What It Takes to Run a Food Trailer

Thinking about running your own food trailer? It can be a great investment and a fun business, but like any industry it’s important to do your research before jumping into the frying pan…or soup bowl, or coffee cup…whatever your culinary dream might be. The experts at Custom Trailer Pros have put together a list of 7 key factors needed before taking the next steps. Are you ready for your next adventure? Read on!

  1. Fast Work-Flow. Serve your food quickly! Our most successful customers understand that maximizing their profits means being able to serve a lot of food in a short amount of time. Whether you are working a large festival or an office complex’s lunch break, your customers will not wait for a slow-moving line. Prep your food ahead of time if possible, create a smooth work-flow within your food truck and establish systems that help generate fast, consistent service every time.
  2. Curiosity. The world of food trailers is ever-evolving, and a successful owner needs to stay on top of the latest trends, as well as constantly provide new experiences for customers. Before you take the wheel, research food trailer options in your current location. How well do they perform? Is your type of food oversaturated? What is lacking? Research food trailers in other cities and see if there is something you might be able to bring to your area.
  3. Stamina. The food trailer industry is not for the weak of heart. Any entrepreneurial venture requires countless hours getting the business ready to launch, and then once the tires hit the road it’s “game on” from prep and open to clean up and close. The typical food trailer owner is on the job for over 10 hours per day—are you up for the challenge? And While the weekday lunch crowd could be your main source of income, there are a lot of weekend events that could bring in some money too. Are you prepared to put in these hours?
  4. Long-term vision. When you’re selling sandwiches for $5 a pop, it can take a while to recoup any initial expenditures. Make sure to sit down with your business plan and crank out some numbers before you jump into the food trailer foray. Figure out food costs, truck maintenance, and marketing expenses to see how many of your menu items you will need to sell to be profitable.
  5. Attention to detail. If you’re thinking of buying a food trailer, get ready for big brother to be looking over your shoulder in the form of health inspections. When you’re first starting a food truck business, you’ll have a scheduled inspection to make sure everything is up to code before you start feeding the lunch crowd. After that, most health departments require an annual inspection. In addition, you should expect random inspections from time to time. The experts at Custom Trailer Pros can walk you through what will be needed for your particular business.
  6. Vulnerability. Are you ready to be the face of your food trailer? No matter what marketing techniques you use, the biggest promoter of your business will always be you. You will want to post about your food trailer on your personal social media platforms as well as ones related to your business, especially as you get off the ground. Be visual, be vulnerable, and be memorable to stick in your customers’ minds long after they’ve consumed your menu.
  7. Find the right industry partners. This is a critical piece in determining your food trailer success. We hear horror stories all the time of people buying a used trailer to save some money and then it doesn’t pass health inspections and requires more time and money than expected. Con artists who get a deposit and then never deliver a product. Dealers who take an existing cargo trailer and convert it to a food trailer. All of these pitfalls are avoidable by partnering with trusted companies within the industry. This is the single most important purchase you will make, so make sure it fits your needs. With years in the business, the Custom Trailer Pros team will work with you every step of the way, from initial plans to final touches. Don’t trust your vision to a fly-by-night company or “friend who works on cars.” This is your future, make sure you are in the right hands.

If you’re reading through this list, nodding your head and thinking “I’ve got this,” then give the team at Custom Trailer Pros a call. We’re here to answer any questions you have, and are ready to help you put your dreams into drive. Give us a call today at 1-800-859-5405 or just click HERE to get started!

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