and equipment for a much smaller price, starting from around $45,000 for a small coffee van.
You can road test (literally) your idea before committing.
Whilst you might LOVE the idea of dessert tacos, who knows if the general public will also get on board? A mobile food truck allows you to take your idea on the road before committing to long-term leases, purchasing a shop front, or even spending a huge budget on branding and marketing.
Food trucks are a grassroots opportunity to get up close and personal with the general public. Ask them what they like, what they would improve. Experiment with your menu, and take the truck to different demographics to find your right audience. You can’t do that with a shop!
No two days will be the same.
One of the greatest drawcards for the hospitality industry as a whole is the variety you will have in your days. Unlike an office job, working with people will bring new challenges and new wins daily. Expect the unexpected!
What this means is that you will constantly be expanding your skillset to include new problem solving techniques, new business abilities, and new marketing strategies.
Your success is in YOUR hands.
The best thing about owning a food truck is the ability to go and hunt down the business. In a shop front, you need to wait for the customer to come to you – which can often take expensive marketing tactics when you’re a new brand.
But with a food truck, you can literally take yourself to the crowds. From sporting events to music festivals, busy high streets or corporate clusters, you can source out where the people will be, and get your food truck there quickly and easily. Let them know you’re coming with a social media post, and the business is yours for the taking.
From taco trucks to gourmet pizza, home-made gelato to meatballs on the go, your food truck offering is limited only by your imagination. Modern fitouts allow you to cook pretty much anything within the vehicle, using clever storage techniques and the latest in kitchen technology.
But starting up a food truck business also comes with it’s fair share of challenges, too. That’s why GoGetta has put together a comprehensive e-book to guide you through the setup process. It has first hand interviews with owners, designers, and real-life advice on where to begin.