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How Many Hours Do Food Truck Owners Work?

A whole lot of factors determine the amount of hours a food truck owner works in the United States. However, when serving 2 meals per day and taking part in regular events, the average food truck owner works 80 – 100 hours per week.

If it happens to be a week with just one service time per day, owners might very well end up working a 40-hour workweek. Most often, even with support, owners tend to splurge around 40-hour workweeks for their food truck business when there is extra work.

It is very easy to overwork yourself when running a food truck because you will also take care of the administrative part of the business when your food truck is not on the road. You have to take care of booking, or preparation for the next day.

Stress and burnout are common in the food truck industry. If you love what you’re doing, and find a great balance between work and life, you can make it!

Factors That Determine the Number of Hours Worked Per Week

There are a whole lot of factors that will determine the amount of hours a food truck owner works in the United States. Those factors include;

  1. Prep Time

Food trucks have been tagged as being overly easy to operate when compared to brick-and-mortar restaurants, owing to the limited amount of time they are open. For instance, on a regular Monday – Friday weekday, a food truck might serve just one lunch period the whole day and then it is closed.

To those who are not really experienced or knowledgeable with the intricacies of running this business, it might seem like a quick 3-hour work day especially if you open from 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Truth be told, that can be quite deceptive. Depending on the food being served, operators of food trucks will have to spend at least two hours of prep time.

Also, note that there are food concepts that will take more time for all items or ingredients to be prepared. Aside from that, you will also have to spend a substantial amount of time cleaning up the truck after each service.

  1. Administrative Time

You will have to take care of the administrative part of the business when your food truck is shut. If your food truck has been very successful, then your mobile phone will need to be at your side at all times.

All through your day you will be attending to calls and taking care of emails from prospective customers who might looking to hire your service for an upcoming event.

You will also have to invest time into coordinating with food/beverage suppliers to guarantee you’ve got enough hamburgers to feed a small army and as well network with other concession owners regarding potential joint ventures.

Don’t even neglect the little social media work on the side. Note that the time and effort don’t end with customer service and marketing tasks, you have to get your income recorded, costs tracked, or maybe even handle the accounting of the company.

  1. Travel Time

One thing that has attracted a whole lot of entrepreneurs to this business is the mobile nature of the business. This simply entails that, unlike a restaurant where you are in the same location each day, a truck is mobile.

It also means that you will have spent minutes or hours driving to a vending location. If, for instance, you reside or do business in a mega city, you will also have to deal with traffic and rush hour which will take even more time.

Even though travel is necessary and also a big advantage of owning a food truck, you have to be conscious of accepting catering gigs or opportunities that are not so close to your home base.

  1. Unexpected Events

Same as with every other thing that is a natural phenomenon, there will be unexpected events that change your plans. This is quite common in this line of business.

It could be a flat tire or even an engine breakdown that keeps you off business for a few days. You or an employee could also get sick. It is also possible that the vendor failed to deliver those doughs on time.

To ensure you attain success as a small business owner, it is important you realize that bad stuff will happen and you have to be prepared to make quick adjustments when necessary and also be prepared for predictable bad events such as when your truck won’t start.

  1. Market Demand

This is another valid factor to take into account especially if you’re successful and people love your food. It simply means that you will be a lot busier than other trucks. In addition, you will be contacted quite often for catering events and festivals.

Aside from that, a busy in-demand truck entails that you will be generating good money for the business, but it can also leave you overly tired and more like you’re working 24/7. Owing to that, as your business and brand grow, you have to recruit employees.

Starting and operating a food truck comes with many challenges, and one of them is adequate time management. But if you love what you’re doing, steadily produce enticing food and fantastic service, and find a great balance between work and life, you can make it!