How to Start A Food Truck Business (Part 1)

16September 2020

https://youtu.be/YCnE13BaQlk

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Have you ever walked up to a food truck and had a delicious taco burger and then stopped to wonder can I make a living
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doing this if you guys are interested in starting a food truck business you need to stay tuned for today’s inspiring
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episode today we’ll be talking to the owner of that chef food truck Kyle Gourley the name of the game is the
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speed you’re not a restaurant fill him up and get him out of here since starting his food truck business in 2016
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three years after completing his culinary management degree Kyle has managed to double his sales every year
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and now he’s in the sixth digit figures you don’t have time to focus on marketing some time what was our most
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important thing is putting out the top-quality it we possibly could what about doubling sales year after year how
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are you doing that Kyle is a u.s. Marine vet he’s got an inspiring story with his rock and roll rocky start yet five years
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later he’s the success we want to share this story with you as of today what’s your yearly revenue your investment is
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not wild you can get into a cheap truck for 50,000 bucks one of the three tips for people looking to start a food truck
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business YouTube rewards your engagement so please comment ask questions below we’ve got our vlog in the description
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below if every question isn’t answered will answer it in our blog so stay tuned and let’s go meet the legend
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[Music] Kyle hey what’s up dude Paul nice to meet you
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we’re ready to ask some questions and hear your story let me come out awesome I’m excited you guys it’s gonna be an
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awesome episode the vet chef elite fusion food you’ve got an incredible story tell us about your military
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experience and how that led you to starting a food truck business basically uh I was in the Marine Corps for four
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years from 2004 to 2008 did thankfully only one tour to Ramadi Iraq thank you thank you
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it’s one of the fortunate people that only have one one tour under my belt unlike my friends or of seven or eight I
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went to culinary school and knew from my military experience I didn’t really want to work for somebody again so I was like
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man what can I do I’m not a little young don’t really have any experience open a restaurant why not a food truck nice you
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were just looking for that opportunity where you can be on your own not work yeah there’s small hit the bill and you
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know a small startup cost which is obviously pretty important we were looking at some of the restaurant
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numbers it’s like holy cow man how how how could I how can I take that leap and the nice thing about a food truck is
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let’s say you’ve got a restaurant and then they just start decided to do construction on that road and next thing
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you know you’re out of business and it’s not even I don’t care how good your restaurant is not even your fault so now
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we just get up and move nice so I like it’s like a restaurant on wheels [Music]
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so looking at your trailer truck what was your initial budget you know what did this setup cost you opening day
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including opening inventory there’s 40 $1,200 break it down for us well what is that entail I already had the truck the
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trailer cost me roughly twenty six thousand dollars I don’t use our new bought it new so I had it custom li
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designed for me mm-hm you know you you’re working on speed you want the fryer where you want the fryer you want
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the grill where you want the grill so you’re you’re working down the line and and try not to move so about eight
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thousand dollars of equipment and then you know all the permitting and all that stuff okay so yeah and why mmm why this
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particular menu not burgers not yeah you know your typical stuff that you would see how don’t come here we don’t have it
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here Seattle doesn’t have Kleenex canned food I mean honestly it just doesn’t you come
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across that did you tell 40s or no no no I I mean what I was a bitch yo yeah definitely so when I lived in California
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stationed at Camp Pendleton in the Marine Corps mm-hmm this was the the go-to thing the California burrito man
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like if you were a Mexican place and there’s a million Mexican places in California but if you had the California
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burrito you’d have a line out the door I mean it like you got inspiration oh yeah that’s what we used to do Matt we sit
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you finished a long day work and go get a California burrito so I know I needed the California burrito so our entire
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menu is built around that California burrito as of today what’s your yearly revenue
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and profit margins that you try to operate this business at okay so last year I believe we did like four hundred
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and seventeen thousand dollars wow that’s a pretty good number it’s a lot of so are you are you looking at the
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amount of burritos sold and the burritos yeah it’s depressing sometimes would you’re like oh man I rolled a thousand
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burritos and then you’re like oh ten thousand a hundred dollars and now now where you at you know honestly I know we
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run at a thirty three thirty four percent food cost okay that’s kind of my end of the business my wife handles all
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the other stuff I just do my best to keep us under 35 percent which is very high for a food truck but we got to have
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quality you know so what are the one or two pitfalls of starting a food truck business you’re not a restaurant there
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are so many people that give it in their mind that they need to you know Julian a carrot or something like that man you
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are not a restaurant your job is to serve fast food mm-hmm fill somebody up is the other thing like if you’re going
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and you’re buying something and it doesn’t fill you up you’re not gonna come back you know what it means so give
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them a big portion and walk out just like oh my gosh help me to my car Kyle I know I know we we should provide a
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forklift some time but wheelchair yeah don’t kidding but yeah I mean the name of the game is the speed you’re not a
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restaurant fill them up and get them out of here so they got they got stuff to do [Music]
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one of the three tips for people looking to start a truck food truck business that you would give them do it one I
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mean honestly you got to take the step I mean it’s it’s scary but your investment is not wild like you can get into a
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cheap truck for fifty thousand bucks it’s a car so give us the step by a truck when I go to your go to your local
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health department talk to them okay that’s the number one thing how do i how do I start okay it’s a six-month process
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of running through all the hoops for the city and I all that stuff so you need a plan ahead know that you’re gonna take
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six months of of work and not going to get anything for it you won’t even be running you’re just gonna be going so
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have the reserves to leave seven months keep your keep your other job okay sorry start getting used to work in those 14
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15 hour days cuz they’re covered yeah yeah so do that sort of the trailer there’s another thing that’s what we did
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so okay as you can see we we did the trailer it’s significantly cheaper than the national truck I could pull it with
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my truck so I kind of you know I already had that so I just pull it on hook it up and and
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go and make sure that say you know we do ultimately want to get in the truck as it is better but start with something
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small do it as cheap as you can and and just start any sort of festivals churches I mean anytime that you know
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that there’s people gonna be there just go yeah call them and it takes time right I mean yeah I think it’s real to
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expect you’re gonna blow up in a week no no I mean you got a soul as if you’re expecting you’ve got a solid year of
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losing money mm-hmm and just gaining your spot gaining your gaining your reputation and just getting
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your name out there but it’s all worth it every every ounce of it would never never would never not do it it’s it’s
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it’s a wild ride but we love it [Music] let’s talk about breaking even right
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there’s a period in a business where you’re probably not paying yourself full-time so I wanted to take you to
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break-even pay all your employees and then start getting on up so we were probably a pretty close up year just
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about a year yeah we started with the nightmare so lock up the food truck go home wake up the next morning the power
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went out in our food truck and I had none now so our very first day of like scrambling I’m calling of everybody I
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know hey man I need help prep in like help so we go to our commissary just start throwing stuff together next thing
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we know we’re out and just start opening up or like oh this is this is crazy like a roller coaster yeah and our generator
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goes out it’s just like why why is this happening so we ended up giving that we pulled off our generator hook up a
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friend’s generator and you know finish the day but it’s like man this is gonna be a long life if this is how it went
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and it didn’t thankfully we we got a new generator fix it all up and things evolved there’s like man this is a lot
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of work we started getting a little bit more popular and next thing you know we hire my cousin who was a high schooler
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then and she just needed a few hours and so we we gave her a few hours and we were able to you know say listen
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recently we can only pay you for the time we’re open like just come here help us open right when we closed all clean I
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don’t care anything basically if something can go wrong it will go wrong and that’s not your cue to quit it’s
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your cue to dig deep and this is your life man and if you’re not committed if this is not part of your family if this
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is not fully something you’re willing to be invested in don’t open the business because it’s going to consume you and
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it’s worth every second of it [Music] what about doubling sales year after
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year how are you doing that I would love to say you know sticking with it building a location but that that really
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does help but you also need to move around and so we we built a location we stuck there we we did the nitty-gritty
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for a long time you know we we took losses we we tried everything we kept getting our name out getting our name
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out getting our name testing out different okay yeah yeah I mean we wouldn’t we wouldn’t say no to anything
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like if they came hey man we got a venue for you to serve yes we’ll be there one time and that was that was the name of
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the game yes yes yes just repetition comes to the red chef here’s the vet chef vet chef ed chef a chef and next
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thing we know if people start calling us that are a little bit bigger a little bit bigger and now we’re at Boeing now
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we’re doing you know some some awesome numbers so yeah it’s all about just when they name out reminds me of a yes man oh
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yeah yeah yes to everything I know how your life goes yeah but there were times where you know you you get in there and
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you lose money but we just knew that chef fetch a vet chef and next thing we know Wow
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yeah [Music] we talked about employees are real quick
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and in 30 seconds how much does having employees cut into your margin can food trucks afford typically employees yeah
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and so yeah I mean the $15 an hour minimum wage definitely really hurt that was kind of a kick to us for a while but
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you have to have employees I mean you’re you’ll drive yourself into the ground it’s it’s a hard job so I would say
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definitely do what you can like I said when I talked earlier we would say show up right here first serve time I came I
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had everything ready they showed up they took orders we cleaned without employees and sent them home mm-hmm so minimize
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what you need them for use your free labeled labor even though you know you’re not free but use that at
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least for the first year then when you can start surviving right you get them sales okay yeah you can you can usually
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find a high schooler or you know relative that will work those weird three four-hour shifts and be very happy
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okay [Music] if you would wind it down to one thing
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what’s the most successful key factor in launching a successful truck food business Oh being dependable your say
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you’re gonna be there be there I mean I don’t care if your tire pops on the side of the road
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you better have triple-a and make it to where you’re gonna be and you better be on the horn saying listen guys I might
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be five minutes late but I’m gonna serve food there you know and they start talking you know what I mean I mean that
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it’s probably simple I guess we’ve interviewed many businesses I know and the most key factors you hear is like to
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be there on time so I defend avoid I mean to me it’s like hello that’s very simple but people fail is just um popped
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we popped five tires last year and every single time we popped a tire we were within like three miles from Les Schwab
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able to fix it got to the things still opened up on time Wow you know other other people would
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say hey man this is a stressful day I don’t worry you know yeah be there because they talk that’s huge calm yeah
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it’s almost like don’t worry as much about your Facebook and your Instagram and anything else just be there when you
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said you’ll be there do what you said you’re gonna do do it on um we have 1400 Facebook followers considering the
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amount of food we’re serving the the popularity we have the award-winning we have that’s nothing we don’t spend a lot
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of time on Facebook you don’t have time to focus on marketing some time it wasn’t our most important thing what was
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our most important thing is putting out the very best food the top quality that we possibly could when we opened up we
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had from primarily Mexican food type stuff we did a poll come crema we did Jesus been so long now we did Argentina
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and tacos we did like chimichurri steaks and all that stuff and next thing we know we’re doing Philly burritos burger
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burritos I mean it’s he had a burger kool-aid oh yeah have you guys heard of a burger burrito no a delicious burger
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in a burrito I mean yeah that was all my employee to offer me that he he came up with it I was like man I don’t want to
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eat a brutal ketchup so it took like two months to even try the burrito and sue I took a bite I was like all right man put
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it on the menu and ask you guys Mike I mean did you guys like it I know you was
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really good right Nick Nick behind the camera he’s lickin he’s drooling thinking I need another

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