My answer to What's the food truck business like?
Answer by Desmond Last:
For 7 years I was the General Manager of Matilda’s Food Trucks in Sydney. We sold the business for several $million to Spotless in Melbourne. We had 40 Trucks and 90 staff.
It is not an easy business. But it has excellent cash-flow which used smartly will save you money with your purchasing.
Matilda’s was a 7 day a week 24 hours a day operation. The only time I could relax was Saturday afternoons.
The business model operates on economies of scale and optimization.
With one truck you make your living. With five you make a profit with six you make a loss. Five trucks require a supervisor 6 trucks require two.
Like all businesses the secret is to find out at what size your profit is maximized.
You will need a commercial kitchen to produce your own food. If you buy everything in your margins will be reduced and you will find it difficult to change your menu.
The food must be to a high standard. The trucks must be clean and tidy.
The staff must be good drivers and well presented.
You will need an ice-maker and/or an engine mounted refrigeration compressor. The alternative is a generator.
With one truck you will make a living. To enter the market with any more than that you should clearly identify the market potential and at what size you will make a profit.
A good mobile truck can take in sales on a payday of up to $10,000. But that can be offset by a truck that is losing money.
It is a tough business. I would think very carefully before entering the market.
There is a lot of competition from established food outlets. For you to succeed you will have to take some of their customer base.
It is affected by weather and road accidents which can be very expensive. The truck bodies are very labour intensive to build. We always had a spare truck all set to go.
Anybody considering going into the Food Truck business should make sure their business model is researched and is accurate.