How Many Are Too Many? Items You Should Have On Your Food Truck Menu

Food trucks are well known for serving a vast array of different foods often made in wild and wonderful ways that you’ve never experienced before! Creating amazing food and providing it quickly and efficiently is the bread and butter of food truck owners.

While running a food truck can be very enjoyable and very rewarding in the long run, getting one off the ground, and making it into a true success in the food truck industry can be extremely difficult. 

There are so many things you must do to prepare. From market research to recruiting employees to even estimating food costs, it can be extremely overwhelming to even think about running a food truck!

How Many Are Too Many? Items You Should Have On Your Food Truck Menu

One of the most difficult but obviously crucial elements to sort out is the menu. But how do you go about making a truly good menu? What do you fill it with? How many items should you have? How much is too much? 

These are all questions we’ve heard a number of times before. So today we’re going to take a look at what makes up a great food truck menu, as well as some tips on how to make sure your menu is both delicious, unique, and plentiful!

How Many Items Should Be On A Food Truck Menu?

You should aim to make sure that there are not too many food items on your food truck menu. This is so that your kitchen does not become overwhelmed when so many people are making so many dishes at the same time, while under a strict deadline. 

The general rule of thumb touted by many food truck owners and food truck devotees is to have between 5 to 12 menu items. This is a healthy range to ensure that you do not have too much for your staff to handle, but also so that you don’t have too few items that your menu becomes boring or unappealing. 

If you have a medium-sized food truck try to cap yourself at around 8 or 9 menu items so that your kitchen does not become overwhelmed, and so every item can come out perfectly. 

You don’t want to have more than 15 items on your menu, for example, as that would be overwhelming not only for you but also for your customers who will be intimidated by the sheer range of choices.

Having this many items would also inevitably lead to a high degree of food wastage. If you are buying ingredients for 15 different menu items, it is very unlikely that you would be able to use all of them before the day is done. 

Should A Food Truck Cherish Quality Over Quantity?

Definitely! Don’t try to stretch yourself if you feel that you and your food truck kitchen are incapable of handling so many menu items. As long as you have your central menu items and a unique selling point, then your truck will easily be able to make a name for itself in the industry!

If your truck becomes a jack of all trades but a master of none, then it will soon be creating unsatisfying products that will have your customers turning up their noses!

How Should You Start Creating A Food Truck Menu?

The first thing you should do when you are setting out to make a menu for your food truck is to consider what your unique selling point is. Can you make amazing burgers with unique ingredients? Maybe you make the greatest hot dogs in your area? 

Make sure to identify what your food truck’s strongest suit is and build out from there. After all, having a unique selling point is crucial to building your truck’s brand identity, and brand identity can make or break a truck.

Once you have identified your central product, think about products that complement it. If you make really great hotdogs with unique weiners, why not offer different variations on them? Maybe a version with a bit more spice, or a version with cheese? You could even create vegan versions of your best dishes. 

Your menu should appear cohesive so that your customers do not become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice. This helps your customers to make their orders much quicker, which allows you to serve more customers per day, which will see you maximizing your profits super effectively.

Why Should You Have A Certain Number Of Items On Your Food Truck Menu?

Why Should You Have A Certain Number Of Items On Your Food Truck Menu?

While there is no hard and fast number of items that you should make sure to have on your menu, you generally want to ensure you aim for between 5 to 12, as that is a great range that provides you with enough variety without being too much.

Having too many items on your menu will be confusing and difficult for you, as well as your customers. 

Having too few items on your menu will leave your food truck looking very boring and unremarkable, which may as well be a death sentence in this industry.

You should cater the number of menu items based on how big your truck is, and how many people are working in the kitchen at one time.

To Finish Up 

It may sound obvious, but creating just the right menu is crucial to the success of a good food truck. Creating a cluttered menu is a great way to overwhelm customers and your staff while creating a sparse menu will have your customers feeling bored and uninspired. 

You want to strike that perfect middle ground that keeps your customers happy, the kitchen and its staff happy, and keeps your profits happy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Most Popular Food Truck Item?

There are many different meals that prove to be very popular from a food truck business. These include things such as hot dogs, barbecues, and burgers, just to name a small few. This is why it is crucial to make yourself stand out from other trucks that sell similar products to you.

How Much Profit Can You Make From A Food Truck?

With proper management, a food truck business can rake in quite a healthy profit. On average, successful trucks can bring in up to $20,000 to $50,000 per month, which is pretty incredible! The food truck industry may be competitive, but with the right work, it can prove immensely profitable.

What Determines A Good Menu?

A good menu should be legible and ways for customers to understand, so that you can get a higher concentration of orders, as your customers will know what they want. 

Good menus should also have an interesting variety of food items to make them worth exploring.

Hilary O’Shea