Food Truck Locations, Fairs & Gatherings
Great Food Truck Locations / Sales Spaces
No matter what you sell in your food truck, your daily income will come from regular spots where you will see the same customers time and time again. Brick and mortar stores rely on repeat business to pay the bills; the same thing holds true for food trucks. The only difference is you go to them instead of them seeking out your business. In some cases, you might find the perfect spot where you can park five to seven days a week, making a great steady income from the passing pedestrians. Most food truck owners have a rotating schedule, though. On Mondays they go to one spot, they move to a second spot on Tuesday, and so on. Customers learn to rely on their truck as their regular weekly lunch or dinner spot. This can take a lot more work in terms of negotiating with parking lot and building owners, and can cost more in sales licenses, but the rewards can be much larger. More sales spots means a larger variety of possible customers who will see your business.
Food truck experts all agree that the location where you park is even more important than what’s on your menu. Finding proven spots with consistent crowds should be the very first part of your food truck research project. Investigate multiple versions of each of these examples to find a list of locations where you might want to park your business.
On the Street Parking
Parking on the street might seem the logical choice for your business, but it may not be easy to find in your local communities. Begin your search by figuring out your ideal customer. Will your menu appeal to shopping center visitors, construction workers, or employees in a downtown office complex? Once you’ve defined your most likely customer, seek out all the places where they might gather when they’re hungry or in need of snacks. If you sell sweet treats and want to sell to kids and their moms, think about parking near all the more popular city parks. If your cuisine will be a little more upscale, a street in the middle of office buildings might be the ideal parking spot for a busy lunch time crowd.
Food Trucks & Business Districts
Check with your city’s rules and regulations about parking in lots in the business district. If you can secure a spot near the city’s busiest office buildings, it can be a great option for steady lunch time business. If you know you can get a spot in this area, research the businesses in the buildings to see how open they are to advertising in their building. Some larger businesses may allow you to park outside their office one day a week, perhaps for a small fee.
If one of the cities in your area has a thriving farmers market that isn’t already clogged with food trucks, this can be a gold mine. This is especially true if you plan to offer fresh food, vegetarian meals, or locally sourced ingredients.
Bars or Nightclubs
Is there a thriving nightlife in your area, or do you live near tourist hot spots? The after-bar crowd is a natural for snack foods like gourmet tacos or sandwiches. Speak with business owners to find out if they’re open to making a deal for parking in their lot.
College Campus Food Trucks
This one might take a bit more research than some other possibilities, and it can be difficult to get permission in some instances. However, if you manage to secure a spot on a college campus, either during the day or at sporting events at night, you can make a great income in a relatively short amount of time.
Fairs and Gatherings for Food Truckers
Food trucks and concession trailers are so popular now, they have their own festivals. Hundreds of mobile restaurants get together each year for one reason: to allow thousands of foodie tourists to come from all around the country to taste their special offerings. From California to Maine, you can find a food truck festival during just about every warm weekend of the year. These festivals can be very lucrative if you’ve got a great hook and fantastic food. Research the official Food Truck Festivals of America website to find out where they plan to set up during the coming year, and how you can go about joining in when you’re ready to open for business.
Even if you can’t find a large national festival for your business, local communities have dozens of events during the year that may be perfect for your business. Check with local city halls to get a calendar of events for the next year. Think about setting up where the city sets off fireworks on the Fourth of July, in front of schools during the local book fair, during tourist festivals or city celebrations or even at the end of local 10K races. Wherever people will gather, there will be a business opportunity for your food truck. The key is to research and find dozens of them to keep you busy throughout the year.