With the food truck craze that is going on right now, you could be thinking about turning your restaurant into a food truck. This can be a very smart business decision; it can help you cut costs, and you can expand your business more easily this way, too. Of course, the transition can be tough, but these tips will help you get started in the right direction.
1. Find the Right Food Truck
First of all, if you’re going to turn your restaurant into a food truck, you’re obviously going to need a food truck. You’ll need one that is large enough for all of your equipment, that’s safe and reliable and that is within your budget. It might take a bit of shopping to find the right one, but you shouldn’t rush this process, or you might end up with a truck that isn’t right for your business.
2. Find Out About Permits
Next, you should find out about the permits that you’ll be required to have to operate a food truck. As a current restaurant owner, you’re probably no stranger to permits, but they are generally a little different for food truck operators, so you’ll need to do your research and arrange to get those permits before you start running your restaurant out of a food truck.
3. Buy the Right Equipment
Along with buying a truck, you’ll need to buy equipment. You probably won’t be able to use your existing equipment inside your food truck, so you’ll need to look for compact equipment that will fit inside your food truck but that will still help you get the job done. Buying all new equipment can be pricey, but you might find that buying used equipment — after making sure that it’s in good shape and up-to-date with current standards — is a good way to buy what you need while sticking within your budget.
4. Sell Your Old Equipment
If you’re closing your restaurant’s doors and are just going to be operating out of a food truck, then you might be left with a lot of equipment and supplies that you aren’t going to need anymore. From large kitchen equipment that isn’t going to fit in your food truck to tables, chairs and more, you might have a lot to get rid of. You probably spent a lot of money on all of these things, but you don’t have to take a total loss. A lot of restaurant owners who are on a tight budget or who are just starting out might be looking for equipment and furnishings, and you can sell your used stuff to them. This will help you recoup some of your losses, will give you money to put toward the expenses of your new food truck and will help out another business owner at the same time.
5. Downsize Your Menu
Right now, your restaurant might have a fairly extensive menu. If this is the case, then you might need to downsize a little bit. Generally, when you’re operating a food truck, you’re going to need to be able to prepare food quickly so that you can pass it out to waiting customers. Plus, you probably will not have as much storage space for storing ingredients. Keeping the stuff that you know your customers really love and eliminating some of the menu items that you might not sell a lot will give you a good place to start. You may also want to think about which foods will be convenient for those who are eating on the go, which might be common for your customer base when you run a food truck.
6. Come Up with a New Plan
Now that you’re going to be operating your business in a completely different way, you’re going to need to come up with a whole new plan. Take your time in coming up with marketing strategies and decide where you’re going to park your food truck. You’ll have to tweak your plan later but coming up with a basic plan now will help you get started.
Turning your restaurant into a food truck can be a lot of fun, and it can be very profitable, too. If you follow these tips, then you can help ensure that your new business venture is a true success.