Beyond the Food Truck: Tips for a Successful Food Trailer Businesses

Just like all small businesses in the U.S., a food trailer has the potential to be extremely rewarding and profitable.

It’s the ultimate venture for someone looking for a truly independent business. With a food trailer, you pick your own cuisine, strategy, and employees. Plus, you don’t have to be fully committed to a specific location – you can decide to pack up and move any time you want.

While there are a lot of food trailer businesses out there, just take a look at how many concession trailers you see at your next fair. You definitely have the ability to turn a profit if you know what you’re doing.

How Much Can You Make Running a Food Trailer

It all depends on how much you want to work.

If you just want to use your concession trailer at smaller sporting events and festivals, you could bring home up to $20,000 during the busy summer season. But if you make it a full-time gig, your earnings could be at least $50,000 for just the summer – and much more if you work in warm climate areas with more opportunity for large outdoor events.

How to Create a Successful Food Trailer Business

Each food trailer is different, so your business plan should be unique.

However, there are a few basics that all food trailer businesses should keep in mind:

  • Select a Strategy: Are you going to be staying local or bringing your food trailer on the road to big weekend events in your region?
  • Pick Your Territory: If you’re staying local, try to develop a following by staying in a dedicated area. Or branch out and target a few areas, but have a consistent schedule. Remember, you can always move later if it’s not working out.
  • Offer Something Unique: Take an old favorite that you know people love and add your unique twist. Just make sure you’re not getting into a market that’s already saturated – you might have trouble running a fish taco food trailer in San Diego because you can find fish tacos all across that city.
  • Take Feedback: Ask your customers what they think of your food, especially when you’re first starting or introducing a new menu item. Don’t be afraid to tinker with your food or even pivot your entire cuisine if you’re receiving overwhelmingly negative feedback.

Keep in mind these tips aren’t set in stone. What works for one food trailer might not work for another, so you need to be adaptable in order to be successful.

A Successful Food Trailer Business Doesn’t Happen Overnight

It will be hard work to operate a successful concession trailer. You will have many roles in your food trailer operation and you will get tired. But keep at it. If you’re dedicated and committed to your concession trailer business, it won’t be long before you start noticing signs of success.

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