Q:

What are some tips for starting a concession trailer food business?

A:

Quick Answer

Some tips for running a food truck include establishing a consistent identity and menu, surveying the market carefully and considering catering events. While food trucks are an increasingly popular way to run a restaurant, they still offer many of the same perils of conventional businesses.

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Full Answer

One of the most important things for a new food truck is to establish a clear identity for itself that meets a customer demand. Rather than offering imitations of other trucks, a new business needs to distinguish itself with a fresh product that entices consumers. Typically, this means not attempting to do too much. New trucks should start with a small menu of well-tested dishes that all follow a consistent theme. Menus with too great a selection often sacrifice quality in favor of quantity, so new trucks should try to start with no more than four to six items.

In a similar vein, a new food cart needs to analyze its market and determine where it fits in. For example, attempting to open an Asian cart in a market that is already oversaturated is likely to lead to failure. Even once a cart has established its place in a market, owners need to keep track of trends in order to stay relevant.

Food trucks typically do the most business between May and October, but they can keep up profits in fallow months by catering private events such as company parties or weddings. Catering presents its own set of challenges, however, and it’s often a good idea to prepare a more limited menu specifically for catered events.

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