Expanding Your Food Trailer Business

November 7, 2012

The big question that you should be asking yourself – even when you’re first launching your food trailer business – is: What’s next? It might seem frustrating to ask at times given how busy the present state of your food trailer is keeping you, but it’s worth contemplating if you want to continually expand your business – and, of course, your profits. After all, one food trailer on its own has a limit on the profits that it can bring in annually.

Here are some options that you might want to consider for the future (or, at least, keep at the back of your mind while you’re operating your food trailer) :

  • Expand your fleet. If your food trailer is constantly being asked to be – or tugged towards – two places at once due to demand, it may be worthwhile to consider expanding the number of vehicles in your fleet. At first, your expansion may only include one additional trailer. However, once you have your business model down pat, it will be easier to add even more vehicles to your fleet. If you’re thinking about expansion, consider the following points:
    • As you increase the volume of inventory purchases that you make, you will most likely obtain lower prices for your menu ingredients and your packaging from your supplier(s).
    • Ensure that you carefully study the financial ramifications of any business expansion and whether your cash flow can support the additional investment.
    • Carefully examine what your competition is doing. Are they expanding? If so, how are they doing? Does the market for expansion truly exist? Use your competitions’ choices to your advantage by looking to see how they’re doing in the market.
  • Start doing catering services. Catering is a $7.1-billion-a-year industry, making it a lucrative area to look into if you’re looking to reach into new business opportunities. Your food trailer can cater on-site – if your commercial kitchen has a separate dining facility – or at an off-site location that your client specifies. Before you accept a proposal for catering, ensure that your menu is priced correctly and that you are properly equipped to handle the amount of people that you will be catering for. Lastly, keep your menu simple.
  • Franchise your food trailer business. In order to franchise your business, you have to be willing to sell the rights to use your trailer’s name and business model to independent investors who will pay you an initial franchise fee. This fee will allow the franchisee to open and operate a food trailer under your franchise trademark and menu. You may also ask your franchisee to pay you an additional, ongoing royalty fee for your continued support and training.

These are just a few of the ways to expand your food trailer business. Obviously, when you first open your business, your main focus should be on the well being of your trailer, its staff and your productivity. However, to be proactive, always ask yourself what you see in your food trailer’s future.

So, what’s next for you?