Last week I wrote about some of the challenges of staring a food truck business. Storage space, weather, parking tickets, and truck breakdowns are not issues that you face to the same extent in a brick and mortar store. In a normal store, you put a lot of time and effort into finding one great location. In a food truck, you need dozens of great locations for different circumstances. I’m learning that these challenges can make for some serious headaches for a food truck operator.
I’m also learning however, that the customers make it more rewarding (as cliché as it sounds). Because food trucks are mobile, it takes some effort to chase down your street food. Since it’s not as simple as walking into a Taco Bell, you rarely have people come to your truck who are simply trying to fill up. Instead, your customers tend to be people who love to eat as much as you love to cook for them. Most customers are happy to chat about how they are enjoying your food. When you ask for feedback, they seize the opportunity to contribute and are quick to offer suggestions.
At a food truck festival in Valencia this past weekend, an estimated 8,000 people were in attendance just one hour into the event. Very rarely do you find that thousands of people come together to eat at a handful of restaurants the way people come together for food truck festivals and wait in line for an hour at a time at each truck. And, when you work on the truck until the bars close and then get up at 6am to set up for breakfast, their enthusiasm is what keeps you going.
Most restaurateurs dream of a circumstance in which people line up for an hour to taste their cooking. However, with expectations so high, it’s hard not to be worried about disappointing your customers.
This is part of an ongoing series about the start up of a food truck called NaanStop. We will be launching in the first quarter of 2011. You can follow us on twitter @NaanStop, on Facebook, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback. Check back here for weekly updates!
Additional information about starting and running a food truck business: