THE MOBILE FOOD TRUCK REVOLUTION
The food truck business has become all the rage in recent years. With more and more consumers demanding high quality products and convenient access to products or services, what better example than mobile restaurants that bring the dining experience right to the customer?
Food trucks have popped up across the U.S. in markets from Los Angeles to New York and everywhere in between. The concept of food trucks has been around for years, even decades with roach coaches and less “evolved” versions of the mobile food service operations we see today. What has happened today in the food service business is the introduction of truly talented individuals and experienced food service professionals who have completely bought into the food truck industry and supported its growth.
Concepts have come together with deep menu offerings, high quality food items and amazing branding. The Food Truck industry has become the place for innovative, creative thinking in the food service market and a showplace for truly unique approaches to the food business. The growth in the food truck business has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years – in 2011, the NRA named the food truck industry a top trend in the “What’s Hot in 2011” market evaluation.
Good food trucks will serve between 150 and 350 customers in a two hour time period. They offer the customer speed, efficiency and really good food – the combination is essential when there is no fixed location for customers to gravitate to. Moreover, research by the National Restaurant Association indicates that 83% of consumers want quick service eateries and healthier eating options, 70% want a cuisine that’s not easily duplicated in home kitchens, and 62% says that they’re looking for establishments that are “environmentally friendly”. Food Trucks answer all of these for consumers with the new, advanced food trucks on today’s
market. Regulations permitting food trucks to operate in different cities and states are loosening each year and with the growing popularity, the Food Truck Revolution is in full effect.
With this growth in market potential and ever-increasing popularity has come the increased number of food truck franchises available on the market. Food Truck franchises first appeared in 2008 with several new brands staking their claim to their particular food segment. Mexican, Japanese, Frozen Yogurt and other food trends all had their original food truck brand. Today, there are several food truck franchises in each of the food industry segments.
What do Food Truck franchises bring to the market and offer a potential franchise investor? In some cases, they can offer an established brand. The food truck business really does have benefits when it comes to reputation and pre-existing relationships. Many of the venues and locations where the Food Truck could be placed are based on a brand’s value to that event or venue. People have to approve Food Trucks and with a franchised brand, there is typically some value in place that franchisees could leverage with their new franchised business.
Food Truck franchises should also be able to offer systems and process that allow for the simple and efficient production of the food. Because you are operating with a lot less “real estate” in a mobile kitchen, the operation really needs to be structured well to allow for fast and efficient service. Food Trucks need to make their money in short, fast bursts. People come in waves and if you can’t maximize that revenue potential in the short window of opportunity, your food truck franchise won’t be profitable. Food truck franchises can offer both the systems and procedures to manage this unique scenario in addition to the manufacturers and processes to appropriately build and design the food trucks themselves.
The Food Truck industry is still growing and a Food Truck franchise can also offer the economies of scale by grouping franchisees who market together under a unified brand name. This puts not only the industry on the map, but more importantly the brand of your food truck. The mobile food industry also allows aspiring entrepreneurs to conduct sufficient market research before investing in an actual location. With this market research, they often come out with some key tips on staying afloat in this industry, including: offering something unique, finding a niche and executing it, and utilizing social media to the best of one’s ability. Again, social media is a key component as you can engage with your following/customers, address issues in real time, and try your best to correct them as soon as possible.
Christopher Conner is the President of Franchise Marketing Systems. Mr. Conner has spent the last decade in the franchise industry working with several hundred different franchise systems in management, franchise sales and franchise development work. His experience ranges across all fields of franchise expertise with a focus in franchise marketing and franchise sales, but includes work in franchise strategic planning, franchise research and franchise operations consulting. Christopher has worked with multiple international franchise and licensed organizations throughout the United\ States, Middle East, India and Europe.
He has an MBA in Finance and Marketin g from DePaul University in Chicago and a Bachelors Degree from Miami of Ohio.