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Food Truck Franchising Is Taking Off

The trend has many restaurants abandoning conventional service in favor of mobile operations.

By Justin Wick1851 Franchise Contributor
Updated 3:15PM 07/26/21

There are unique challenges in launching a food truck franchise. There are unique rewards too, as a truck can literally deliver to customers, unlike fixed-location establishments.

On Monday, QSR Magazine published a column titled “Why Restaurants are Abandoning Conventional Service Models.” The article provides an in-depth look at “dark kitchens,” also known as “ghost kitchens,” which remove the front-of-house operations from the traditional restaurant model, focusing instead on high-efficiency kitchens that can turn out food, sometimes for multiple brands, through delivery, pick-up and increasingly, food trucks.

By opting for a more flexible, mobile real estate model, food trucks have the added advantage of putting their brands directly in front of likely customers at multiple locations rather than hoping fans will continue to return to a single location.

Months into the COVID-19 shutdown, Small Business Trends released an article that showed 10 of the best food truck franchises in the United States. The article highlighted the lower risks associated with food truck franchising in particular, which provide a “proven formula for success” instead of an independent push for new clients each day. Consumers may also be more apt to frequent a food truck backed by a brand they know, rather than an independent kitchen that might have difficulties gaining consumer trust.

There are added challenges for launching a food truck franchise, however. Trucks may have to pay fees to serve in certain places, and the search for a new location can be a time-consuming daily occurrence that takes loads of advanced planning and guesswork Vehicle maintenance, too, becomes an essential part of keeping the business open; while costs may be lower in the long run than basic brick-and-mortar operating costs, operators will need a large emergency fund in case a truck is inoperable.

It may be hard to embrace a new model of restaurant franchising when each day on a food truck can quite literally bring a new adventure, but the rewards are unmistakable. The food truck market outgrew the broader restaurant industry between 2016 and 2021 by a margin of around 7.5 to 1.1 percent, according to QSR. Convenience is increasingly being prioritized by consumers, and food trucks are largely marketed around convenience and access.

Fortunately for franchisees, they can invest with the guidance of a larger operation supplying a literal and figurative road map for success.