Now that the world is slowly opening up again, more people will most likely want to experience the simple joy of dining out. One of the best and safest ways to do this is still al fresco. That is why having a food truck business will never go out of style, at least while still contending with COVID-19, as well as its newest and more contagious variants.
At the same time, there’s no denying that every food concept and cuisine has been done before. New entrepreneurs need to find ways to set their food apart if they want their food truck or business to gain positive attention.
If you dream of starting a food truck business but don’t know what type of cuisines will sell and people will flock to, don’t hesitate. You can prepare vehicles like a trusty Fifth Wheel Texarkana. Establish a thorough business plan, find reliable suppliers and get your licenses.
Here are some trendy food and drink ideas to inspire you.
Plant-based foods and meals have seen an uptick in popularity even before the pandemic. But it continues to be trendy as 28 percent said that the COVID-19 crisis has caused them to consume more protein from plant sources. This is according to a study by the International Food Information Council (IFIC).
People are now more conscious about not just their health but also how their choices impact the environment. So entrepreneurs need to find ways to take advantage of this cultural moment. Consider exploring plant-based or vegan recipes of the usual suspects like burgers and pizza. You can be sure that the health buffs and environmentally-conscious consumers will come running.
The pandemic gave rise to many trends, such as home improvement and becoming a plant parent, but one trend we cannot ignore is the sudden rise of cooking crafts. How many of your friends learned how to make Dalgona coffee, sourdough bread, pancake cereal, peanut buttermilk and other Instagram-worthy foods?
You can leverage this trend by looking into what offbeat recipes the Zoomers are busy trying to replicate and see if you can come up with your own twist on it. Imagine a food truck filled with foods that are TikTok-famous. If you don’t have it in your area yet, you can be the one to fill that gap, especially when youngsters crave it but have no time or energy to make it themselves.
Jams and Fermented Food
Another food trend that’s worth looking into is the phenomenon of fermenting or pickling, which involves turning harvests and fresh produce into jars of pickled red onions, cucumbers, and radishes, and many more. Since Korean food has also found its way into the cultural zeitgeist in recent years, you can also incorporate the well-loved kimchi as well.
A close cousin of fermented or pickled foods is different kinds of jams. They can be made from various beloved fruits like strawberries, peaches, carrots, rhubarb, plum, cherries, etc. You can also explore other types of preserved foods like marmalade, jellies, and compotes. As long as it’s canned, it’s part of the category. All you need is some cute mason jars, the right recipes, and a lot of patience. You just might end up selling these canned foods by the multitudes.
The world continues to plunge into one disaster after another. Consumers find themselves being more protective of the planet and allowing this conviction to influence their choices.
This is why we will continue to see the trend of eco-friendly businesses, and restaurants and cafes will be no exception. If this is also a fight you care about, why not make it the cornerstone of your food truck business?
Here are some things you need to remember when coming up with a mission and vision for this small business:
- Partner with local farmers instead of sourcing ingredients from big supermarkets.
- Use only environmentally-friendly packaging.
- Make this fight for the environment the focal point of your business’s marketing and brand identity.
- Build connections with reputable non-profit organizations to help establish your reputation and credibility as a business that truly cares for how our consumption impacts the earth’s natural resources.
People are becoming more open with what they eat, exploring cuisines outside of their locale. About 75 percent of people like a menu with ethnic-inspired dishes and some 40 percent of U.S. consumers want to try international street food items.
Diners crave the following when eating out:
- Southeast Asian (Vietnamese, Singaporean, Filipino)
- South American (Argentinian, Brazilian, Chilean)
- Caribbean (Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican)
- North African (Moroccan, Algerian, Libyan)
- Western African (Nigerian, Ghanan, Western Saharan)
If you want to stand out, a smart fusion of complementing international cuisines could entice more people to your food truck.
How Profitable is a Food Truck Business?
The food truck industry is lucrative, with profit margins for businesses competing with those of fast food restaurants. The average profit margin for both is between 6 percent to 9 percent. By comparison, a full service restaurant’s profitability is at 3 percent to 5 percent and a catering service is at 7 percent to 8 percent.
On average, food trucks make about $20,000 to $45,000 a month. How much your business makes will depend on the type of food you serve, your branding and the locations your food truck parks. All of these things affect your expenses and, by extension, your profit margins.
Naturally, a food truck specializing in, for example, grilled cheese may make more money than other trucks serving freshly caught seafood. The latter may need more prep time and equipment, as well as demand greater effort in day to day operations than the former. The location of your food truck business may also affect profitability. Business licenses, parking permits, health regulations and relevant requirements will all require expenses.
Starting a Food Truck Business
There is no shortage of food trends you can explore if you want to open a food truck business that will be a hit in your neighborhood. Do extensive research, build advocacy around it and focus on the type of food you’d love to make and serve.
Of course, passion for food only goes a long way. This is still a business and every commercial venture requires a solid business plan. You must study your market, figure out the best spots to serve them and manage your business finances.
Starting a food truck business can be exhilarating. But without a plan, you risk missing out on lucrative opportunities. So prepare well for the food truck industry and drive your way to profitability.