Are you considering launching your own coffee trailer? Perhaps a food truck? Well, coffee trailers and food trucks are popular investments amongst entrepreneurs for a reason. Starting a profitable mobile coffee or food business can, however, be extremely daunting. That said, here is a complete guide on running this type of business:
Creating a Brand
Before you even consider the equipment, the size of the cart to buy, or the permits you’ll need to operate, the first step you should take in starting a coffee trailer or food truck business is to think about the brand you want to create.
Market research by talking to successful specialty food truck owners reveals this as the top step before running a food truck business. It is your brand’s vision and purpose statement that will set you apart from the competition in your market. It will also help establish a successful business plan.
Picking a Food Truck Trailer
A food truck trailer is the most important tool in your business. It may also be the most expensive one, so it demands priority. To pick the best food truck trailer, follow this criterion:
1. Familiarize yourself with the menu.
What do you intend to sell? Is it just coffee or are you venturing into snacks and food as well? Whatever is on your menu will tell you the kind of space you’ll need. It will particularly tell you the kind of equipment you’ll need. If you want to sell fresh juice and smoothies, for example, you’ll need a blender and a high-quality refrigerator (because fresh juice goes bad very fast).
Deep-fried foods need a deep fryer, and alongside it, a large propane tank. Such equipment have a significant impact because they are quite heavy. As such, you will need a spacious, well-built truck. That said, first and foremost, learn your menu.
2. Familiarize yourself with your tools.
After your menu, list down all the necessary tools. Refrigerator, blender, coffee grinder, deep fryer, large propane tank, oven, and so on. Get your hands dirty with your equipment by evaluating their measurements, weight, and their energy needs. Following this, determine your trailer requirements and make sure the axle strength is taken into consideration.
3. Get down to the Nitty-gritty.
Other small but very important considerations include the type of materials used to construct the truck and the shape of the truck. A truck with rounded corners for example makes it difficult to put equipment against the walls. It, therefore, wastes space.
When it comes to the material, fiberglass trucks, on the other hand, may not get anything to stick on their walls. Get something that you can drill into since it will come in handy when hanging cooking pans and other utensils. Such small matters could make the process hassle-free.
4. Compare available trucks with your needs.
The last step is to do your homework on your trailer. There are a variety of trailers to choose from, including teardrops, scamps, and travel trailers. With a list of all your requirements, start looking for the perfect trailer. Trailers can be found on Craiglist, eBay, and city auctions.
How To Select the Most Appropriate Location
Food trucks and food carts aren’t new in the U.S., but they’re becoming increasingly popular. Thousands of street food fans queue up at food trucks and coffee trailers for their daily meals. How then, can you make sure that your business is successful? Top Tip: Choosing the right location.
Even with fresh, and distinctive menu options, a poor location could be the downfall of your business. That said, stay afloat with the right choice of location. Again, I reiterate, when it comes to coffee trailers and food trucks, it’s all about the location, location, location!
Some experts even go so far as to claim that your location is more essential than your cuisine. I daresay that they may be right. To take your location advantage to the next level, invest in social media marketing to inform your fans of your location every day! Here is a list of tried-and-true, high-traffic areas that can generally handle one or more food trucks:
- Festivals, Events, or Sports Venues
- College Campuses
- Large Office Buildings
- Food Truck Parks
- Street Parking
- Business Districts
- Farmers Markets
- Gas Stations
What Are the Benefits of Coffee Trailers and Food Trucks?
1. Impressive Sales
Based on market research, on average, a coffee truck that is out five days a week sells about 900 cups of coffee every day. They can potentially quadruple their sales if they add on cookies, sandwiches, bagels, cakes, or other upsell products as other coffee shops do.
2. Reduced Operational Costs
When it comes to running a coffee truck or food trailer as a business, don’t forget about the cost savings. Coffee lasts longer than most other foods. Snacks also sell faster, and with the advantage of mobility, you can always move to high-traffic areas within minutes. This means you’ll save money on bulk purchases and waste will be reduced. Having more opportunities to sell yet reduced operational costs equals more money in your bank account.
3. Opportunities for expansion.
You can easily add your mobile coffee or food business to the food truck franchise world once your concept is a success. This increases your brand’s visibility across the country and perhaps the globe, with good marketing strategies.
Are Coffee Trailers and Food Trucks Worth It?
A coffee or food van can be a very lucrative business. This is particularly because mobile restaurants are one of the restaurant industry’s fastest-growing divisions. Factually speaking, statistics show that coffee trailers operating 5 days a week make 700 to 1,000 coffee sales a day. This translates to $6,000 to $15,000 per month or $72,000 to $180,000 per year.
Fast food businesses are also quite successful because they sell convenience. Combine the two, and you have a gold mine. Conclusively, if you’re looking for the answer to this question, “Are coffee trailers and food trucks worth it?” The answer is simple: Yes, they are!