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Food Truck Business Plan Sample

Renee MitsonAuthor

Executive Summary

Concept

Florida is brimming with transplants from the northeastern United States looking to escape the cold and enjoy the beautiful beaches. But it can be difficult to find the Northeast’s much-loved Italian-American food in coastal Florida outside Naples and Boca Raton. Yankees Suck Food Truck brings the good stuff to Saint Augustine and coastal Florida - ballpark-style Italian-American sandwiches and classics that everyone is craving. Customers will feel like they are walking around Fenway or outside Citi Field waiting for the Mets to throw the first pitch when enjoying our classic ballpark meals and snacks. 

Mission Statement

Yankees Suck food truck aims to create a casual, humorous food truck selling classic ballpark-style Italian-American staples, just like you might find outside of an MLB ballpark. The food truck will offer fan favorites from sausage and peppers sub sandwiches to freshly-filled cannolis. Yankees Suck food truck will have reasonable prices, speedy service, and an easy-to-track food truck featured at some of Saint Augustine’s best locations, like Flagler Beach and Surfside Park. 

Menu

Yankees Suck food truck will feature sausage and peppers, steak and cheese sandwiches, hotdogs, meatball subs, carnival pizzas, and homemade spinach pies as well as freshly-prepared ricotta cannolis. Drinks will include fountain sodas and cold brew iced coffee. The recipes will be from the owners, passed down through generations of two Italian families living in New York and New England who grew up going to major league baseball games and eating delicious on-the-go meals outside the stadiums.

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Market

Saint Augustine is the oldest city in America, home to a variety of neighborhoods with upscale dining options and a casual beach crowd. This city is a popular day trip for Floridians. It features a highly-walkable downtown core, trolley tours, seasonal events, beautiful beaches, and historic churches. Saint Augustine also offers eclectic Floridian food that mixes Spanish influence, Caribbean staples, and American classics with something for everyone. Local seafood is readily available while live music is heard in the streets most of the year, along with many bars and clubs playing salsa until early in the morning. 

Financing

The food truck founders will invest in the bar’s success by taking a small business loan to acquire the food truck to support the necessary renovations and have the initial capital to pay staff until the food truck turns a profit. 

Company Overview

Food Truck Concept

Yankees Suck food truck is a casual food truck with loud signage and background music. It offers Italian-American ballpark foods, ice-cold sodas, and delicious high-octane cold brew, perfect for a family at the beach or someone looking for a hit of caffeine between surfing sessions. The staff will wear Yankees Suck tee shirts and provide prompt, direct, and polite service to patrons. 

While Italian-American adjacent food is nothing new to those living in the Northeastern U.S., the casual side of this comfort food isn't found too often in Florida. Typically, you will find authentic Italian cuisine or Italian American fine dining instead of generational Italian-American fare. Yankees Suck food truck steps into this gap by providing a nostalgic food experience for Northeasterners while giving something new, approachable, and fun for Floridians.

Food Truck Service Model

Yankees Suck food truck is for customers looking for a quick and delicious meal that is cost-effective. This truck will give Saint Augustine a reprieve from $15 ahi tuna bowls and smoothies by offering value-sized subs and sandwiches to enjoy with your family. The Yankees Suck food truck staff is direct, helpful, and competent, providing fast service with a smile. Team members will be recruited for their ability to work as a team, carry out speedy service, and consider the customer experience. 

Sample Menu

  • Spicy sausage and peppers served on a bulky sub roll

  • Meatball submarine sandwiches with provolone cheese

  • Steak and cheese sandwiches with provolone cheese and the option of spicy hot peppers or classic peppers and onions

  • King-size all-beef hotdogs with classic toppings or topped with peppers and onions

  • Carnival pizza or fried dough with tangy homemade marinara and grated parmesan cheese on top

  • Homemade spinach pies or spinach calzones with pepperoni and cheese inside

  • Ice-cold cold brew coffees

  • Ice-cold soda

  • Bottled water

  • Freshly-stuffed ricotta cannolis topped with chocolate chips or crushed pistachios 

Design and Layout

Because Yankees Suck food truck has a tongue-in-cheek brand image, the food truck will prominently feature the name of the truck coupled with symbols of New York and Northeast pride. Despite the name, this will not be a truck that bashes the New York Yankees - rather, it provides a smile and nod at the phrase heard all too often around the northeastern United States, “Yankees Suck!”

The food truck will be custom painted with signage featuring the colors of the Italian flag, murals of the foods featured, and flashy symbols of Italian-American culture. Design-wise, there will be a service window and pickup around the side of the truck.  

Management Team

Owners -  Dom and Linda Grecco are natives of New Jersey and Rhode Island who come from Italian-American homes. Although they didn’t meet until college, both grew up going to baseball games (Mets and Red Sox) and would look forward to a quick meal before or after the game as a ritual of the experience. Now in Saint Augustine, they enjoy the warm weather, gorgeous architecture, and beautiful beaches. Yet, they often miss that northeast feel, especially when it comes to food. Dom and Linda will operate the food truck, with Linda serving as the front-of-house and Dom primarily cooking on the flat-top grill. Dom and Linda will work together to hire and train additional staff. 

Industry Analysis

Located in Saint Augustine, but with the ability to travel locally and regionally, Yankees Suck food truck seeks to build a reputation predominantly in Saint Augustine - a bustling historical city in northeastern Florida with a strong local population, seasonal traffic, and tourism driven by Floridians for day trips.

Target Market

People visit Saint Augustine for the beautiful beaches and historic landmarks, as well as to eat at exciting restaurants and walk around the downtown area. A picturesque city, Saint Augustine locals can travel easily by foot or local bus, though driving is easy and parking is plentiful.

Yankees Suck food truck aims to attract repeat business from local Saint Augustine residents through the truck’s presence at the city’s hotspots including local parks, beaches, and downtown events. The food truck also aims to attract visitors to Saint Augustine with its unique name, unique food options, and prominent visibility.

Yankees Suck food truck aims to serve customers seeking nostalgic food from their childhood or looking for something new and approachable. Since Italian food is familiar to American tastes, the food truck extends an opportunity to patrons to try a regional specialty without going outside their comfort zone. Yankees Suck food truck will also offer no-frills options and reasonable prices, providing a competitive advantage in the food truck market and among local competitors who usually boast high prices due to the seasonal tourist boom. 

Market Positioning

Due to Saint Augustine’s diverse market of locals, regional visitors, and snowbirds from the Northeast, Yankees Suck does not have one typical customer. This food truck aims to deliver a delightful and memorable experience, whether it’s a customer’s first time or 10th visit. Yankees Suck will create a reliable reputation through its fast service, fresh homemade food, and reasonable prices.

Yankees Suck food truck will have a competitive advantage by being the only one of its kind in its market. While most of Saint Augustine’s food trucks provide tacos or Spanish fare, Yankees Suck set itself apart as the only food truck to offer Italian-American food. This food truck will embed itself within the Saint Augustine community through its affordable and unique food offerings.

Location Analysis

With a walkable downtown area and relatively little traffic, Saint Augustine is both walkable and navigable by car. This characteristic is great for a food truck, opening multiple avenues of customer traffic. Additionally, Yankees Suck food truck will appear regularly at The Village Garden Food Truck Park, where locals know they can find a variety of food trucks and have options for their meal selection. This will increase familiarity and introduce the food truck as a regular part of the Saint Augustine community. It will also encourage people to follow the truck on Instagram and Twitter to learn which location it will venture to on certain days.

Competitive Analysis


Seats

Meals

Pricing

Hours

Notes

Yankees Suck

NA

A la carte and Combos

*

Varies

Italian-American food and non-alcoholic drinks

The Little Sombrero

NA

A la carte and meals

**

Varies

Specializing in birria tacos

New York Beach Bagels 

NA

A la carte

**

11:30 am - 11:00 pm

Specializing in NY style bagels and bagel sandwiches

Marketing Plan

Yankees Suck food truck is about community, reliable service, and fair prices for homemade cuisine that is filling and nostalgic. The average price per meal is $10 or less, allowing families to savor delicious food at a practical price point. 

Customer Database

Yankees Suck food truck will utilize Square as their point-of-sale (POS) system, which has built-in benefits such as capturing customer contacts and allowing for integrated marketing efforts to retain customers. The outside of the food truck will also have a QR code leading to a linktree landing page where current and future customers can find Yankees Suck social media pages, an email form, and the menu. 

Loyalty Program

As part of using Square to handle payment processing, Yankees Suck food truck will have a built-in loyalty and customer retention plan where customers can opt-in to receive text messages and promotions from the food truck. Customer loyalty will also be promoted by following the food truck on Instagram and showing proof to the cashier for 10% off your order. 

Community and Charity Involvement

Yankees Suck food truck will be involved in the community by sponsoring local recreational sports - particularly baseball and softball leagues - to connect with their brand origins and Saint Augustine locals. Further, Yankees Suck will participate in community events such as parades and festivals, specifically those with charitable aims. Yankees Suck food truck will also have a donation jar by the register to support local charities. Also, the staff will donate a portion of their tips to local organizations on rotation.

Public Relations

Yankees Suck food truck will conduct public relations by participating in food festivals where attendees can sample food truck offerings as part of their entrance. Local influencers will also be invited to give honest reviews of the food. Additionally, the Instagram page will promote contests and prizes to those who leave Google and Yelp reviews for the food truck, especially early on in the truck’s development. 

Advertising and Social Media

Yankees Suck food truck will rely primarily on Instagram and Facebook to share promotions or specials, post images of the food, provide reviews from customers, and update daily with their location and hours. This level of information incentivizes customers to follow the food truck on social media and reduces the need for a stagnant website. The owners will take time daily to answer direct messages to ensure guests feel comfortably connected with the food truck through digital means.

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Operations Plan

Staffing and Training

The owners are first-time food truck operators who are currently studying operations management as well as receiving their certifications in food handling and safety. Because a food truck is a small space, there will be a maximum of three employees inside the truck during a shift. Dom and Linda are hoping for 3-5 rotating staff members to efficiently manage the truck and balance the work schedule. They also hope to train at least two of these staff members to eventually become shift managers who can operate the vehicle and run the food truck in the absence of the owners. 

Staff training will take place in the months leading up to the truck’s opening. The owners will conduct interviews and hire the staff based on Yankees Suck’s values and their answers to the below interview questions. 

Recruitment

To recruit skilled and good-fit staff, Yankees Suck will rely on the recommendations of local food trucks and community-based hiring. The hiring process will focus on creating an easy-going team with a passion for competent service and a friendly attitude. The owners will prioritize personality and are willing to train less experienced staff who will be able to build the communal experience of the food truck. In addition, Yankees Suck food truck will promote open positions on their Instagram and ask local nearby food trucks and cafes to cross-promote in search of new talent. 

Interview Questions

  1. What’s your favorite Italian dish?

  2. Do you like baseball?

  3. Do you prefer sausage and peppers or a meatball sub? Why?

  4. How do you manage or prioritize your time?

  5. What kind of responsibilities have you had in your last job and how have you handled them?

Job Descriptions

Owners: 

The owners will handle the financial, administrative, and marketing operations of the business. They will also be hands-on in the truck, overseeing most shifts and training the staff. Hired staff will be invited to contribute to marketing and social media promotion. They will always be encouraged to share anecdotal feedback from customers and through online reviews. 

Hourly Staff:

Hourly staff will assist with customers, prep orders outside of cooking, restock napkins and other dry goods needed for orders, and alert customers when their order is ready. They will be trained on how to operate the point-of-sale system, which also includes the marketing and discount promotions available for the truck. 

Work Health and Safety Standards

To make Yankees Suck food truck as safe a working environment as possible for everyone, we will implement the following health and safety procedures.

  • All staff is required to wear slip-resistant footwear. 

  • All staff must be legally eligible to work. 

  • To avoid injury on the job, all staff will be trained on how to move heavy objects and boxes and handle temperature changes within the truck.

  • Management staff will work to create safe practices and procedures, removing potential hazards to employees and guests.

  • Staff will not be expected to work when ill. Management will help to get shifts covered and keep the truck running smoothly so that the pressure doesn’t fall on ill employees.

  • Yankees Suck will follow all local health guidelines and restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staffing Model

Yankees Suck will operate an open-book management model where the truck's finances and revenue are shared and disseminated to all employees. Yankees Suck will hold bi-weekly staff meetings to share information about the business’s goals. The transparent model will foster goodwill with employees and promote a sense of inclusivity and community. 

  • All staff, including owners, will make $14/hr.

  • Upon reaching profitability, ½ of the revenue will go back towards the business while the other ½ will go towards the owners. 

  • Staff employed for over one year will be eligible for bonuses and wage increases based on performance and loyalty.  

Customer Service Policies and Procedures

Three principles will guide guest service at Yankees Suck:

  1. Friendliness - guests will be greeted immediately. 

  2. Information - Guests will be informed of any specials and promotions upon engaging with food truck staff. 

  3. Speed - without sacrificing service, staff will be trained to complete orders promptly and prioritize the efficiency of the truck. 

  4. Communication - staff members will communicate when orders are ready and help to move along the process, ensuring that guests receive delicious, hot, and fresh food. 

Suppliers

Yankees Suck will rent professional kitchen space from a local industrial kitchen to prepare any food that can be made outside of the truck’s flat-top. The owners will source ingredients locally when possible while also making use of always-available products at local grocery stores such as Publix. The owners will also explore local Italian grocers in the area to diversify their product offerings. The owners will prepare all food and train staff on food preparation as they are trained.

Financial Analysis and Growth Plan

$15+/order or ticket


Investment Plan

Owners Dom and Linda Grecco will invest personal savings for a total of $20,000 in initial investment. They will also seek a 7(a) Small Business Association for $100,000. Total startup funds equal $120,000. Of this total, $50,000 will be retained for contingency funds and the remaining $70,000 will be used as startup funds. The owners will return all profits to the business operating fund until the business can pay back its loans and is completely solvent. The loan will be used for initial food truck upgrades and operating costs such as initial orders for equipment, supplies, and ingredients. For any additional lines of credit, the owners will refuse any lines of credit above 5% interest.

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