Work through the sections in any order that you want, except for the Executive Summary, which should be done last. Skip any questions that do not apply to your type of business. Do share your plan — don't keep it to yourself. Do follow an outline; don't go overboard.
Get your motor running by starting your own food truck or mobile kitchen business. Leading mobile unit operators explain how to rev up pizza sales and get your business on the fast track to success.
By Tracy Morin Tim Younghans, owner of Mama Napoli Pizza in Las Vegas, notes that food truck operations can bring the "wow factor" while still allowing operators maximum mobility and flexibility. When the Great Recession hit the United States inthe restaurant industry suffered a major slowdown.
But food trucks were picking up speed in trendsetting cities like Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon, thanks in part to high-end innovators such as Kogi BBQ.
A revolution was officially under way. From tofood trucks have grown at an annual rate of For operators without a physical location, serving "meals on wheels" can be a great way to grow a brand and gain followers. Jackson notes that mobile units have other benefits: He was also able to start the business on credit, foregoing the loan process.
If you want to open up a brick-and-mortar location later, you can test the waters in a neighborhood with less overhead. And I set the schedule—I can go out on weekends and build up to full-time. You already have customers, and a mobile unit is a way to bring your food to them—they love that.
There are other difficulties, too, Arena notes. But our biggest advantage is a shorter wait time. You can get away with mistakes in a truck that would never fly in a brick-and-mortar since customers have lower expectations of mobile kitchens, Arena says. And if you already have a brick-and-mortar, a truck can be a no-brainer because one feeds into the other.
Here are some tips for success: Offer unique, high-quality items that can be prepped in advance and finished in the truck. Know your food costs. Arena hired people from his targeted age group and background who were into the food truck scene themselves.
Working conditions will be tough—tight spaces, extreme heat, a fast pace—so you want to make sure you have enough staff to keep up. Younghans uses about four employees for big events—one person to take and hand out orders, one for prep, one making pies and one cooking—and handles smaller events alone.
A lot of employees can get discouraged in this environment. As with any vehicle, your truck or trailer will require maintenance. Start in your own parking lot. If you already have a pizzeria and want to get the word out about your mobile unit or catering services, station the unit in your parking lot one night a week and serve customers one specialty dish from it, Pergolizzi suggests.
Establish a website with good pictures—not just of your food, but of an event in action. Staging an event gives potential customers a little show. And those customers are often social media addicts.
Remember, women use Facebook more than men—and women are the ones who book parties. The biggest advantage we have in mobile is that we can just move the next day or not do an event again! Pick the right events. Spend the money to be at high-profile events, such as festivals and concerts, where there are other trucks and activities.
Offer an incentive like a small freebie to get people to follow you on Twitter and Facebook. Solicit corporate catered events. And every businessperson there is a potential customer for private catering. Go where other successful food trucks are going.
When approached by an event coordinator, ask what other trucks will be there. Certain trucks will have customers that are also your customers. Be supportive within the subculture.Come experience how the mobile pizza business works with your own eyes.
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