The rise of food truck culture in UAE

Since the 2008 recession, where many businesses, not only eating establishments, went out of business; food trucks emerged as a cheaper, more affordable way for restaurateurs to offer high-quality food without the costs of maintaining a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.


Given the lower maintenance costs, many would-be restaurateurs are deciding to open a food truck business, now regarded as a decent avenue for commencing a career in the food industry.


Food truck culture today offer a myriad of menu options, from vegan falafels to juicy cheeseburgers or more contemporary hybrids. Food trucks now cater for all tastes, offering locally sourced, gourmet artisan items; and are no longer the grimy street food outlets they used to be.


Why food truck culture developed

Food trucks are now standard around the world. Typically associated with ethnic street food, they now provide affordable, filling meals that are relatively straightforward to prepare. Locations for food trucks have also changed. Whilst they remain prevalent in busy urban centres, they are also located in suburban and rural areas.


Since 2008, food trucks then have been among the hottest trends in the restaurant industry. They may have begun as a cheaper alternative to a brick-and-mortar restaurant, but they have become one of the most reliable business models in the food and beverage industry.


How to set up a food truck

A food truck is like an eating establishment on wheels. It has several advantages over a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant. A food truck can go to where customers congregate, and not expect customers to come to them.  It has lower overheads and requires less service staff to owners can save on wages.


Paradoxically, food trucks still require more hard work at first. Long working days are still the norm, plus there are slower seasons where business is low. Severe or extreme weather can impact customers who do not wish to stand in the street at the mercy of the elements.


If that doesn't put you off, here's what you'll need to do to begin your food truck business.


Choose an attractive business name and create your menu

First the fun part—decide on a phenomenal food truck name, like these ones. Similar to choosing a restaurant name, the name of your food truck business should reflect your food theme and concept.


Even if your food truck does not have the regular plastic menus like brick-and-mortar restaurants, provide some paper alternatives for customers to be able to take away and ensure your menu has daily specials to keep piquing customers interests to return.



Do you have the financing required?

A food truck concept is significantly cheaper than a brick-and-mortar restaurant. However, you will still need dip into your savings or obtain financing from a bank to make this venture work.


If you are looking for a reasonably economical way to commence a food truck business, consider a food cart. A hot dog or pizza cart may not be the most glamorous option, but it’s certainly easier and cheaper to get started than offering more niche gourmet options that require more food preparation.


Adequately checking your stock levels


If you plan to serve hot food, like pizza, French fries or other greasy fried foods, you will need an oven and hob. Should you wish to sell pre-made sandwiches, you'll need a cooler to store them in before selling. Outfitting a food truck is indeed cheaper than an eat-in restaurant or cafe.


When a customer visits you, ensure you have the food you say you offer. Nothing is more disappointing than when a customer makes an effort to come to your food truck for an advertised meal only to be devastated you don't have what you say you do. Customer satisfaction is critical.


Keep your stock and payments in order

Using software like CompuCash is one way to ensure you have enough stock coming in for your customers to order. Food truck owners must provide easy options for customers to pay - whether cash, cards or mobile payment options. CompuCash not only can support food truck owners in collecting payments from customers but can also provide quick receipts allowing the owners to serve more customers in a shorter period of time.


One additional and excellent way of retaining customers is to offer them a customer loyalty option with a customer loyalty reward card.



Advertising your food truck

The remarkable thing about a food truck is that it's a rolling billboard on wheels. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect to do some marketing for your food truck. Social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are ideal for building a good customer base. You can post or tweet in the morning where your food truck is going to be located for lunch and dinner periods to let followers and potential customers come and visit you. Always post photos and updates on your food and specials to get customers interested.


Food truck culture is the hottest trend right now and shows no signs of abating. If you have ever thought about opening a new cafe, restaurant or eating establishment, yet are concerned about the cost; a food truck is a good option.


Offering lower business start-up costs and overheads, it can still provide high-end meals for more higher-paying customers, and using CompuCash technology can speed up processing customer orders and payments. Once you have a feel for the food truck concept, you can decide if you are ready to become a restaurant owner.


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