Small capital, easy set-up and a good chance of success are just some of the reason why Food Cart Business is thriving in the Philippines. If you will look at the market trend today, Food cart business is the choice of most aspiring entrepreneurs.
Over the last few years, food service carts have sprouted all over the metro — from MRT and LRT station, malls, sidewalks,church, schools, markets etc.- name it and for sure, you’ll find a food cart there.
Industry estimates that more than P1 billion in sales is turned over every year from the food cart businesses. With this amount, no doubt that Food Cart is the hot business in the market!
Some of the tips below are ingredients that will turn your food cart business into a crackling success:
- Hone your management skills. Although this business is about food, you don’t have to be an expert cook, but you need management skills to make it work.
- Know your products better. Think of ways on how to make them sell well.
- Join food cart trade fairs. Mine them for information on suppliers and ideas.
- Understand your market. Study your market carefully and work on their preferences. “A food cart business may be a little slow in the first three months but if the lean period goes beyond that, you’re already in danger,” So warns.
- Do not go on a price war. This is a sure way to make your business go bankrupt. Big companies have extra stocks from other branches to sell, which is why they can lower their prices. Instead, offer value add-ons.
- Replicate success. This is a numbers game. Once you’ve successfully set up one, duplicate it at another location.
- Cluster your food carts. Open at locations not very far from each other “to make the management and operation of your food carts much easier.
- Sign up. Make noticeable signages that advertise your products well. Opt for colorful and bright colors that would attract attention.
- Create your own value meal. Customers are always on the lookout for bargains. Offer budget meals and buy one, take one schemes. Make sure your profit margin is protected.
- Offer value-added services. Free deliveries to customers in nearby areas are sure to generate more orders.
- Market your business well. Banners and flyers are a good way to promote your business especially if you’re just starting out. Indicate promotional discounts and value-added services.
- Choose your crew carefully. You’ll only need one or two persons to run each of your food carts, but you have to carefully choose them. They should be trustworthy, conversant, pleasing in personality, meticulous, and able to do basic arithmetic.
- Hands on. Make it a point to thoroughly train your crew on the product as well as on hygiene and sanitation. As important, you must be a hands-on owner.
- Monitor. Visit your store frequently and do the inventory yourself. This way, you can effectively monitor the cash flow of your business and continuously improve your product.
author: Josm Rosuello, FAP president, and Mark So, Businessmaker Academy CEO.