Food trucks are a welcome roadside site or farmer’s market presence as both a lunchtime and snack destination. They have grown in style and scope since their humble beginnings as a snack, burger and sandwich haven for hungry construction workers, office workers and passers-by. Those original-style food trucks haven’t gone anywhere, and to be sure remain very popular. But now you can also find food trucks as fairs, festivals and farmer’s markets that sell an array of ethnic and exotic cuisine.
Opening a food truck is an exciting venture. Many food truck owners are former restaurant or diner line cooks who desire to run their own business. You’ve got the cooking skills, your ingredients and a great location. You’re ready to go!
Well, maybe not quite. As a business owner, there are more things to consider than just the product itself. First off, you need a payment acceptance system that is affordable and appropriate for your business. Research swipe fees for credit card processing and look for those that are approachable and make sense for your food truck. Depending on how much business you plan to do, some programs such as NRS Pay, offer single swipe fees as well as monthly set fees with discounts if the business generates a certain amount of transactions per month.
National Retail Solutions is the leading provider of POS systems and NRS Pay credit card processing for independently owned, small to mid-sized businesses nationwide. NRS Pay is a company founded on honesty, integrity, superb customer service and transparency. Unbeatable customer service is invaluable to a first-time business owner who may not have had to worry about accepting credit card payments in their previous culinary careers.
NRS Pay loves entrepreneurs because the company’s goal is to help small businesses grow. There’s no fine print nor hidden fees in their contracts; everything is spelled out up-front. Plus the company provides a suite of affordable programs to fit a merchant’s every need.
NRS Pay, for instance, includes two easy and reasonably priced credit card processing options. The very competitive monthly Clean Rate plan is only 2.49% plus 10 cents per swipe, dip or tap, with a $10 monthly accounting plan. Merchants can also choose the NRS Pay Cash Discount plan, which costs $0/month for any store that processes over $18K/mo. in volume. Otherwise, merchants pay a flat $49.95 monthly fee, and the NRS POS automatically tabulates dual pricing to offer customers a discount for cash tendered.
Speaking of cash sales: Don’t expect food truck patrons to eschew credit cards for cash. People carry so much less cash these days and the last thing they want is to fumble for spare change in the heat of the summer or freezing cold of winter. As a business owner, you don’t want frustrated patrons. Plus it slows down the line and frustrates others. A smooth running line and quick turnaround will keep customers happy and more willing to return to your food truck.
In addition, people paying with credit cards are more likely to buy more items. There’s no chance of the customer not having enough money to buy everything they’d like. Impulse buys are more likely. Say the customer was just going to buy a beef empanada. Then they come to the front of the line and see all of the different styles and favors and make the snap judgment to buy more without worrying about cash on hand. Note: Make sure you have strong Wi-Fi or mobile Internet at your location to avoid the pitfall of saying you take credit cards and then being unable to process transactions due to connection failures.
And don’t forget to have appropriate items and supplies for the seasons and meals: Extra napkins for messy eats, plenty of cold drinks for summer, and hot coffee and hot chocolate in winter.
Accepting credit cards offers huge advantages over cash-only for a food truck business. You know you’ve got awesome food that will leave customers craving for more. Now you also know that you’ve got a credit card payment acceptance system in place that will accommodate those customers and not break your bank. Time to rev up the engine and the sales!