Food Truck Franchise v. Fast Casual: The Pros & Cons of Each

The low cost of a food truck franchise doesn't always outweigh its limitations. Learn how a fast casual franchise compares and the pros & cons of each.

The Appeal of A Mobile Restaurant

Food trucks have become increasingly popular among Americans in the last decade. What was once mostly reserved for rest stops, work sites and farmer’s markets has exploded into a cultural phenomenon, where guests can experience practically any type of cuisine under the sun as food trucks roll through our neighborhoods.

According to IBISWorld, there are 35,512 food truck businesses operating in the U.S. in 2022, an increase of 13.7% from last year. While a large portion of food trucks are independently owned, many franchises that once operated only out of brick-and-mortar locations have gotten in on the trend. Particularly during a pandemic that has limited in-person dining, a food truck franchise provides an opportunity for business owners to continue delivering their food to the people while keeping everyone safe and happy.

By allowing for a more flexible, on-the-move model, food truck franchises have the added advantage of putting their brands directly in front of more guests at multiple locations, as opposed to relying on return visits to a single restaurant. To this point, guests may also be more likely to frequent a food truck backed by a brand they know and recognize from previous dine-in experiences, giving food trucks another advantage over independent operations.

The Drawbacks of A Business on Wheels

For all the apparent upsides to owning a food truck franchise, there are also many downsides. Whether you plan on literally sitting behind the wheel or assigning responsibilities to others, the set of managerial skills required to run your food truck are slightly different than they would be in a more traditional fast-casual restaurant setting. Many people who open food trucks take on almost all the responsibility themselves, which can lead to an overloaded owner without the support of a trained and prepared staff to depend on. Owners need to maintain a presence, but if the business is to really get off the ground, a food truck will need a trusted team (however small) to execute the owner’s vision.

Food trucks rely heavily on word of mouth, so if an owner is ignoring the feedback of the guests, bad reviews will travel at lightning speed, beating them to their next location. Another drawback of a food truck business is the weather. A week full of rain can be detrimental to a food truck business since people won’t want to stand in line with umbrellas waiting for their food. With an ever-expanding range of offerings rolling through town, you are taking a risk that your business innovation will become a business failure.

Life in The Fast-Casual Lane

The fast-casual segment has long been at the forefront of American dining, offering guests both dine-in and takeaway options to satisfy their cravings. Franchise owners can command a higher price point than for fast food, and guests are willing to pay a little bit more for higher quality ingredients prepared with care.

As diners continue exploring new and different types of cuisines to tantalize their taste buds and feed their families, fast casual continues to meet and exceed the demand. And with a smaller footprint and lower operating costs than most fast-food franchises, fast casual provides the perfect opportunity for prospective franchisees seeking to grow their business in a booming industry.

The ideal fast-casual franchise exhibits a winning concept, brand strength, continued growth and provides owners with comprehensive and ongoing support in return for their investment. At the same time, the best franchisors are devoting a great deal of attention and resources to continued menu and service innovation, giving their franchisees a leg up on both other fast-casual concepts and restaurants on wheels.

Wayback Burgers has always prioritized incorporating new flavors, services and technologies to improve operational efficiency and heighten guest satisfaction. Back in 2019, Wayback Burgers introduced a compact, electric vehicle supported by our Viddl-It app that combines the convenience of delivery with the fun and freshness of on-site cooking. Combining the appeal of our fast-casual experience with the mobility of a food truck, Wayback Burgers created an enticing option for both guests and franchise owners.

Learn More About Franchising with Wayback Burgers

If you are considering buying a food truck franchise, you’re likely looking for a business with a great concept and promising return on investment. While food trucks may seem great in the short run, the future is less predictable. Wayback Burgers is offering prospective franchisees the backing of a winning brand, a reasonable investment and limitless potential for the future.

To learn more about franchising opportunities with Wayback Burgers, get started today.