Food trucks have grown immensely in popularity in recent years. While food trucks may have started to sell low-quality and cheap sandwiches to construction workers, they’ve since evolved into gourmet dining experiences. Nowadays, you can seemingly walk onto a busy block on a street in any city across the United States and enjoy a gourmet meal directly on the street. According to Food Truck Nation, there are active food trucks in over 300 cities across the United States. Not only that, but according to the same source, food trucks managed to bring in a total of $2.7 billion in revenue in the year 2017 alone . What’s causing food trucks in the USA to skyrocket in popularity? What’s the benefit of opening food trucks over a traditional restaurant? These are questions that will be explored in this article.
What’s Causing Food Trucks To Pop Up Everywhere?
1. Low Barrier To Entry
One of the things that stop a lot of would-be restaurant owners is the high costs associated with it. It can be very expensive to start a traditional restaurant. Not only do you have to worry about securing a retail front for your restaurant, but you have to worry about licensing, and more. With a food truck, there’s a much less upfront cost. While it’s still not cheap by any means, it’s much more cost effective than starting a traditional restaurant. After all, you don’t have to pay high fixed costs associated with renting a spot in a busy shopping center.
2. High Demand From Customers
Another reason why you can find food trucks popping up everywhere has to do with the high demand the industry is experiencing. More and more people are looking to food trucks when they go out for a bite to eat. If the demand was shrinking, the supply would go along with it. However, that’s not the case. More and more food trucks are opening up and finding success with their ventures. This is leading to more interest in the market by business owners. Food trucks have established a core demographic that actively seeks out food truck experiences.
What Are Some Benefits Of Opening Up A Food Truck Over A Traditional Restaurant?
1. Lower Upfront Costs
As mentioned previously, one of the things that hold a lot of people back from starting a business in the food industry has to do with the high upfront cost attached to it. You simply cannot start a restaurant if you don’t have a lot of investment money. You need to be able and willing to put a lot of money up to pay for rent and starting expenses. You’ll need to invest money in a full kitchen and outfit the place before opening. With a food truck, you can generally get started with much less. While you may have to pay for the truck itself, you can find them on the used market for much cheaper than you would be able to secure a restaurant storefront for.
2. Less Overhead
One of the things that gets a lot of restaurants in trouble is the lack of positive cash flow. A lot of this stems from having too much overhead. After all, you have a lot of expenses when you are running a traditional restaurant. Not only do you have to pay your wait staff, but you have to pay costs, utilities, and more. When it comes to running a food truck, these expenses are much lower by default. You generally don’t need as much staff (if any) which can make it much easier to run with positive cash flow. It’s also true that food trucks are much easier to maintain than a traditional restaurant where you need to hire professional cleaners and more.
3. You Gain Mobility
When it comes to opening up a restaurant, location is everything. This is one of the main reasons why a lot of restaurants fail. Not doing your due diligence on finding the right location can completely break your business. It can position your restaurant to fail before you even get going. This isn’t something that you have to worry about at all when you open up a food truck. After all, you have a restaurant on wheels. You can easily move and run your food truck business from various locales. This ensures that you not only get to expand your potential reach but also helps you bring your restaurant where the customers are located at all times. You can swing by a busy commercial district during lunch and then move your truck elsewhere when lunch is over. There are so many advantages to having a mobile restaurant where you don’t have to rely on the foot traffic around a specific location all of the time.
4. You Can Expand
With a food truck, it doesn’t necessarily limit you to a sit-down dining experience. You can transition your business into different things. You could expand your business by selling on third-party delivery platforms. Because you won’t be paying nearly as much in overhead, it could give you a leg up on the competition’s prices. Also, you could increase business by offering office catering and more. There’s so much potential to expand that you won’t necessarily have to rely on any one income stream or business model.
As you can see, food trucks have exploded on the scene in the United States, and the growth isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon. Food trucks have become a mainstay in the country and an increasing number of consumers regularly frequent their favorites. You can find unique food trucks delivering gourmet and creative dining experiences across the country. Some of the more popular food trucks include Cinnamon Snail in New York City, Kogi BBQ in Los Angeles, Viking Soul Food in Portland, and Grilled Cheeserie in Nashville. There’s no limit to the type of unique dining experiences you can enjoy as a consumer if you are willing to try out different food trucks. The next time you visit a major city, it might be in your best interest to look for some of the more popular food trucks in the area. If you don’t, you’ll only be missing out.