Join a Mobile Food Franchise - dummies

By Richard Myrick

For many would-be food truck owners who have little to no business background, a food truck franchise can present the perfect opportunity to open their own food truck due to the ease in replicating their menu items and service. Mobile food franchises offer a lot of benefits, such as instant name recognition and built-in marketing. However, buying into a food truck franchise isn’t always as easy as you may think.

In a nutshell: If you’re comfortable working with a team and being told what to do and how to do it, a franchise may be the right move for you. However, if you’re starting your own food truck to get away from people telling you what to do, being independent is probably a better choice.

The pros of running a food truck franchise

The advantages of running a food truck franchise include the following:

  • Fewer upfront decisions: A franchise opportunity offers you an instant business. You don’t have to worry about the name, the truck’s design, or the menu.

  • Professional support: Almost all franchises come with support from the corporate office. You’re given a direct conduit to corporate staff who can address any questions or concerns you may have. This support can be very helpful for newcomers to the mobile food industry who may not always know what to do when they encounter certain problems.

  • Name recognition: Name recognition is a huge benefit of a food truck franchise. Whereas other food truck start-ups may want to run some advertising before they hit the streets just to get some name recognition, you won’t have to worry about this.

The cons of a food truck franchise

Be warned that running a food truck franchise comes with the following disadvantages:

  • A big price tag: Buying a franchise can be expensive. Larger restaurant chains that offer franchise opportunities for food trucks can require upwards of half a million dollars in assets before they’ll consider letting you buy into their company. Of course, the theory is that you’ll make all your initial investment money back sooner than if you were to start an independent food truck.

  • Less say in the concept: You have no say in the menu or the truck’s design. If you have a certain theme or concept in mind, it may not fit the expectations of your franchisor.

  • Detailed rules to follow: In order to maintain customer service expectations, franchises have many rules and regulations you must follow. Everything from the uniforms your staff wears to the brands of condiments you use can be subject to their rules. Failure to follow the rules can result in losing your rights to the franchise.

  • Royalties to pay: On top of paying for the rights to the franchise, you’re expected to pay royalties in some cases. Wonder how these franchisors make money on your food truck venture? Here’s your answer.

Opportunities for mobile food franchises

If franchising sounds like a route you want to investigate further, check out these businesses that are beginning to offer food truck opportunities:

After you get through the initial process of being approved as a franchisee and secure your financing, you’ll be required to sign a lengthy contract with the franchisor. Unless you have vast experience as a franchisee, review the contract with an attorney before signing on the dotted line.