Your ultimate dream was to open a restaurant, but you didn’t have a lot of money. So instead you opened a food truck – and it’s been a soaring success. Your customers love your food, and you feel confident in moving forward to bigger things. So what’s the next logical step? Opening that brick-and-mortar store, of course! And, here are a few things to keep in mind.
Review your original goals
Why did you want to open a food truck in the first place? Was it because you wanted to be a chef while being your own boss? Maybe it was a step forward in your strategy to grow your business. Whatever the reasons, successful food truck owners should consider how they want to grow professionally before pursuing brick-and-mortar options. If it doesn’t fit in with your plans, perhaps you should stick to the truck. But for those looking to expand, moving on to a restaurant could be a great idea.
You might discover that a particular location is too crime-heavy for your tastes, or it may prove better than you expected.
Consider various locations
Take advantage of the mobile nature of the food truck. Use it to scope out the neighborhoods where you’re considering opening an established restaurant. You might discover that a particular location is too crime-heavy for your tastes, or it may prove better than you expected. It’s also a way to test whether your customers will follow you to purchase your food. If so, then chances are they’ll go out of their way to check out your new restaurant.
Run the numbers
It’s no surprise that brick-and-mortar restaurants require many more additional expenses than the food truck. Besides renting the building, you would need to purchase decor and insurance as well as hiring additional staff. And that doesn’t include the need for more food. Consider the cost versus the profit, and look over past accounting records for your food truck. You’ll need to know what sells and what doesn’t as you consider your options.
Consider the cost versus the profit, and look over past accounting records for your food truck.
Plan your strategy
Reevaluate your menu and figure out if you need to add any items. Consider sticking to a simple menu to minimize potential food waste. You will also need to allocate your resources. Keep in mind the amount of time management required for scheduling future employees and food prep. If you decide to add new items, figure out the best places to purchase the food while keeping to your budget.
What about the truck?
If you open a brick-and-mortar restaurant that will be open year-round, you may need to re-examine what purpose your food truck serves towards the success of your business. Depending on your circumstances and location, perhaps the truck will continue its normal route as it has in the past.
Another option is to offer catering for special events, such as birthday parties or local concerts. Regardless of the truck’s new role, it will double as a mobile advertisement for your new location. Without needing to invest any additional funds, your food truck will become an indispensable marketing tool.
Regardless of the truck’s new role, it will double as a mobile advertisement for your new location.
You may also decide to run the truck only during the warmer months and keep your business strictly to your anchored establishment throughout the winter. If your area experiences regular cold and harsh winters, this move can be a boon to your business when previously you only had the truck. The brick-and-mortar establishment will provide a safe haven to your customers who may want to purchase your food but would rather not face the elements.
Don’t forget the legal issues
Leasing a property can be complicated. Remember to take care when negotiating lease terms and consider hiring an attorney to make sure everything is as it should be.
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