The food trucking industry has been an exciting development in the food world and has gained a lot of popularity. Statistics from 2015 show that the food truck industry brings in over $1.2 billion a year. That’s a good amount of cash. The business model of the industry has allowed its vendors to create unique and delicious foods. If you’re from the Gilbert Mesa area then you might not have seen many food trucks and if you don’t know much about this industry yet, here is a little peak on what it is like for the food truck owners.
A New Frontier
As you might imagine, running a food truck is less expensive than running a restaurant. There’s less staff and a smaller kitchen. Smaller expenses means there is less risk and less risk leads to less stress among other benefits (not to say that it isn’t stressful). The smaller expenses allow more cooks to get their foot in the door and gain an audience for their products which will help them open up a restaurant later on if they so desire.
The income can waver, however. Trucks who operate where it gets cold and snowy in the winter (which is definitely not here in Gilbert Mesa) can go through a bad winter season. Sales can drop as much as 50%, according to the President of the National Food Truck Association (NFTA). Yikes. So food truck owners have to plan for the off season while things are going well.
Trucks can sell at curbside as well as at events. If they’re going curbside they’ll be driving around for spots where they think they will get the most customers. Of course, if an area is known to be good business among the food trucks scene, then the food trucks may have to fight to get a spot in their favorite areas. You might think that this means food trucks would have a hostile attitude towards each other but according to an interview by spoonuniversity.com of the President of the NFTA, there is actually a sense of “community and camaraderie.” The President of NFTA supported this by mentioning, “If one truck can’t do an event, the owner will pass it along to another food truck.” It’s nice to hear about people helping each other survive out there in the food world. Speaking of events...
Serving at private and corporate events is another way that the Food Trucks can make money. This way is less spontaneous and risky (in terms of knowing whether or not there’ll be sales) but it costs more time in planning and communication. Also, festivals may charge food trucks to sell at their locations. An interview on blogto.com with a food truck owner states, “Many charge food trucks a flat fee to be there (anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars) and some even take a percentage of their sales.” These expenses can get pretty high so they are another thing for the trucks to consider.
The food truck life seems like an interesting one. It is a good route to go for those weary of opening a restaurant and it has resulted in a lot of unique, delicious, and uniquely delicious foods. Mmm food... is anyone else hungry now?
Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (3/17/2017) Johnn (Flickr)