Food Truck Pitch

Author
fwho
Junior Burger
  • Total Posts : 9
  • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
  • Location: State College, PA
  • Status: offline
2013/05/22 15:54:43 (permalink)

Food Truck Pitch

:)
post edited by fwho - 2013/05/22 23:06:53
#1

17 Replies Related Threads

    chefbuba
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 1991
    • Joined: 2009/06/22 16:31:00
    • Location: Near You, WA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/22 18:14:52 (permalink)
    I have a 20' trailer, I do five items.
    Burgers, cheese steaks, pastrami, hand cut fries, beer battered onion rings. Nothing frozen or pre made, sounds simple, right? It's not. You don't just buy a truck, open the doors and start making thousands every day. Are you prepared to work long hours, some days for nothing?
    I have 30 years in the business, It's not as easy as the food network makes it look on tv.
    You don't just wake up one day and say I'm going to open a restaurant, it's one of the hardest industries to be in, especially when you have zero experience.
    You better have a better mouse trap than the guy down the block selling the same thing. If you want to just sell cheap tasteless crap, you won't last long. People expect good quality for a fair price from food trucks.
    I have been in the business for 30 years, that's
    Just my opinion, but he'll, you might get lucky and not loose all your savings in this.
    #2
    fwho
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
    • Location: State College, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/22 18:48:01 (permalink)
    Ive actually been thinking about doing this for around two years, so its def. not a wake up and go type thing. I also have every intention, and stated multiple times that I refuse to sell crap, so thats out. As for hours worked, the markets Im targeting would call for an 18 hour work day, everyday (except maybe Sunday). 
    #3
    fwho
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
    • Location: State College, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/22 22:12:37 (permalink)
    The more times I read your post the more disappointed I get... Im looking for advice, guidance, wisdom, and input from those who have been there and done that. And you seem like you would be the perfect person to offer it given your experience, the similarities in business models, and the fact that we are a country apart and will never compete. But then the clarity of your condescending post shines through and I start to wonder if my I inadvertently offended you with my "glorified Hot Dog Cart" comment. But hey, it is what it is.
     
    Anyways, reading between the lines it seems that, aside from assuming too much, this job has long hours, no guarantee of profits, and it requires effort to become a viable business. Sounds kinda like entrepreneurship if you ask me. But to tilt the "luck" in my favor I have already started an in depth business plan that will fully finished and reviewed multiple times before much aside from time is invested. 
    #4
    FriedTater
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 415
    • Joined: 2008/06/21 20:18:00
    • Location: Badlands of New Mexico
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/22 22:13:03 (permalink)
    18 hours a day? You`ve go to be kidding............
    Go back up and re-read what Chef wrote.
    #5
    fwho
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
    • Location: State College, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/22 22:26:50 (permalink)
    I get the feeling this thread is turning into more of a "u cant do that noob" than anything else, so Ill save the explanations. Ill continue researching elsewhere, finish my business plan, and review as necessary (including with those I know personally who have worked in food for many years). If it seems viable, I will make it happen, if not, I wont. That simple.
     
    But anyways, since I am in the rough draft phase, nothing is set in stone. That includes hours of operation.
    #6
    fishscale28
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 243
    • Joined: 2013/02/21 21:42:00
    • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/22 23:10:07 (permalink)
    Don't get discouraged! I know it seems hard and sometimes the people who can help the most come across as unwelcoming and blunt but everyone (generally) means well. Stern warnings and comments are only intended to get the true and real picture out there to help deter anyone who is unprepared or unfamiliar with the craft.

    I don't know food trucks too well but do know restaurants and operations and you'd be surprised how many inexperienced people jump into the industry only to find themselves inundated, broke and out of business. Most do, unfortunately. Noone wants to see you or anyone else fail-hence the warnings.

    With that being said sure you can make it work. A business plan is great but is usually pretty inconclusive. Lots of things change all the time and you have to be prepared to roll with the times. A seemingly simple and well executed menu can easily work and do well-but don't be afraid to make something creative with your offerings...something unique and exciting that sets you apart and also piques interest. Try it out. Lots. Get input and nail recipes and consistency. Get an experienced cook t help up. Flow and pickups at essential towards successful execution. Timing, preparation, etc. All very important.

    With the right amount of drive, dedication and know how you can make it happen. It will take lots of time and you'll relearn everything 10 times but if you want it bad enough you can do it!
    #7
    fwho
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
    • Location: State College, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 01:00:17 (permalink)
    Blunt and even harshly critical I can handle and even appreciate. But when the scale tips towards no general usefulness and a seeming desire to only bash, I do go on the offensive. I shouldnt, but its a flaw. 
     
    So, with the business plan, I do intend that to be a living document. Something reviewed and adjusted at least annually to better reflect the unexpected directions things might have went, and to address and compare any new opportunities that may present themselves. But your right, no matter how in depth I make the plan, its still a plan and lots of things I never saw coming, will. What I didnt really think about was something unique. I want to create a menu that is good, recognized, but also not very common. Most of my menu items can be found quite a few places in town; but to be honest, most suck. Something unique would help a lot with brand recognition and give reason to visit me instead of Joe. I am def. going to put more thought into this.
     
    I did give some thought to flow and preparation and am planning on using the McDonalds approach. Tape layouts and temp. set ups prior to modifying anything on the truck. Hopefully that will help smooth things out and give me an opportunity to optimize and hopefully find a balance between one and two person perfection. 
     
    To address experience, I have none in the food area and Ill openly admit that. Hell, I burnt a Hot Pocket not all that long ago... I do know when to listen to experience though, and to learn from them. So even though I really want to go this as a sole proprietor, I have juggled the idea of offering partnership to either someone who has been a full-time "carnie" for the past ~15 years or someone who has cooked, managed, and even owned multiple restaurants over the past ~30 years. Im open to advice because I dont want to fail, that is why I posted here. On a side note, I also have a few degrees, including one in Business and plan to attend a part-time, online Masters program in the near future (situation dependent). So I want to try and negate as many risks as possible prior to even starting. As you said things change, but I am trying to layout details similar to if this were a large franchise. Simply because its easier to start with certain habits and expectations than to form them down the road. 
     
    Anyways, thank you for the thoughtful, insightful, and encouraging post. That is exactly what I came here for, and to discuss. I want to make sure my ducks are in a row.
     
     
    #8
    fishscale28
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 243
    • Joined: 2013/02/21 21:42:00
    • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 09:54:55 (permalink)
    I know exactly how you feel with there being places serving subpar food.  Doing what they do and doing it better will definitely help-and a good dose of uniqueness will seal the deal.
     
    I think a solid business plan is a great start-just with knowing the industry I also know how things can easily go in a 100 different directions before you even have a chance to think back on the plan.  Most of the business plans in the restaurant biz are designed to attract investors...just don't hold it to a T-but I'm sure you already know that...one of the easiest ways to start of successful is being able to change on the fly and adapt by the second.
     
    I would also keep your sole proprietorship...keep it your deal but hire a couple good cooks that might be looking for a slight move up.  Someone like a lead line cook who has some experience with managing several stations but the core values of proper rotation, cross utilization, sanitation, etc.   Hire the people you need to get the job done and you won't really need to have them as partners-unless you want.  I think using a McD's model might work out perfectly...but I'm not overly familiar with that...I will say a menu like yours requires some actual strategic cooking so it might vary a little bit.  With flow keep all the dishes, their ingredients and preparation in mind-for example when doing a hot dog where do you keep them?  How are you storing them?  Heating them?  Where will the garnishes be?  Will they be in a cooler across the truck or will the be right behind your flat top/steamer etc?  Will whoever is assembling be able to complete the entire dish standing still with minimal movement or will they be required to bounce between a couple stations?  Sure-food trucks are small but valuable time is wasted with things being in separate parts of the kitchen.  And from what I've seen down here timing is the first thing that needs to be addressed!
    #9
    daddywoofdawg
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 299
    • Joined: 2011/02/23 01:38:00
    • Location: Starkweather, ND
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 14:23:51 (permalink)
    You Have to be able to change on a daily,weekly drop of the hat.Your menu can't be set in stone and you have to have a plan B and C. ; one of the hardest parts of this business is the changing prices.this week your main product cost 1.22 lb next week it's 3.25 lb!you have to be able to roll with it.
    A customer wants this with this,It isn't on the menu as comes with this,If you have it sell it!the customer will tell you your menu within a couple of months.things you'll drop others you now carry. 
    #10
    fwho
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
    • Location: State College, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 18:33:13 (permalink)
    Thanks guys. It seems one the big things I really need to keep in mind is the ability to throw the plan out the window should it be required. Adjust on the fly, and roll with the punches. 
     
    So over the past few days I have been questioning if I should go balls to the wall and outright open a truck, or start small and scale. My problem with starting smaller is that I may fall victim to repetition and never actually reach end game. Complacency is so easy to find and I know once I find a groove Ill want to ride it out. However, starting small puts me at less risk, provides gradual experience, and lets me feel the market. So today I reached out to a few people and can put a Hot Dog Cart in the county fair this year (2 months from now). I am also fairly certain that I can get into the local festival that starts in ~17 days. I dont have a business plan, a cart, or even a name for my new venture, but I think I am going to go for it anyways. One of the easy to build carts, almost strictly Hot Dogs. Plus I think the county fair will be a great sink or swim method to test my mettle for the future. Crazy or worthwhile?
    #11
    fishscale28
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 243
    • Joined: 2013/02/21 21:42:00
    • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 19:15:56 (permalink)
    Definitely worthwhile and sounds like it could work out!

    Quick question-are there any trucks near you that might be willing to let you come aboard and tag along for a few days? To get the feel for it? We call it a "stage" in the kitchens...a tryout of sorts to see if its a good fit, you like the feel and if its something that will work or not. It can be a real eye opener...

    Have you decided how much you would like to spend? Have you played with any numbers on what kind of sales you would like/need to generate? An idea on what operating costs would be?

    Daddywoof said it great-things like prices, customers, menu items etc all change rapidly and constantly. I still see things that amaze me and being able to cope and adapt are key.

    I would recommend going out and getting a fee in someone's truck to see if you like it first. Then go from there. Then take it from there!
    #12
    fwho
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
    • Location: State College, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 19:33:22 (permalink)
    As far as I know, I dont think there are. Ive heard rumor of a truck that moved into one of the spaces I planned on targeting, but I know little more than that. I live in a small, rural town. I would like to do that though. 
    #13
    fishscale28
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 243
    • Joined: 2013/02/21 21:42:00
    • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 19:42:24 (permalink)
    Maybe you can find a good truck in the closest big city and set something up.  Would be worth a try!
     
    #14
    fwho
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
    • Location: State College, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 19:52:38 (permalink)
    I will for sure look into it. But Im in central PA and the closest large cities are ~3 and 4 hrs away. Though I might find one closer. 
    For now, I think I need to focus on Hot Dog Cart if Im going to make that happen in just a few weeks though. Then after that would be a good time to search.
    #15
    fishscale28
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 243
    • Joined: 2013/02/21 21:42:00
    • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/23 20:26:35 (permalink)
    Research and Development weekend trip!
     
    #16
    daddywoofdawg
    Cheeseburger
    • Total Posts : 299
    • Joined: 2011/02/23 01:38:00
    • Location: Starkweather, ND
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/24 02:15:30 (permalink)
    you going to build the cart? If so you have to deal with the HD (well either way you will) they will tell you what you have to have and if you don't you can't open.If it was me I would pick one up on ebay and plan a trip to pick it up.
    #17
    fwho
    Junior Burger
    • Total Posts : 9
    • Joined: 2013/05/22 15:28:00
    • Location: State College, PA
    • Status: offline
    Re:Food Truck Pitch 2013/05/24 15:28:37 (permalink)
    Yeah, I was going to allow myself to get suckered into buying one of the plans. Send that forward to see if its approved and start building ASAP. Unfortunately, its now almost the weekend and I dont even have the plans yet. So the weekend is going to be a slow one it seems.
     
    Unimportant yet related is a thread I started on another forum: 
    #18
    Jump to:
    © 2014 APG vNext Commercial Version 5.1