When you own a food truck, the mobile, flexible lifestyle is part of the magic. But maybe you’re starting to think bigger and considering the possibility of putting down roots — a permanent place that you don’t pack up at the end of lunch hour.
The prospect of leveraging your food truck’s success into a brick-and-mortar restaurant is a huge change, both personally and professionally, so in order to make it a success, remember a few important points.
Stay True to Concept
Whether you’ll use your restaurant as the home base for your continual food truck service or you’re shutting down mobile operations altogether in favor of a permanent parked home, stick to the core values that made your food truck a success in the first place.
So many food truck owners get excited that their kitchen size is larger and they have more capabilities that they drastically expand their menu until their original idea becomes hard to find. Keep the concepts that have worked for you in the past — this is one of the surest indicators your restaurant will have success.
Use Your Knowledge of What Works
You learned a lot during your food truck days that can translate to a physical restaurant.
What’s the best place to get the most foot traffic? What hours are the busiest? Keep them the same for your brick-and-mortar location. Since you have some experience, you have an advantage: you don’t have to go through quite the same lengthy testing phase as a new restaurant.
Manage Your Cash Flow Wisely
Keeping cash flow stable with a food truck operation is different than a full-scale restaurant. You need to order more inventory and you need to do it ahead of time. You need to make payroll for additional staff.
Keep a close eye on cash flow, especially in the early stages when you’re making a large upfront investment in your new location. Cash flow management is one of the most important skills, and one that will either help your new venture stay afloat or sink it.
Get Quality Equipment with Flexible Financing
One of the best ways to maximize your cash flow is to save it for the expenses you can’t put off, from paying contractors to purchasing inventory. But for the big investments such as commercial ovens and dishwashers, you can get financing from Stratton Sales and no payments for 90 days, subject to credit approval. Find out if you are eligible and start accruing the equipment you need as you transition from the food truck life.