With food truck revenue well over one billion dollars in the United States alone, and an increase of more than 12% in the last five years, you can rest assured that food trucks are here to stay.
Since the rise of the food truck nation several years ago and up until now, food truck owners have strategized about the best places to park their trucks.
With more trucks on the road and increased regulations, deciding where to park the food truck is often a difficult decision.
In this article, we look at how to choose a perfect location for your food truck business.
It’s almost too cliché to say, but you’ve heard it many times before: location, location, location. Whether you own a brick-and-mortar restaurant or a food truck, where you serve your customers is going to decide whether your business succeeds or flops.
Finding a perfect location for your food truck can yield big profits for most trucks, especially if they build a presence and park in the same spot repeatedly. (tweet this)
Yet, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. You must consider the following before parking:
Generally speaking, there are a few prime locations that work for most food trucks.
Parks are often set aside by the city and sometimes in downtown areas, and these are great locations for food trucks.
Why? Because when grouped together, food truck parks attract more attention and bigger crowds. Consider the The Yard, a new food truck park in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Their first season was a resounding success with many food trucks selling.
Because there are more food trucks than ever before, owners have found they work toward a common good by working together. They enjoy the increased exposure that the parks create.
Consider how much more exciting it is for the consumer to see multiple food trucks than one lonely seller.
Worth noting, here, though is that you want to make sure your truck stands out from the crowd in a food truck park or gathering of multiple trucks. You don’t want to be one of 10 trucks selling donuts.
As long as you have a unique offering, you’ll find the food truck park a perfect location.
These are typically great locations for food trucks because there is so much foot traffic.
A seasonal location, Farmers Markets are usually held during the spring, summer and fall. You might find it profitable to park at a Farmers Market whenever it’s open or just on weekends.
You can always test the market and see how your food truck fares at a Farmers Market. Some menus work better at this venue. If you’ve got locally sourced, responsibly produced, organic or specialty items, your most likely in luck at a Farmers Market.
Downtown areas or business and financial districts are usually perfect locations for food trucks. You’ll usually find a large amount of foot traffic during the lunch hour.
These can be competitive locations, so you want to arrive early. You also want to be up-to-date on your licenses and permits when choosing these locations.
These can be a good source of income during the work week if you look for the natural foot traffic patterns, park early and know your restrictions.
The most important thing when setting up shop at a gas station is to get permission from the owner first. If the gas station is accompanied by a fully-stocked convenience store, they probably aren’t going to want the competition.
If it’s a gas station selling gas, drinks and a few snacks, you might be in luck.
Gas stations can be profitable if you see traffic from people on their lunch hour grabbing a cool drink with their gas. And, you might find that the gas station owners will appreciate the added traffic generated by your food truck.
You can look for gas stations off major highways or interstates because not only will you reach the workforce, but you’ll reach travelers as well.
A perfect location for your food truck is a bar or nightclub after hours. Bar-hoppers are generally starving between midnight and 2 am, and you can bet they’ll be glad to see your food truck.
If you don’t mind staying up late, you can serve quite a few customers in a short amount of time.
Get permission from the owner to park close to their bar. If you can park close to the entrance or in their parking lot, you’ll entice evening drinkers with the smells emanating from your food truck.
Check out your local festivals and events for the perfect location for your food truck.
For example, if the circus is coming to town, and you sell kid-friendly desserts, this is a great location for you. If you sell gourmet delicacies, and there’s a concert in the park, consider trying this location. You can see how your menu can compliment the venue.
These types of events are nice because you don’t have to do much to promote yourself as the festival will do the promotions for you.
Lastly, remember that parking matters above all else. If you’ve got superb food but a poor parking location, you won’t have great sales.
Conversely, if your food is mediocre, but you’ve got a prime parking spot, odds are your sales will be good.
Choosing a perfect location can help you build a reputation throughout the food truck nation and keep your fans coming back time and again. A poorly chosen parking spot can leave you lonely, forgotten and penniless.
For the best shot at success, you have to choose a great location for your food truck. This involves many variables.
The last tip for choosing a perfect location for your food truck business is to make nice with your competitors. (tweet this) They can either help or hinder your chosen location.
Once you’ve parked in the same location multiple times and established your presence with some consistency, it pays to get to know your food truck neighbors. You can watch out for each other and help “hold” one another’s spots.
What’s your favorite place to park you food truck? What do you consider the perfect location? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Please share below.