Food Cart Business: Things to Consider

We have asked a number of employed mom and dads what business they would like to start while they are employed. A number of them have said that stating a food cart is easy and fast to setup. The cost isn’t that much and the income potential is good. In the Philippines, a lot of food cart businesses have sprung up and excelled in their craft.

We’d like to share some things to consider so that starting up your food cart business before starting one:

  1. Good Concept – Most food carts are designed to give quick service. It is advisable to stick to a concept for a quick recall from the customers. A unique concept gathers curiosity among customers to give your food cart a try. This would also include your “catchy” name and your theme for your food cart. Be consistent with your concept and stick to it and better not mix and match just to be at par with the others.
  2. Focus on the Product – You have to match or exceed the expectations of your concept. Your product would be the life blood of your food cart business. Good product = People will come back for more. This would involve consistency, affordability and the quality of your product. Make sure that what you started or improved would stay the same as time goes by. Some food cart businesses have failed on this part especially when they have operated for quite some time already, they do short cuts and decrease the quality.
  3. Good Location – This is very important! You have to make sure that the site of your food cart is visible to the public. It is advisable to hang-out for hours in a prospect location and see for yourself the amount of foot traffic in the area.
  4. Good Stall Design – For promotion purposes, a catchy and desirable design would attract customers to your food cart. The design of your food cart should be unique and be distinguishable from the others. A good friend of the Support Local Mom and Dad Business Movement, LogoMoto PH, can help out with your design needs for your food cart. Also, online promotion would be a great help in promoting your business, a good and simple website would also boost the visibility of your food cart business.
  5. Operating Systems – Being new and a startup, operating your foodcart should follow certain standards. This would make your business be consistent from the day you started and up to the present. Prepare a manual on how to do things for you and your staff to follow. You wouldn’t want complaints of having your products or services inconsistent when customers have availed a week or month ago. If its better, adapt it. If its not, scrap it. Better document everything and make it as a habit for you and your staff.
  6. Funding – Having the needed funds or capital to start your food cart business is a necessity. There may be financing institutions that can help you out in funding your business, we suggest that having your own would be a better option. Maybe for expansion of your food cart business, considering financial institutions may be a better idea.
  7. Good Service – In the food industry, reputation is a major factor in making a business successful. Maintaining a good service level, efficient systems, and clean products and workstations will go a long way and help you achieve longevity and further build credibility.
  8. Do it Right – Get the necessary permits and licenses. If you operate your business without the proper permits and licenses, its good to say that what you are operating is a monkey business.

One good example of this is one of our friends, and a fellow mom and dad businessman. Bagwings have started out as a small stall in a weekend market in Muntinlupa City. Now they have expanded to two other locations and a food truck is on its way. Maybe we can follow his footsteps in starting a successful food cart business.

There may be other things to consider in running a food cart business. But, the basics, we have tackled already. Another alternative in the food cart business is Franchising. Franchising an existing food cart business is a good idea and there are a lot of reasons to franchise a business. The only question that we pose is: “Do they really help local mom and dad businessmen?” or they just take advantage of the franchisees?

For us, it would be better to be unique and original. Make a name for yourself and supporting other mom and dad businesses would be very helpful in making the local business scene be more engaged in nation building.

How about a Turon and BananaQue Food Cart? Who’s up to it?

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