Ent 1000 3-20-2013
Food Truck vs. Organic Trucks
The street food trend has been a growing industry nationwide. According to American City Business Journal of Orlando, Fl., “more than 3,000 street vendors made $1.3 billion in revenue in 2010, a 12.7% jump from the revenue from the prior year. The average startup cost of a food truck is only about $5,000-50,000 and the yearly profit potential can be anywhere from $100-250,000 per year.” The list of costs for startup include fuel, maintenance, business permits, equipment, supplies, insurance, marketing and is still minimal in contrast to the fees required for a stand-alone café spot in a busy business area. This is good news. Organic food trucks have almost no competitive market compared to the food trucks that provide fan fair (unhealthy) fast foods. The mobility of this business provides a wider profit gross than a stand-alone brick and mortar business and the flexibility to drive wherever the customers are can be a competitive advantage. I wanted to start an Organic Food truck business first rather than open a small restaurant for a few simple reasons. Startup costs are considerably less, and profit margins can be more. During my research of looking up for sale ads, I found that a used truck right now can be as low as $15,000 or a new one at $30-50,000. According to Forbes.com, I can move towards my market selling in more populated areas, whereas, “Purchasing a small café in my local area with twenty seats, around 2,000 square feet in size can cost upwards of $175- 300,000,” and then I am stuck in the same community for years. The basic food truck concept started way back in 1961 when New York began to regulate vendors selling food from push carts. Mobilecuisine.com- the History of American Food Truck article says, “Horse drawn chuck wagons started in 1866, sausage vendors sold quick hot foods to students at their dorms at Yale, Harvard and Princeton in 1974 and the first Taco truck in 2008 was regulated to sell food in a highly populated in Los Angeles, California.” The National Restaurant Association said, “The category tops $630 million in nationwide revenue in 2011.” But when first introduced, a regular food truck selling the typical burger, taco or BBQ made about a third of that ten years ago. Currently there is no confirmed market spot for the vegetarian or organic food truck but this area is undefined. In the Western part of the U.S., vendors who sold Asian, BBQ, or fair food sell the most products compared to the healthy foods that may be sold on a vegetarian or organic cart, yet there is a rise and a need lately in the health food industry with people trying to lose weight and eat better. Working in a health food kitchen for the past two years, I have realized how consumers have few choices in this area of eating out. Having the convenience of a healthy food truck alternative parked in “your area” is a perfect idea. Certain health risks and disease are on the rise and people love the idea now of having a gluten-free, soy or dairy-free, vegan or locally grown food choice in their own back yard where they can feel good about what they eat. Someone is looking out for them. According to Wikipedia.org 2013, locally here in downtown Tampa; Mayor Bob Buckhorn organized a monthly food truck rally drawing thousands of coinsures. Saint Pete followed suit in 2011. “The biggest buyers of foods from mobile vendors are adults age 25-34 spending an average of $44 per month.” In Theresa Ehrlichs online article, she also ads, “major market area analysis shows that 55% of trucks park at a street corner, other venues or events such as rally’s are 18%, construction work sites 15% and shopping malls contribute to 12% of locations served.” Right now, the phenomenon is gained so much buzz, that it’s difficult to accurately track the national sales. Yet as should be assumed with any business the first year, there are political, environmental,...