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 is anybody making any money?

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hpx

  • Total Posts: 22
  • Joined: 8/27/2013
  • Location: sebring, FL
is anybody making any money? Tue, 10/8/13 9:59 AM (permalink)
I see a glut of posts about people building trucks and trailers but dont see many if any that are actually running these and making any money. Is any one actually doing it? The trucks in my area are closing up way too often and was wondering if the boon is over.

Hope i dont upset anyone with this. Just wondering.
 
#1
    chefbuba

    • Total Posts: 1951
    • Joined: 6/22/2009
    • Location: Near You, WA
    Re:is anybody making any money? Tue, 10/8/13 3:37 PM (permalink)
    You show me your P&L and I will show you mine.
    Don't know about you, but I don't discuss my finances on a public Internet forum.
     
    #2
      fishscale28

      • Total Posts: 217
      • Joined: 2/21/2013
      • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
      Re:is anybody making any money? Tue, 10/8/13 4:51 PM (permalink)
      I'd love to make more...does that help?  We're making do but could always be better.  I think most of the trucks are out and about trying to make their money rather than here talking about it.
       
      I will say, from a new truck trying to figure out what is good or not, I can't really get an honest answer from anyone on how their sales are or how the events actually end up being.  Not that I'm overly concerned with their numbers but it's nice to have an idea of what is good or not.  Everyone seems to tack on a few hundy (some even double their numbers) to make things sound better.  Like I said I'm not overly focused on how financially successful others are but a ball part of what to expect wouldn't be bad.  Even the coordinators putting on our food truck events have interestingly large numbers...
       
      #3
        hpx

        • Total Posts: 22
        • Joined: 8/27/2013
        • Location: sebring, FL
        Re:is anybody making any money? Tue, 10/8/13 4:52 PM (permalink)
        chefbuba


        You show me your P&L and I will show you mine.
        Don't know about you, but I don't discuss my finances on a public Internet forum.

        I wasnt asking to see your books or anything. I have a b&m and have had a real tough summer and know of a lot of trucks that have been sold off or just plain closed and was wondering if the trucks are over with? 
         
        Just a simple query, are you making it or getting discouraged. Not trying to offend anyone.
         
        #4
          gonzojuice

          • Total Posts: 87
          • Joined: 9/8/2013
          • Location: Austin, TX
          Re:is anybody making any money? Wed, 10/9/13 4:23 PM (permalink)
          It took me two years of being in business before I could afford employees. I'm closer to three years now and am still not taking a paycheck. Won't bother to go into the breakdown of overhead but we have been doing around twelve gs in the summer months and did sixteen in the spring months. Just opened a second unit and hope to be doing over twenty here in the near future. I have never been able to figure out why the truck and trailer owners deceive each other so often but it definitely happens constantly. Makes no sense to me. One thing about this business is that bills come sneaking out of places that never occur to you till they arrive on your step. It's a lot of hard work and success or at least recognition doesn't come easily. Be prepared to pay to work for years and spend a lot of time trying to do it alone, but yes then you can make some money. Hope that helps
           
          #5
            kapowtruck

            • Total Posts: 118
            • Joined: 9/25/2013
            • Location: Delaware
            Re:is anybody making any money? Wed, 10/9/13 5:59 PM (permalink)
            hpx


            I see a glut of posts about people building trucks and trailers but dont see many if any that are actually running these and making any money. Is any one actually doing it? The trucks in my area are closing up way too often and was wondering if the boon is over.

            Hope i dont upset anyone with this. Just wondering.

            I don't think the boom is over. IMHO I think a lot of people, just like in the full service restaurant biz, feel they can make a lot of money fast and don't realize how much work and hours it takes to be in the food industry. For the last 10 years I was co-owner of a take out and a full service restaurant and man I was putting 80 plus hours a week. It took about 2 years to make up the money invested.
             
            My experience in the restaurant business was, if we made enough money to pay all the overhead with out getting into savings we were good to go.
            One thing about food trucks over brick and motar is that we can find a good location instead of trying to make an existing one work. I just purchased my food truck about 3wks ago and had it inspected in my state. I'm not officially on the road but I do catering for my previous clients and already made 1/4 of my investment back.
             
            #6
              Foodbme

              • Total Posts: 9527
              • Joined: 9/1/2006
              • Location: Gilbert, AZ
              Re:is anybody making any money? Thu, 10/10/13 12:45 AM (permalink)
              You won't start making significant $$$ until you develop a consistent repeat customer base and a strong referral business to keep filling the new customer pipeline.
              You achieve that by offering a quality product with exceptional customer service at a perceived value.
              You need those 2 elements to generate consistent cash flow that stabilizes your ability to meet your fixed nut.
               
              #7
                Foodbme

                • Total Posts: 9527
                • Joined: 9/1/2006
                • Location: Gilbert, AZ
                Re:is anybody making any money? Thu, 10/10/13 12:45 AM (permalink)
                You won't start making significant $$$ until you develop a consistent repeat customer base and a strong referral business to keep filling the new customer pipeline.
                You achieve that by offering a quality product with exceptional customer service at a perceived value.
                You need those 2 elements to generate consistent cash flow that stabilizes your ability to meet your fixed nut.
                 
                #8
                  Sun Spot

                  • Total Posts: 17
                  • Joined: 8/12/2013
                  • Location: Seattle, WA
                  Re:is anybody making any money? Mon, 10/14/13 9:27 PM (permalink)
                  I plan to (make money). But last year and this year I paid my employees, and covered costs.  But I didn't get paid.  My help all did better financially than I did.  In 2014 I expect to have some income.  If need be, I'll use less help (longer lines aren't always bad), and pay myself one of their wages.

                  I sell mini donuts and fresh squeezed lemonade at fairs, festivals and farmers markets.  One of my issues is trying out a venue and seeing if it works.  Two events, similar audience, different results.  One is very profitable, the other cost me money.  So each year I refine my list of events, adding and modifying depending on how it went in previous years.  One of my biggest expenses is the entry fees for some of the festivals.  If you are selling mini-donuts at $3.50 and they want $700 for a weekend, that is a lot of donuts to just cover that fee.  Most of my events are less expensive, live and learn.

                  I do great at repeat business, so when I can get into a multi-day fair (which is challenging) or a farmers market that I'm at every week, business is fine. 

                  I see that I either need to step up my game (be able to handle two events the same weekend, or add to the menu and work a route during the week), or consider leaving the business.  I'm certainly not getting rich.  I'm thinking when I finish retrofitting a trailer to sell my donuts out of, set-up and take-down won't be so time consuming and make it easier to handle multiple venues.
                   
                   
                   
                  #9
                    fishscale28

                    • Total Posts: 217
                    • Joined: 2/21/2013
                    • Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
                    Re:is anybody making any money? Mon, 10/14/13 11:36 PM (permalink)
                    I think you're on to something with finding a consistent spot for the weekdays.  Sure events are great-and I'm seeing the same things you are-sometimes you kill it...sometimes it costs so much to go (the fees, driving there, not enough business, too many trucks, etc.) that it almost washes out the better events.  The way to make it is steady, consistent business during the week and using events to spread the love and get your name out there.  I think your concept would kill it outside of a big office building (or near by), a school, etc.  Maybe even two days at one place then two or three at another.  Then you'll build that consistent customer base where you know what to expect, what to prep, and how few people you can get by working to get the job done quickly and efficiently...just my two cents in my short time in the food truck scene...
                     
                    #10
                      chefbuba

                      • Total Posts: 1951
                      • Joined: 6/22/2009
                      • Location: Near You, WA
                      Re:is anybody making any money? Tue, 10/15/13 12:55 AM (permalink)
                      How much labor could you need to make donuts & lemonade?
                      Keyword: Streamline or you will never make a dime.
                      You should be able to do it with one other person.
                      Ditch the $700 events, there is no money to be made at $3.50 a sale.
                      My limit is $150-200 depending on what the event is, with a check average of $9
                      Have you ever thought of working a dog show? There are a fair amount of them in your area. I have friends that show dogs, they are always complaining about the lack of or the quality/variety of food offered at shows. Dog people are serious about their shows, are at the show grounds early.
                      What better than fresh hot donuts to go with the coffee they just bought.
                      There is an upcoming show in Ridgefield with approx 1300 dogs entered, a captive audience of a couple thousand people.
                      Just a thought as my meds kick in.
                       
                      #11
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