Should You Start a Food Truck or a Restaurant?
Before you hit the road and roll out your food creations, I want to go over the pros and cons of each option.
Food trucks are an exciting and affordable option if you’re a new restaurant entrepreneur wanting to follow your dreams.
However, opening a restaurant has its set of exciting and attractive benefits!
The growing popularity of food trucks today makes them very appealing.
So people who want to make their culinary dreams come true a food truck is a great option.
~Trucks have the benefit of being mobile and moving to where the customers are.
~It’s a lower initial investment and operating costs.
~Starting a food truck is cheaper and faster than opening a restaurant.
~It’s a great starting point for first-time entrepreneurs entering the food industry.
This provides invaluable experience that can be beneficial for a future brick-and-mortar restaurant.
~Trying new recipes and modifying menus are also much easier for food trucks.
~Food trucks can participate in events like concerts or festivals that can be very profitable.
- Fewer permits and operational expenses
* The most successful food trucks create menus that can be easily eaten while standing up.
There can be no need for separate plates and extensive cutlery.
*Starting small and building up your food truck is a way to become a better business owner.
*Not only will you experience running a business on a smaller scale, but learn to create a strong brand and customer base.
So this will make it easier to translate into a fixed location in the future if you wish.
~Getting a bank loan for a food truck business started through a bank can be tough.
Banks are skeptical about lending money because some believe that the food truck is just a fad and may suddenly vanish.
~When your kitchen is on wheels you’re working within a smaller space.
This physically limits the equipment you can carry and the amount of space to prepare your menu.
~If your menu requires a lot of different types of large pieces of equipment, many food trucks choose to prepare their food off-site at commercial kitchens.
Choosing to work partially out of a commercial kitchen can become an expense.
It can negatively affect your profit and income.
~ Regulations challenges in states and municipalities have clear rules regarding mobile food businesses.
It’s so important you research and contact agencies and locations you plan to operate and requirements.
~The weather can affect your revenue because customers will be out in the open when buying from your food truck.
Food truck operations can be seasonal in places with cold climates while even in warmer locations, unexpected rain can put a dent in sales.
*Starting small and building up your food truck business can be the best way to become a better business owner.
* You will experience running a business on a smaller scale, which will make it easier to translate into a fixed location in the future if you wish.
The right restaurant at the right location can be a lucrative enterprise.
Many successful restaurateurs often become popular landmarks in the local community.
~A restaurant is a “people” business, if you enjoy meeting with the public, you can thrive in this business.
~They are in huge demand.
A good restaurant is always filled with customers.
People have to eat and in the U.S. and around the world is something we all enjoy doing.
~Restaurant owners always get a chance to meet high-profile people.
When you get compliments on your restaurant, whether it is about the food or the service, is an awesome feeling.
From my experience, few jobs can offer as much personal joy, as a successful restaurant business.
~Low margins – The food industry is very price sensitive, more so in the world of fast-food chains.
This leaves you with a very fine line to walk with the cost of goods, labor and to make a profit.
Indeed, food franchises often see high revenues, but the net margins are often overlooked.
You are also susceptible to food spoilage and theft along with other issues only found in the food industry.
I’ve seen anywhere from 4%-11% depending on rent, food, and labor cost.
~Expensive initial investment – A restaurant will require a substantial investment from you to get started.
You need to pay for many items upfront to run the business.
There are costs such as equipment, grease disposal, venting, furniture, the point of sale system, and maintenance among many other expenses.
Running your own restaurant business is different from running any other type of business.
Some of the things that are specific to the food industry that you’ll need to be aware of include:
- Managing your restaurant staff
- Government regulations
- Safety concerns
- Recipe costing
- Menu cost and pricing
- Vendor item pricing
- Ordering food and other inventory supplies
If you want to know what needs to be done during your startup phase my success plan covers the must-do steps. This plan will help you start and run a successful restaurant.
“Find something you’re passionate about
and keep tremendously interested in it.”
– Julia Child
The choice between starting a food truck or starting your restaurant comes down to your skill and strength sets, budget, and personal preferences.
Both avenues will require planning, determination, and a clear vision to succeed.
If you need more information and help to decide which one you should open, I can coach and consult with you.
It’s always important to have your questions answered by people who have been in the trenches and had the experience.
Click on the Coaching Icon