Do you want to start a food truck business? If YES, here are 4 greatest risks associated with a food truck business and how you can minimize your exposure.
Food trucks are changing the lunch scene in many cities in the United States. While they keep customers bellies filled, they also rake in money for their pockets. This may indeed sound like the perfect business, which of course it is, even though it still comes with its own inhibitions.
While the upside is big for entrepreneurs and restaurants that want to expand into the market, there are a number of risks that come along with operating a food truck. In addition to coming up with a menu, finding the right locations, and creating a process to fulfill orders quickly in a small space, there are also risks like auto accidents, food poisoning, equipment damage, and injuries to workers.
As businesses take steps to start a food truck, the risks cannot be pushed to the side. Here are some risks you need to take note of if you are planning to start your food truck anytime soon, and how you can mitigate those risks.
Risks Associated With a Food Truck Business
1. Vehicle Risks
First and foremost, food trucks are physical entities that are vulnerable to the weather, their environment as well as to general wear and tear. Breaking it down, food trucks are vulnerable to auto accidents, fire, theft, flood, wind damage, hail damage, and electrical breakdowns.
Not only can these cause damage to the vehicle but they may also take the truck out of commission for a lengthy amount of time, thus keeping you out of business.
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 4,000 lives are lost in crashes involving large trucks or buses each year. And compared to other automobiles, the fatality rate for large trucks is 50 percent higher than normal vehicles.
Road safety applies to all, but food trucks are more susceptible for these kinds of accidents that a typical car. To mitigate these risks, you must have to get the right knowledge, hire safe drivers, and adopting diligent protocols to prevent fires, theft, etc., but there are times when bad things happen despite your best efforts to prevent them.
These are the times when you need solid commercial auto insurance coverage to mitigate the cost of damage and loss of operational readiness due to the physical structure of your business. Adequate insurance coverage isn’t a luxury when you’re operating a food truck. It’s a necessity.
No matter how careful food trucks operators are, no one can control mother nature. Natural disasters are common and outdoor elements such as hail, snow, lightning, heavy rainfall, and wind disturbances all pose a major threat to food truck businesses.
The damages incurred from these events are costly and can have a long-term effect on operations by forcing temporary closures, which means there could be massive amounts of foregone revenue.
2. Operational Risks
In addition to physical damage to the vehicle, there are also risks to the person operating the food truck. Some of the risks that person may face include slips, trips, and falls, cuts, burns, smoke inhalation, and back injury from all the heavy lifting that’s required during the course of a busy day.
In a workspace like a food truck, there are a lot of accidents that can arise in smaller spaces. Your employees are your biggest asset and can be your greatest liability.
To mitigate this risk, it’s important to have them wear slip-proof shoes, practice safe lifting techniques on the job, and minimize risks from burns, cuts, and smoke inhalation in every way possible. Beyond that, it’s vital to provide worker’s compensation insurance to cover your responsibility to cover the costs of their medical treatment and time off resulting from on-the-job injuries.
3. Liability Risks
Food trucks pose liabilities to consumers/buyers in many ways. Not only can they slip or fall on the premises or while standing in line, but they are also risks of food-related illnesses and auto accidents that are somewhat unique to food trucks.
In addition to commercial auto insurance coverage, food truck owners need to invest in insurance policies that also protect the business from liability if anyone is hurt on the property or by food that is served from the food truck.
That doesn’t even cover the full scope or risks food truck owners face. But, you can use adequate insurance coverage to protect the business when necessary. All food truck owners should carefully consider investing in business insurance for liability, spoilage insurance, business automobile insurance, and worker’s compensation in order to adequately cover their bases.
4. Food Spoilage and Fire Hazards
Unlike traditional restaurants, food trucks don’t have the convenience of spacious food storage. A single handling mistake may cause health-alarming issues such as food contamination and food poisoning. Again, food usually does not preserve well in a food truck because of its unnatural high temperatures.
Additionally, the constant motion and jarring of a food truck can affect the structural integrity of the systems in place from fryers to refrigerators, thus causing fire hazards. You need to take out the right insurance to continue to keep yourself in business in case of a mishap.
In conclusion, insurance policies play a huge role in the food truck industry. Obtaining the right policy ensures complete defense against all unfortunate events thus making businesses ready for growth, expansion, and success.