Photo courtesy of NCR Silver.
By Chris Poelma
|Chris Poelma is president and general manager of NCR Silver.|
The food truck business is on track to become a $2.7 billion industry this year, with mobile restaurateurs rolling out a variety of culinary options from kale Waldorf salads at Atlanta's Happy Belly to "Load ‘em Up Nachos" at Pucky's Pit Stop in Zanesville, Ohio.
However, just like their stationary peers, food truck operators need to make sure they're investing in the right technology solutions that will turn hot menu items from customer favorites into a money making business.
After purchasing the truck and necessary equipment, from the generator to the commercial cooking tools, a food truck operator needs to determine the best technology that will move with his or her business – literally and figuratively – as its grows.
Consider mobile POS
Mobile point-of-sale technology can play an important role in the growth of a fledgling food truck business. In a business where speed is key, a mobile POS solution provides an easy, on-the-go option for ringing up orders. The faster the order process, the quicker the operators can deliver the food – allowing them to serve and delight customers with speedy and efficient customer service.
Mobile POS solutions also help food truck operators drive customer service with additional features, such as email marketing, which provide additional customer communications channels.
In addition, food truck owners can take advantage of customer loyalty features to create, run and manage reward programs. The best loyalty programs fit seamlessly into the checkout process, by automatically tracking rewards with each sale and giving customers visibility into what they have earned.
Labor savings possible
Food and labor costs can account for more than 50 percent of a restaurant's total expenses – a number which is likely similar in the mobile food business. A mobile POS helps food truck operators better manage both key operational areas of inventory and employee management.
The right mobile POS solutions offer immediate scalability, which give food truck operators the ability to grow their businesses and revenues through catering offerings to working community events like farmers markets, food truck parks and neighborhood races.
In these scenarios, a mobile POS can provide enhanced reporting features that break out sales by "event," such as a rehearsal dinner, rather than each order. This simplifies reporting by eliminating the need to manually add charges.
New-to-the-game food truck operators also may want to consider mobile, cloud-based POS solutions that can easily support a growing number of food trucks and make the move into traditional brick and mortar restaurants as needed.
Most entrepreneurs are tapped for time, and food truck operators are no exception. Technology concerns, such as implementation, maintenance and ease of use, shouldn't take unnecessary time and energy. That's why it is critical to examine and selecting a mobile POS that delivers peace of mind along with a rich feature set.