Food trucks can save a food business lots of money compared to a brick and mortar establishment. Low overhead and mobility give food trucks the advantage. They can go out and find the customers instead of having to wait for them. But sometimes it’s good to have that permanent location that everyone knows about. At a brick and mortar location you have opportunities that food trucks don’t have, such as nice seating for your customers and a liquor license for the men who want a beer with their steak.
There are many things to consider though when you go from truck to brick and mortar:
Location – food trucks are mobile. They can move from spot to spot if the business isn’t looking good. A restaurant, on the other hand, isn’t moving anywhere. You have to consider this extremely carefully. How good is the surrounding neighborhood? How will it look in 10 years? 20 years? How much is the rent? Is it going to go up? All of these questions and more have to be considered when looking at a potential spot to anchor your business to for the long term. Don’t be afraid though because good food and a good marketing strategy will get those customers in the door. Remember, high traffic areas usually serve as good locations.
Finance – this ties into the location problem as well. How much does everything cost? What does it cost to get the necessary ingredients from the warehouse to the location? How about chef supplies? Using this and other information, you will have to adjust the prices you charge for food accordingly. You don’t have the same low costs that you had with your food truck. Remember it takes around six to twelve months to earn a profit with a restaurant, and great location, food, and atmosphere can help greatly reduce that time window!
Vibe – food trucks tend to be hip and cool, but limited to what kind of vibe or tone you set. It’s just a truck, no seating or interior design. The vibe is based purely off of how the employees treat the customers and how the food is served. In restaurants, you have interior design, many employees with uniforms that conform to the theme of the restaurant. A food truck that serves Indian food has a different vibe than an Indian restaurant.