The street food revolution is well underway in Australia and it brings with it the exciting opportunity to be your own boss.
Food trucks and trailers are no longer just smoko vans serving bad coffee and prepacked sandwiches. These days the demand for high quality, healthy, seasonal and international cuisine at festivals and fairs is at an all-time high.
Custom-designed food trucks and trailers are a flexible, affordable way to start your own business when you finally decide it’s time to go it alone; and with Bella Manufacturing in your corner, from design and build through to ongoing after sales support, you’ll have the best support crew when you start making the decisions.
No matter how good you are with a grater or a garlic press you still need professional help. So when it comes to getting your food truck or trailer up and running here are a few things you should be thinking about.
Five Factors for a Fantastic Food Truck
- It pays to be Mobile
Opening a restaurant is tough, a much cited US study from Ohio State University says 60% of new restaurants don’t make it past the first year and 80% go under in five years. OK the US isn’t Australia but the risk factors are the same.
Food trucks are cheaper and more flexible than traditional bricks and mortar restaurants, and because they are on a smaller scale the issues facing every new business owner are more manageable.
And if the customers aren’t coming to you, then you can go to them.
2. Truck or Trailer?
Deciding between a truck or a trailer probably depends on your budget and what kind of business you’re planning to run.
If you’re planning a quick-service business where you’re constantly moving from site to site then a truck is more efficient. The design would probably emphasize a quick and efficient set up.
If you are heading to sites when you plan to spend two or three days then a trailer is a more logical choice. You can unhitch your towing vehicle, head off for supplies, and rotate team members for rest breaks. At first glance a trailer is cheaper but you still need a towing vehicle.
The team at Bella Manufacturing can work through all the options with you so you end up with the right choice for your business.
3. Think Workflow Design
When former Aria chef and now Phat Boys Food Truck owner Jorge Newbury decided it was time to take to the highways in a food truck he enlisted Bella Manufacturing for the job. He needed a partner who could translate his very specific design ideas into a food truck kitchen that would meet the exacting standards of a qualified chef.
With a double basket deep fryer, grills, sinks as well as storage on the wish list the team at Bella Manufacturing worked closely with Jorge to come up with a workspace designed for speed and efficiency. Since time is money anything that holds up quick service can impact on your bottom line.
The end result eliminated unnecessary movement in a confined space, ticked off the items on his wish list, and met all the OH&S and food regulations demanded from the Australian food service industry.
4. Get the Right Gadgets
Knowing what equipment to put in your food truck or trailer means knowing what kind of business you’re going to run.
If it’s a coffee truck you might not need that industrial grill but if it’s all about the fast food then a top of the range coffee machine could be overkill. When space is tight, which it always is, making the right choice is crucial.
Think carefully about what you include and what you leave out of the original fitout. You might save money up front but retro fitting equipment could disrupt an efficient design or just cost more since it will be priced as a one-off. Chances are it will also lack the durability and reliability of commercial grade equipment.
Phat Boys was always going to be serving Portuguese food and with a few years of kitchen time under his chef’s hat Jorge knew what he needed. But that still included the help of the Bella Manufacturing design team to make sure it all fitted, and was compliant.
5. Pick the Right Power Source
If your regular route is going to include sleepy suburbs or the remote reaches of the National Park network then a noisy diesel generator is unlikely to be the right choice to power your mobile catering business.
Likewise if there’s no option to plug into a power source at your destination then a battery pack and inverter system is a great and green alternative. You can recharge daily back at base or install a few solar panels on the top of your truck or trailer to top up when you’re on the road.
The team at Bella Manufacturing will work with you to find the best power solution for your mobile catering business. For Jorge and Phat Boys it was gas power and a battery pack and inverter.
Pick a Partner you Trust
One thing lies at the heart of the five factors for a fantastic food truck business. Getting them right depends on picking the right partner.
Jorge learned the hard way. Bella Manufacturing wasn’t the first choice for the Phat Boys food truck, but when their first choice failed to come through they turned to Bella Manufacturing.
Burnt once by a bad experience Jorge kept a close eye on the build with Bella Manufacturing, but the team earned his trust and delivered on time and to his exacting specifications.
Bella Manufacturing consulted with Jorge on all five key factors throughout the process. They followed up with after sales support as needed, and with regular factory visits Jorge was fully involved in the process from beginning to end.
Jorge was delighted with the design and high quality workmanship of the end result. And all within a six week build time.
Phat Boys are always on the move but you can track down your next chance to try their fantastic Portuguese street food at www.PhatBoysfoodtruck.com.au
For a no obligation discussion about how a Bella Manufacturing can open up your business to new horizons call 1300 721 811 or email us here.