Starting a Food Truck Business
A generation of street food lovers is among us …and though food carts and trucks are not new to the streets, the industry is finally getting the notoriety for which it has longed. In fact, research firm IBISWorld recently did a study that estimated food trucks to be a billion dollar industry. If you are a self-proclaimed “foodie” and the thought of owning your own food truck has crossed your mind, here are some tips to help you get off the ground.
Evaluating your startup costs can help you build a successful and profitable business. Here are some raw figures thanks to a recent interview with Food Truck guru Jerome Chang, owner of Cathcart & Reddy:
- Purchasing a new truck or customizing a previously owned truck costs an average of $50,000. In addition, you need a Mobile Food Vending Unit Permit, which can cost anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars (depending on jurisdiction).
- Securing General Liability Insurance, which is needed to operate a commercial kitchen, will cost approximately $3,500 per year. Other insurance to consider is truck insurance, with an average cost of $2,000-$3,000 annually.
- You will also want a Workers Comp policy. For 3 employees, you are looking at a price of around $7,000 per year.
- Other expenses include a Mobile Vendors License (around $100.00) and Commercial Kitchen costs ($2,000+/- per month).
- Determining how many employees you need and what their salary will be is another consideration. Food trucks are generally small operations, with a max of three employees in Front of House positions (interacting with the customers), and up to three in Back of House positions (cooking and cleaning). Average pay is $10-$16 per hour.
Now that you have a better idea regarding startup costs, it is time to decide on an affordable POS system for your business. A variety of point of sale systems are available for your food truck. Among the many available options on the market is Calypso POS, presented by Pinnacle Hospitality Systems. Simple to use, the Calypso POS offers Credit/Debit/Gift Card processing (a great feature, considering how many people do not carry cash these days), the ability to customize kitchen messages, easy management of payroll solutions and accounting, and the capability to greet users with a Simple Department Driven Menu Screen that drastically reduces training time.
Any food truck business needs a simple, affordable, and complete POS solution. Another important feature to consider is your food truck POS system’s ability to offer social media functionaility, connecting your potential customers to your very mobile business. The Calypso POS can also include SunDrop Mobile platform integration, giving you the opportunity to reach customers through Twitter and Facebook. Regardless of which POS solution your choose, you will need to keep your followers up-to-date on location, daily food specials, and coupons.
Bottom line…the food truck owners must provide fast, accurate service to customers. Space is also an important consideration. When choosing a point of sale system for your budding food truck business, consider the overall footprint that your POS will occupy.
Opening a food truck business can be an exciting venture. To be successful, you need a reliable POS system to help with everyday business operations.
For more on the food truck POS system options from Calypso, click here.