Nancy O’Leary, principal and CEO of Meals Truck Girl, an enterprise centered on serving to meals distributors, shares perception on why she’s within the enterprise and affords recommendation to these trying to change into a meals truck operator.
With many years of finance and enterprise administration expertise Nancy O’Leary knew what it took to function a profitable enterprise when she launched into a second profession path and launched Meals Truck Girl, a consulting/advertising and marketing/companies supplier centered on serving to meals truck operators drive income, development and publicity.
The New Jersey resident launched Meals Truck Girl in Nov. 2019 — simply 5 months earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic hit quick within the U.S., and which proved to be a boon to meals vans given restaurant closings, social distancing guidelines and homebound residents anticipating takeout and outside meals experiences.
Her firm serves a rising roster of meals truck purchasers and O’Leary strives to function a voice for the meals vans. in addition to construct relationships with corporations associated to the meals truck business — from social outreach to an area firm offering tire press expertise for meals truck operators.
In easy phrases, Meals Truck Girl goals to maximise a meals truck operator’s revenue whereas serving to to reduce bills. Which means every part from serving to operators discover occasions and develop their model to working with native officers on guidelines and laws referring to meals truck operations. Whereas the corporate is predicated in New Jersey, it serves Philadelphia and japanese Pennsylvania and Rockland County in New York as nicely.
In an e-mail interview with FoodTruckOperator O’Leary shared her perception on challenges meals truck house owners are coping with, recommendation on stepping into the enterprise and the position expertise is enjoying in meals truck operation.
Q. What’s the focus of your corporation?
A. The primary focus is to assist the meals distributors (vans/trailers/tents) improve the roles they get to fill their calendars to extend the income stream. It has expanded to many extra companies — a relationship with a significant bank card processing firm to assist the vans save on their service provider charges (lowering their bills), capacity to supply or personal ATM machines, partnerships with cell generator restore corporations and for buying gear and meals truck trailers — simply to call just a few.
Q. How did you get into the meals truck business as a profession?
A. My background (25 years) is within the finance world, managing companies for wealth managers however I all the time wished to have my very own enterprise. I gained business expertise managing the same sort of firm and wished to observe my entrepreneurial spirit to have the ability to increase into extra states and areas and improve my companies.
Q. Out of your perspective how is the meals truck business doing at this level — and if it is rising, what’s spurring that development?
A. The business is booming. There was an enormous upswing up to now a number of years — and particularly since COVID. Folks misplaced their jobs throughout COVID and determined to do what their ardour is — cooking for others. What higher manner to try this than by having your personal cell kitchen and showcasing your cooking expertise.
From the angle of the consumer — they wish to have the meals truck expertise and since everyone seems to be now capable of get collectively once more, there was an enormous improve in festivals, catering occasions and different alternatives.
Q. Out of your every day interplay with meals truck purchasers what are among the high challenges they’re coping with?
A. The every day challenges are discovering employees that’s dependable and constant and devoted. Additionally, the ever-increasing value of fuel, propane and meals is inflicting them to extend their meals prices in order that they’re nonetheless making a revenue.
Q. Out of your perspective are meals truck operators embracing expertise extra or is expertise restricted for them at this level?
A. I feel that for probably the most half, they’re embracing expertise. There are various apps within the market now the place they’ll have their truck discovered by the general public once they open in a sure location to assist increase their visibility. I additionally suppose that whereas expertise could be irritating, (not having) it could actually forestall a enterprise from increasing and turning into extra environment friendly. I feel there may be all the time room for enchancment. I’m engaged on getting an app within the market to assist them with submitting the well being and hearth paperwork extra effectively which I feel might be a sport changer.
Q. What recommendation would you give to somebody contemplating launching a meals truck?
A. I’d say that if cooking is their ardour and seeing the joyful faces of the purchasers when their meals is eaten and so loved, it is a nice alternative. It permits extra flexibility to be cell over being a brick-and-mortar restaurant. They are often their very own boss. However it’s a continuing dwelling, respiration factor. Just like the vans, I’m all the time accessible to reply a telephone name (seven days every week). It is lengthy days when it is in season however when it has been a very good day on the truck, it is really a beautiful expertise.
Q. What are some widespread errors, and missteps you see meals truck operators making and the way can these be averted?
A. Understanding proper from the start that each day will not be a hit. However each day is a studying alternative. You need to get on the market and discover the place your profitable occasions might be.
I feel that some new house owners suppose that is a simple enterprise to get into. It isn’t. It is obtained its challenges — identical to every part else — vans break down; employees does not present up; climate causes occasions to cancel; very lengthy days. However the reward and the blessing on the finish of the day (is) it is yours — all yours and that’s the fantastic thing about being an entrepreneur. It is all yours!
I all the time inform my meals truck house owners, getting them on the market in entrance of the general public for any occasion is a chance since you by no means know who will stroll as much as your window to order one thing. I wish to give them extra alternatives to just do that, get on the market and be recognized. In the event that they discover success in my occasions, then they belief that I’ve their again and so they wish to work with me for extra occasions. It is a very close-knit business and like one large household.
Judy Mottl is editor of Retail Buyer Expertise and Meals Truck Operator. She has many years of expertise as a reporter, author and editor protecting expertise and enterprise for high media together with AOL, InformationWeek and InternetNews.