In case you already know that Your van can only sell food in private venues, where you have to pay an average of 300 euros per weekend to the organizer. If you already know you need an independent, health authority certified and equipped with all current licenses place to cook…because you can’t cook food in the van. If you already know that the grace of this business is to be able to move every day of the week and look for different locations, but that current legislation does not allow it. If you understand that a business of this kind is a bulk business: come on, the real business is a chain of vans moving every day of the week. When you know that commercial kitchens use it as a marketing tool and it is an investment in advertising for them. When you know that what is seen on TV shows is not allowed in the real world. If you already knew all this, this article is not for you. We won’t tell you anything new. If you didn’t know all of the above, read on. You may see the queues of these vans at trade shows, but what you don’t see is that they sit in a garage every day (which, by the way, has a monthly rent that someone has to pay).
Business model blind spot
If you work 72 hours every 15 days, could you earn an investment of 149,062 euros? That’s the question to ask yourself when thinking about the food truck business. They will tell you that you can put up a food truck for 20,000 euros and that is not true. This can be for an existing restaurant or for a catering company that is buying and converting an old van. But for a beginner it is not 20,000 euros. It is clear that an already converted van can be rented for 600 euros for a weekend. But the fact is that you have to pay an additional 300 or 600 euros to rent a space at a trade fair, if of course they accept you. But you need a place to cook, because the law doesn’t allow you to cook in the van: so you have to rent one to make your product (yes, you can find it for 600 euros a month, but of course you have it around committing to two or three years of rent and adding a two-month security deposit), you will need to have those premises certified by local and health authorities. And the product that needs to maintain a cold chain, for which you need freezers, which you need to transport to the events. And you also need liability insurance (170 euros for your main kitchen and another 170 euros for the van). And you have to think about the amortization, about everything that can be damaged (an oven, the van…).
Profitability is calculated per month/year, not per fair
And be able to cook all of this, mind you, because if you can’t, someone else will have to cook. And someone has to help you sell it. And you have to do all these estimates a year in advance. So we repeat the question: are you able to return your investment? «The restriction of the regulations makes the business unprofitable. What’s the best thing about a van? Move around in search of locations. Now it’s only allowed to go to private venues and events, so there’s no roaming. The advantage of a food truck is that you don’t have to pay for an expensive spot in a good area and you have the option to rotate throughout the week. It’s also a bulk business where you have to sell every day and you can’t stop the van,” he summarizes George More, Hotelier with locals in Boquería Market, San Miguel Market and Platea, in front of MasGourmets.
Restaurants already in operation
Who is it business for now? For a restaurant that already has a differentiated offer, that first carried out a proof of concept before embarking on this business concept and that thinks in the long term: currently there are fashion fairs and not so fashionable (fairs in cities , for example) and later one small chain of fixed cart-shaped stalls. Micaela Gemianini He’s been at the top for eight years his restaurant La Dominga in Madrid and less than a year behind the wheel of Your Gastronet Graciana. She gets the bills. So much so that he’s now opening a workshop to solely attend to his food truck business popularizing Argentinean empanadas.
It works out? “The only product with many references. The more product, the more out of control the business gets. Remember there are 60-70 food trucks per show and you have to compete, you have to differentiate. There’s only one for empanadas, eight for hamburgers,” says Graciniani, who started with a tent, then rented a trailer, then bought.
“There is a lot of cannibalism starting. It’s all the same. There is hardly any creativity, there is no real innovation. You see more of it. It copies the one that works, the one that has a tail. It’s not really a big deal. That is why I believe that today the food truck is suitable for a person with great knowledge of gastronomy or marketing, with a very clear approach that simplifies the offer to the maximum … You cannot go to a great offer of products then you will go to taste … It simplifies a lot, it becomes a super specialist who then sets rotation. It’s a lifestyle: I live on little, I don’t stock up on the food truck. If I’m successful, great. That must be clear. It usually brings additional income, but does not guarantee a business model,” warns Mas.
And it’s only business for these restaurants?«To be profitable you have to move, you have to open many days. If you plan events and do good marketing management with event companies and are dynamic, you can benefit. The problem is that there are only a limited number of events and event companies to contact … and you won’t be the only one to contact them,” warns Mas.
“People go to a festival, see the queues and say: This is great business. let me ride mine But the reality is different. A weekend in Madrid can go well for you, but the following two weekends that don’t have the same audience are terrible for you and what you earn from one is used to cover the costs of the following two because you don’t do it, you make money,” they emphasize blah Y annthe Venezuelan chefs behind food nomads and the vintage food truck Ma Petite Creperie, which also specializes in mono products (crepes).
“They must have affordable prices and good product quality. One thing that fails a lot now is you go to a food truck and you charge 8 euros for a sandwich… and I don’t get it. They charge the same thing on the street as they do in a place where they offer you services, a table to sit. Finding the cost balance is not so easy. There are many people who do it because they need to cover the costs by offering a very good product, but maybe such a good product doesn’t fit the concept of street food. You need to set affordable prices and have a lot of products,” they warn. And there they hit the nail on the head.
“It’s a business of scale. To cover these costs, you must sell. and therefor You need economies of scale. And for that you need a lot of sales days“, Go on.
For example, the city festivals work for Gemianini. “This business isn’t the cool little truck. This is a business, not a fad. This is a signature selling point. If you want a future, you have to move. You can keep the fashion fairs, but you can go to the village festivals. Fashion can end, but local trade fairs cannot. Some folk festivals have been around for 1,500 years. This year they call us because it’s fashionable. Next year they will call us because they will remember that we offered good food. So you have the opportunity to build the actual business and in five years to be able to say: Argentinian empanadas… ah yes Graciana… one in the Puerta del Sol… and another one in the Puerta del Bernabéu,” he explains.
Events are also important. “The business is also in companies that one day want a truck for 600 people for a private party. Private celebrations, weddings (for the day after, for those who stay: dumplings and breakfast…). I have a restaurant, I’m a chef, I can give more and I can prepare more and I can organize for 600 or 20,000 or 60,000… because I’ve learned. Not everyone can do that. Not everyone can cater. You can’t overlook the cost. They need to know how much product I need to sell to make a profit,” he concludes.
Of course, the moment the law changes, this article loses all its value. What can we do.
First Year Cost – Sony Croquets Food Truck –
where to cook If you don’t have a physical place to handle your food, you can’t currently have a food truck. It’s a kitchen on wheels, but you can’t cook. And it’s not worth doing at home. You need air-conditioned and certified premises. You no longer have the advantage of not having a fixed rent every month…
158,992 croquettes. What the public doesn’t see is how many days the truck was stopped. The fairs make a lot of noise and are a great way to promote the concept of food trucks. How many days does this happen? If it’s 365 days a year, mount it now. Because if it’s only 25 days a year…can you support the costs with the sales you can generate? Subtract the raw footage… to give you an idea: Assuming you sell the croquettes for $7.50 (eight croquettes with their sauce), you would need 19,874 customers to break even. That would be 158,992 croquettes…
fair costs. A trade fair will cost you at least 250 euros plus VAT per weekend. Four weekends a month is a minimum of 1,000 euros. Work only three days. Then there are trade fairs where they charge 600 euros for two days. Other 800 euros. You know that you pay a fixed price in a restaurant and you work every day of the whole month. Here you don’t know how many days and you don’t know how it will fluctuate. Your fixed costs are monthly, not per trade fair…
It is designed for the 26 main fairs that take place each year. The cost of the raw material will depend on your product, so we’ve made an estimate for a simple product like… croquettes.
(**) The logical thing is to rent to try and then buy, but we make the forecast with renting all year round.
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