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?

Turon Wars (Part 3): Where Will You Buy Your Turon?

Where will you buy our beloved turon?

Turon Wars (Part 1)

Turon Wars (Part 2)

From the home-made turon and bananaque vendor where the sales and income directly affects their daily monetary needs.

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Turon from our local mom and dad businessmen

or

From the mall giants who ventured into the micro and small business interests of local mom and dads in the community.

Turon from the mall giants

Turon from the mall giants

So, which turon will it be?

Business Ideas Working Mom and Dads Can Start

During several conversations with old friends who are married and are employed, most of the time I hear the question, “Pare, may alam ka ba na pwede i-sideline?” This has been a common scenario for mom and dads who are still struggling to make ends meet. I usually tell them, “Ano ba hilig mo? San ka ba magaling o gusto mo matuto? Kaya mo ba? It is not having a side-line… It would be better to start a part-time business wherein you can continue it as a full-time business when you are ready.”

Given the three questions posed: being interested, being skilled or ready to learn, and being doable… Here are ten part-time business ideas where a mom and dad can start even in their own spare time. Easy to be interested in… easy to learn… and really doable even on a part-time basis.

  1. Deliver Only Food Service – Working on a day shift? BPOs and Call Centers usually operate 24/7. With the right planning, timing and network, a couple can engage in this part-time business. If a couple works on a day shift, it would be nearly impossible that they don’t have anybody in their network of friends who are working in a BPO or Call Center. Better use them as the ones who will spread the word. Cooked meals at home can be increased depending on the orders. Its like hitting two birds with one stone… A meal for the family and meals for others as a part-time business.
  2. Online Boutique –  Especially for moms… Most women would love to be unique in terms of their fashion. Unique in a way that they are still within the trend but have a sense of having a particular outfit that is only limited and exclusive. With the help of online videos and other reading materials, one can learn to design your own clothing line. Outsource the production and sell them online.
  3. Direct Selling -Make sure that you hook up with legitimate direct-selling company that interests you. It will be the products that these company you would pitch in selling. Use your network of friends for a start and this one can be done also in the workplace! Just make sure you prioritize your job first.
  4. Freelance – In general, this would really depend on your interest. For example, freelance photography… Start with some photowalks and publish your own collection. Just make you sure you indicate your name or your alias in those photos when you publish it online to show ownership. Share it with your network and offer the photography service on a part-time or on your day-off. We’re pretty sure everything will follow. Another is freelance writing… If writing is your forte, there are a lot of websites that you can post your service as a writer. If you are good at it, and you get good reviews, a lot will get your service. Same goes with other freelance services like graphic design, web or app development, bookkeeping, etc.

These are just a few. It is really important that you do it right and put effort into it. It would also be better if the mentality of having it as a part-time wherein you can excel in it, develop it, and eventually do it full time, rather than aiming for a side-line and aiming for one-time, big-time.