Why we started with a food truck.
Since last week’s post about changing our majors to grilling in college, we’ve gotten some questions about why we decided to start with a food truck after graduation.
As our last fall semester hit the midway point, we had to make a decision: how far were we going to take this thing?
We were taking all the right steps to create a real business and get everyone on campus to know about Swizzler, but at this point we still had a way out if we decided to cut our losses and start applying for ‘real jobs.’ It wasn’t too late.
Ultimately, it came to one thing you might not expect: regret. Or, more accurately, not wanting to look back and wonder, ‘what if?’
So we committed. We broke the news to our parents. We started to plan our (ad)venture.
‘But why a FOOD TRUCK?’ you might still be asking, ‘why not a restaurant, or catering company, or hotdog stands?’ All good questions. We had a lot of questions at the time, too.
So we did what any diligent college student would do in the face of endless questions and possibilities — we googled.
We learned everything we could about the food industry. The risks, the trends, our options, where things were headed. We read all about the fast-casual revolution. We researched industry leaders like Chipotle and emerging brands like sweetgreen. We reached out to advisors and their networks to learn all we could about the costs and economics of running a food business.
Most importantly, we dug deep into what we wanted Swizzler to be and how we could add to the dialogue. We realized that we wanted to create more than just amazing food. We wanted to focus on the entire eating experience.
While we thought about how amazing a destination location for Swizzler would be, we also realized that there were risks.
People seem to glorify the modern Entrepreneur who burns the ships and risks it all. But there had to be a smarter way to prove (to skeptics AND ourselves) that our idea wasn’t just some one trick pony that got lucky on campus…
Our googling finally struck gold.
We learned more and more about the food truck industry and its rapid spread across the country. It seemed perfect.
A food truck was a relatively low start-up cost compared to a brick and mortar restaurant, but would still allow us create a unique experience. It was a moving billboard to help get our name out there, allowed us to move around and test different neighborhoods, and, if worst came to worst, trucks were in high demand and we could sell ours to make some of the money back.
And, if it worked as well as we hoped, we would have a ton of real data to help us make our next move and a bunch of loyal fans to support our growth.
We had a plan, but that was just the beginning. It was time to make it a reality.