Celebrity chef Rick Bayless said “A food truck is great way for young chefs to get their food and business to FOCUS on the food.” What he doesn’t mention is that a food truck also helps these entrepreneurs tap into a very high-performing business model.
I love food. And, most of all, I love to try new kinds of food, and food trucks offer some of my favorite experiences. Why? Food trucks offer fast service, the freshest ingredients and small, limited but unique menus compared to the run-of-the-mill offerings down the street. The bonus? More times than not, my food truck meal tastes amazing. (And then I go tell my other food loving friends.)
But in addition to good food, there’s another reason that I admire food trucks; they compete very favorably with sit-down restaurants—even long-established restaurants with a strong following. The reason? Food truck chefs have elected to compete differently by intentionally adopting a different business model driven in part by the limitations of a truck.
- The physical constraints of a food truck drive focused thinking–they can only do so much.
- Food truck chefs go where the customers are, effectively outsourcing customer acquisition to business parks, festivals or other venues where someone else has assembled the potential customers.
- Restricted storage space and cooking options force chefs to offer a limited menu.
The building blocks that make up a food truck’s business model—going to the customer, a low-priced gourmet fast food value proposition, rabid following, game-changing cost structure (low capital costs, low overhead) and so on – give them the ability to earn higher margins than the typical restaurant.
But you don’t have to be a food truck chef to design your own game-changing business model. Business owners looking to increase profit growth can edit their own business models to optimize performance by thinking like a food truck chef. Ask yourself:
- What’s my “killer taco?” What could I concentrate all of my efforts on if I could only do one thing really well? Don’t fall in love with your first idea–come up with several.
- How could I focus only on delivering an excellent experience or product? What could my business look like if I outsourced, partnered or stopped doing activities that aren’t central to creating my killer taco? This is a great place to prototype several business model options with your team to spark creativity and innovation.
- Where are my customers hanging out? How could I shift the way in which I acquire customers to others? What would that look like?
- How can run my business more profitably? Is there a way to re-engineer my business to reduce my highest cost activities? Our to outsource those activities that are not key to how I create value to my customers?
Ultimately, the best business models are anchored by great and differentiated value propositions–food trucks deliver gourmet food delivered fast at a low price. So think: What does my customer want me to deliver?
If you’d like to get an assessment of your current business model, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 513-934-3302. Its a fun process that I love to do–almost as much fun as eating.
Or CLICK HERE to you take my 5-minute assessment to get a better idea how your current strategy stacks up.