6 Tips for Moving from Food Truck to Restaurant

If your business is considering making the transition from food truck to brick and mortar, there are a few things to consider in order to ensure your new platform is a success.

Maintain Consistent Branding 

If you’re considering the change from mobile food truck to brick and mortar restaurant, then chances are your mobile food business has been a success. You have popular recipes and customers who know your brand. 

It’s very important that you maintain this brand identity as you make the transition. You want your customers to recognize the same colors and writing and be able to associate it with your food truck. 

Ensure that you keep everything you can the same, aside from the location and restaurant. Loyal customers will want your restaurant to have a similar vibe and energy as your already successful food truck.

Location, location, location

When picking a location for your restaurant, don’t simply go with the cheapest priced land. Some big brand restaurants will attest to failure simply because there was no market for their style of food in that place, and even an online ordering system couldn’t help. 

The advantage you currently have is a mobile food truck. You can use this to analyze the best location for your store- park in several different areas, then look for property in the most successful area. This has a double advantage, as your customers in the area should already be familiar with your truck and products. 

Offer catering

Catering services can make a huge difference to the success of your small food business. Contrary to popular belief, there is a lot of extra enterprise that goes into making a food business successful, and catering is one of those ventures. 

With a catering service, you can provide offices with lunch, gatherings with buffets, and parties with snacks and food. If you’re industrious, you might even land some contracts with big firms to provide regular business buffets and lunches for clients. 

Build a strong team

You are a growing business, and at some point, you will need to hire more staff to help you deliver the workload. But hiring staff is a tricky process that you want to get right. The staff you hire should fit in with your company ethos and culture; if you’re a vegan restaurant, for instance, it wouldn’t make sense to hire a steak lover. 

You want your staff to be on-brand, but also on-board with what you’re trying to achieve, so they stay with your company long term. High employee turnover is expensive, as training takes company time and mistakes cost money. The more experienced the employee, the less likely they are to make mistakes.

What about the truck?

So you’ve moved into the big time and bought a brick and mortar restaurant, no need for that old truck anymore, right? However, you may be wrong to sell it or scrap it. The truck was the seed of your business and carries the tradition of your brand. 

It may make sense to continue working the truck in other local areas, perhaps as part of your mobile ordering app, to bring in revenue and raise brand awareness. Even if you don’t run it regularly anymore, you can still use it for catering or events.

Start-up costs

Shifting from the relative security of the food truck to a brick and mortar restaurant is a big step and will require some startup money. You will need to hire the land and building, buy the kitchen appliances, and if it is an already standing building, you may want to renovate a bit. 

You will hopefully have money saved for this, but you could also make use of a cash loan or development loan. It’s also worth investigating some local investors who might be willing to front some cash for a share in the business.