We get calls and online quote requests daily from new food truck owners daily. Most have already purchased their trucks and are preparing to open. It is shocking how many have not fully developed a business plan and started their networking to fill their calendars for the first several months of operation. The success ratio of food service-related businesses is very low. This is exactly the reason why food truck owners need to come prepared.
The most successful food trucks we have insured over the years began with a very strategic plan well before selling their first plate. Many of these owners have gone on to open restaurants or add a fleet of trucks. One of the most important things I have noticed about successful food truck owners is their ability to network. before they drop a dollar into a new business they have already talked to many food truck operators, event organizers and investors to make sure they have a solid plan and have finances secured. Most operators that “wing it” even with many years experience in the food business tend to fail.
If you are in the beginning stages of opening your food truck, it pays huge dividends to get with local trucks that you can team up with, local organizers that you can secure a regular spot with, and building or landowners that agree to a service schedule well before your truck is even ready. Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Nothing could be more true of starting a business.
Hopefully, you are already networking, but if not here are a few ideas to start:
Join Facebook food truck groups and ask a lot of questions. You might get answers you don’t agree with, but you will probably get a bunch of new ideas that you can use.
Talk to every food truck organizer in your travel radius. Let them know what type of truck you are opening and how you can be a part of their community.
Talk to other local trucks in your area that are willing to collaborate. If you are selling a different type of food, like if you are a sweet truck and they are savory, chances are they will want to help.
Talk with local media to see about getting articles published pre-launch to post-launch. They are always looking for things to write about and you can help with an entrepreneur story within your community.
With a little planning you can hit the ground running with a solid network in place before you open your food truck. Get out there and connect!