Our first food truck season is in the books, and after just a few short months it is already proven "worth it" to make that next step. There were definitely ups and definitely downs as well. If you are looking in to starting a business you need to have faith, if you are looking to start a food truck you need to have patience. A lot of patience. Almost an unattainable amount of patience. You really can't have enough patience. Patience... you need it.
We bought our food truck in July of 2014, we had planned to be on the road in January of 2015, we didn't start hustlin' pel'meni until July of 2015 and really we weren't even ready then, we had simply run out of money. Patience. Within the first two weeks we had already had to replace two tires, our fuel tank, rebuilt the carburetor, our truck wouldn't go about 30 mph and when we turned on the headlights, the windshield wipers came on. But we never missed an event, even if that meant that we had to leave 2 hours early to drive 30 miles. Patience.
Even once we got the truck running tip top mechanically there is still a huge learning curve going from a restaurant kitchen to a food truck kitchen. You never have to worry about how much water you have or where your electricity is coming from in a restaurant, but in a food truck, the answers to these questions are the difference between serving 20 people and 70 people or 20 people and 0 people. Many days we got out on the road forgetting ingredients or supplies, unsure of how much propane we had in our tank, or if the truck even had enough fuel in the tank, (because of course the fuel gauge doesn't work).
Lastly, even once you get the truck running mechanically and the kitchen working efficiently, sometimes you will prepare for 100 people and only 15 will show up, or the opposite is true where you completely under prepare, which is just as bad. Patience.
All of that to say, what makes it completely worth it is the food truck community, and it absolutely is a community. Whether it is the other truck owners who will just immediately take you under their wing and show you the ropes without even really knowing you, barter dinner with you 3-4 nights a week, or just simply let you borrow a square reader when yours breaks or let you bum some gasoline when you run out. Or whether it is the customer who takes the time to invest in a food truck, to make the effort to drive all around town looking for you, to take the leap of faith to try something they have never had, and after doing so, sometimes making the drive up to Searcy to see SADCo. in person. With any venture you start you are going to have the good mixed in with the bad, but all it does is prepare you for the next obstacle. It sounds cliche, but the good definitely outweighs the bad. See you in the Spring!