Anatomy of A Food Truck

How many pieces does it take to make a food truck? Although it appears to be a self-contained operation, a food truck sports a complicated anatomy, and business owners need to take several factors must be taken into account before they embark.

Richard Myrick of Mobile Cuisine notes some major factors that need to be considered before starting one’s own food truck:

  • Passion: The right amount of passion is required in order to start your own food truck business. What does this mean? “Passion without a plan” causes enthusiastic yet foolhardy entrepreneurs to go head-first into the business, without having a plan or thinking things through. On the other hand, “not enough passion” does entrepreneurs a disservice as well. As Myrick notes, “You have to be passionate and excited about starting a food truck business. You should be able to see yourself building your mobile food business for years to come.” Without the right amount passion it will be difficult for you to get your food truck up and running.
  • Money: This point seems obvious, but it needs to be mentioned. Starting your own business can be fun, but it can also be stressful--especially from a financial perspective. A food truck starting out is not always the most stable form of income, and you need to be prepared with at least “six to twelve months of living expenses in the bank.” This way, you will have enough of a cushion to get your business up and running without putting a financial strain on yourself or your family.
  • Business Knowledge: As Myrick notes, you don’t necessarily need an MBA to run a food truck, but “it helps to have a basic understanding of marketing, accounting, management, and finance.” Make sure you have the basics down before you start your business. Take classes online or buy books about the mobile food business, and of course it helps to visit for food truck tips and tricks.

These are three core elements of starting a food truck business. If we consider the first three points the heart of a food truck, then the Food Truck POS system is the brain. The POS acts as both the central nervous system and mission control, allowing you to monitor and manage all aspects of your business from one iPad POS or Internet-enabled device.

  • Real-time reports: Monitor inventory and sales reports, and keep tabs on employee hours and productivity.
  • In-depth inventory management: Stay on top of business trends, and stock your items according to what sells.
  • Direct social integration: Social media-savvy food truck owners can tweet their menu and location with social media integration. Real-time data and the power to effect changes when necessary give food trucks the cognitive power to run successfully (with, of course, the help of the business owner).

How far can we extend this analogy of food truck anatomy? If the passion, funds, and knowledge of the business owner is the heart, and the POS system the brain, what other aspects of a food truck can be assigned an anatomical equivalent? Feel free to leave your comments below on what pieces make up the anatomy of a food truck.