Burning It Out: 5 Ways for Food Trucks to Improve Productivity
Operating a food truck, you’re crazy busy. You’re probably thinking it’s impossible to do more than you already are, yet you know that if you don’t do more, you won’t make more.
The secret is to put your time and energy where it will bring the greatest rewards, and reduce or eliminate the activities that don’t pay off. In these tips, we’ll share some ideas for increasing productivity without increasing effort.
Cut down on distractions.
Do you feel as if you’re constantly being pulled two or three different ways? This is one of the biggest time-wasters in any type of business, since the human brain works fastest when it can focus on one task at a time.
• Stay off your phone, email and social media except for set times of day.
• Tell friends and family to only contact you at work if it’s a real emergency.
• Do your business planning and analysis alone or with one expert adviser.
• Don’t let staff disagreements drag on, hold a meeting to resolve them.
Work to a schedule.
As long as you’re always reacting to the moment, you’ll never have time to act for the future. Even though running a food truck isn’t as predictably routine as some other types of business, some tasks have to be done every day, week or month. Write the deadline down on a calendar and it becomes manageable, rather than a last-minute crisis.
The schedule doesn’t have to be super-tight or exact. Allowing time for breaks and unexpected developments makes it more likely that you’ll be able to stick to it.
Figure out which activities have a low rate of return.
This may actually take more time up front as you test various alternatives. But it will save you much more time down the road when you’re not wasting it on tasks that won’t benefit your business.
For example, when you put out the word about your truck on FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat or other social media, which of them are actually bringing in customers? Get rid of the channels that aren’t paying their way.
Finesse your inventory.
Not having enough or having too much of the ingredients you cook with is a huge productivity issue in the food service industry. The right POS system can automatically track sales and supplies, warn you when you need to reorder, and best of all, save you and your staff hours of physically counting the stock.
To maximize your productivity, you should spend your time on what made your business a success in the first place, and let others do the routine chores or the things you’re not so good at.
If your competitive edge is recipe development, focus on that and let someone else chop the onions. If you’re not good at business management and accounting, let an expert handle those areas. You may choose to hire a full-time accountant, or for a low monthly fee work with an accounting firm such as Xendoo.
As small business experts, we can relieve you of routine bookkeeping chores, provide you with information and advice on your financials, file your taxes, and more. Meanwhile, you have the time to make your food truck more productive and successful than ever.