Hints for Building Your Food Truck Menu
Creating your food truck menu can be overwhelming. What dishes should you offer, and what should you skip? The ideal menu offers a balance of unique dishes and old favorites that match your concept. Avoid a menu full of food fads, such as low- or no-carb offerings. Although you want your menu to be exciting and trendy, you need to include cuisine favorites as well.
Here are some additional pointers for putting together your menu:
Make sure your menu items are easy to prepare. Unless you plan to compete with local fine-dining establishments (and really, what food truck can?), you need to be able to prepare your menu items quickly. Any menu item that takes abnormally long to cook or prepare can bog down the line at your service window during a rush.
Use ingredients in more than one dish to keep food spoilage to a minimum and to stretch your budget. For example, if you offer various proteins for a sandwich or wrap, try to offer other items that can include those same proteins.
Gather the core group of menu items you want to serve. Being realistic about how many items you’ll be able to serve from the limited space in your truck will help you determine the number of menu items you start with. The basic premise of “quantity doesn’t equate to quality” definitely applies to food trucks. Most food trucks across the country average between 6 and 12 menu items.
As you build your menu, keep the financials in the back of your mind. Each item on your menu should be affordable to customers but priced to keep your profits up. Expensive ingredients result in high-priced menus.
This doesn’t mean that you should use the cheapest food available, but you need to balance high and low food costs for a reasonable profit margin. In addition, balancing expensive items, which are prone to price fluctuations, with items that have stable costs can help maintain your desired menu prices.
So go ahead and have some lamb and beef on your menu, but be sure to temper them with some less expensively priced chicken and/or pasta dishes.