Summer is fast approaching and alongside it will (hopefully) come days filled with sunshine, picnics, BBQs, sports, and festivals. As we all look ahead to what will most likely be an unforgettable few months of everyone celebrating some small measure of freedom in their lives, it’s inevitable that purveyors of food and drink will experience a rush of business unlike any they have experienced over the past year.
It would seem, then, that anyone wanting to utilize their hidden cooking and mixology talents would do well to take advantage of this situation and look into developing a food and/or drink truck – the first step of which would be researching potential business loans and small-business funding, locating and converting an old truck to repurpose it into a viable pop-up business venture, and gaining the accreditations necessary to serve food and drink. Once these aspects are in the bag, you can start planning your business!
Planning and Preparation
The first step that you would need to consider is what you would like your truck to be – will you be purely focusing on food, or will you offer specialized drinks and local brews instead/as well as? It’s important to be realistic and recognize that it’s possible you will need to be producing large volumes of your chosen cuisine at a fast pace, and you will therefore need to ensure you choose to produce items that can be quickly prepped and cooked while still looking and tasting appetizing for customers!
Once you have thought this over and made a decision, it’s time to assess your cash reserves and looking into the formal details surrounding your venture – how much cash can you inject into your business? How much are you willing to invest? What are the local jurisdiction rules regarding the selling of food and drink products, and how do these differ state-to-state? What licenses and accreditations do you require to get started?
Once you have analyzed, researched, and decided on these aspects, you can start to look into additional funding for your food truck business. Business loans are much more helpful in the early stages of development, particularly in such a competitive environment, and can help you with marketing costs, truck conversion, repairs, or expansions, and help you to properly execute your pop-up business venture idea to help it fulfil its potential.
Choosing Your Menu
So, you’ve decided on your desired cuisine, have obtained your food truck business loan, and repurposed a truck to get started – now it’s time to start thinking about what you are going to offer on your menu, as well as the sort of theme and vibe you want to generate through your business.
Will you be catering to festival-goers or will you be focusing on more family-friendly events? Are you wanting to produce lots of little finger-food-sized portions of popular snacks or big hand-sized portions that require cutlery or packaging for eating purposes? Will you have a seating area provided for customers to sit down and eat/drink, or will they literally be grabbing and going?
Each of these questions requires a firm, decisive answer prior to developing different elements of the menu. Once completed, you can then start testing out and practicing your menu items!
Theme and Decoration
One of the biggest aspects of marketing that many food trucks take for granted is the overall theme and decoration of their truck. More successful businesses not only produce mouth-watering food and thirst-quenching drinks, but they also ensure that they are memorable – and this can be achieved via the clever choosing of a colorway and theme, and then matching everything (down to the tiniest, most insignificant-seeming detail) to both. The key here is good food and drink paired with memorability and tons of personality!
So, if you have an old, battered truck lying around that can do with some love and purpose, looking into starting your own food truck business could be the right kind of pop-up business venture for you!