Food Trucks and Feasibility Studies: From Tim’s Desk

Over the past couple of months, our hometown of Chico, CA, has begun to catch up with at least one trend that has been sweeping the nation over the past decade: the proliferation of food trucks.

While Chico has been home to many taco trucks over the years, the emergence of specialized, varied food offerings is a recent development locally. One such eatery that is already enjoying a cult following is the Mayhem Gourmet Grilled Cheese truck which offers, you guessed it, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. You may have had your fair share of homemade grilled cheese sandwiches before, but you’ve probably never had one with pulled pork before.

On the healthier end of the spectrum, Chico has also recently welcomed The Hunter and the Farmer (founded by Jenna Hunter and Analise Farmer), which prides itself on its gluten-free, paleo-friendly menu that includes a chicken butternut sandwich and shepherds pie.

So is this just a flash in the pan, or are food trucks here to stay?

From a planning and feasibility perspective, the food truck model makes a lot of sense due to the comparatively low startup costs in relation to opening a brick and mortar restaurant. In our experience from preparing business plans and feasibility studies for our clients, minimizing the amount of startup capital necessary is the best way for a business to quickly achieve a positive cash flow.

One factor that could affect the future viability of food trucks are local regulations (our own Toni Scott is currently working with the City Planning Commission to decide on food truck regulations in Chico).

On the subject of potential regulations, our client Springboard Biodiesel recently blogged about the benefits environmental and economical benefits that biodiesel can provide for food truck vendors. Leveraging the good press that comes from being eco-friendly could help prevent food trucks from becoming just another flavor of the month.

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