Part of the appeal of food trucks is that they bring a wider variety of specialty foods to people.
While restaurants do offer exotic and foreign foods, food trucks make them more accessible. Crepes would be a good example of this. Crepes are thin pastries that are kind of like really thin pancakes. While most people in the United States have heard of crepes, establishments that offer them are not that common. At least not as common as hamburger stands and that is why mobile trucks that serve crepes are very interesting.
From a business standpoint, crepes are highly profitable items to sell as well. According to Pancake World, you can expect to net $2.43 per portion sold assuming you sell each crepe for $4.10. While this profit margin does not factor in employee wages or fee’s associated with vending at select events, having a food cost of around 50% is fantastic for a food business.
In many parts of the United States, it’s not uncommon for customers to pay between $5.00 – $8.00 per crepe. This level of pricing elasticity gives you a lot of options as a business owner to get creative with business opportunities since there’s money after all your expenses to share with groups that want to fund raise.
If you’re wondering what it would be like to operate a crepe business yourself, here are two short videos about crepe food trucks that should give you a few ideas on what an average day is really like.
Holy Crepe Food Truck
Holy Crepes food truck operates in the Bethesda, Maryland area. It is owned and run by Boris Lambrev and his wife. They opened up in March 2016. Boris has experience in the crepe business before, but it was not a food truck and he was working for someone else as an employee. Eventually he decided that it would be better if he would strike out on his own to build a mobile food business.
He first learned making crepes when he was in Cyprus then he moved to Greece, where he continued making crepes. They offer all kinds of crepes, from sweet to savory ones.
One of the problems that Boris cited in connection with running a food truck business is that the space is quite limited. He even jokingly said that the lack of space can lead to silly fights between him and his wife.
Things you can get from this short video:
- A glimpse of what it’s like inside a small food truck.
- Possible food truck ideas.
- A short description of how a food truck business started, which can be inspiring.
If you live around the Bethesda area, you might happen to see the Holy Crepe truck going around. Be sure to taste their crepes which has that authentic taste to it.
Crepe Company Food Truck
Orlando is a very diverse city. That means there is no shortage there when it comes to the food options that are available. It is also home to many unique food trucks. The Orlando Food Truck Guide is a video series that aims to explore the diverse food truck scene in the city. For its first episode, the series features the Crepe Company Food Truck.
When it comes to the kinds of crepes that they offer, Lisa says that they aim towards having more American-style options. They still have French-style crepes though for those who want a more authentic feel.
Unlike many of those who run a food truck business, Lisa does not have a background in the restaurant or food service industry. She has a degree in finance, but she says that she’s a foodie, which is what drove her to dare to start her own food truck business.
How She Got Started
Lisa started her business back in 2009. She purchased her food truck back in 2011. One amazing thing about the business is the truck itself. It’s not a modern food truck but a converted 1971 Olson Kurbmaster Junior. Lisa bought the vehicle off Craiglist and had it converted so it would have all the features needed for serving crepes.
Despite the upgrade, the truck has an unmistakable vintage feel to it which makes it even more interesting. It’s also running on battery power and Lisa has plans to have to outfitted for solar power, which would become completely self-sufficient when it comes to energy.
Making the Crepes
Lisa says that it takes about a minute and a half for a customer to order and then to get his crepe. That’s quite fast and that is why Lisa makes them fresh to order.
Lisa showed how she made an American-style crepe. It has bacon, turkey, cheddar, tomato, and other ingredients. She also made a Monte Cristo, which she says is one of the more popular types that they have. It has cheddar, mozzarella, raspberry sauce, ham, and turkey. She also made one with Nutella hazelnut spread with banana. Lisa added that the Crepe Company is now open for franchising if this is an opportunity that piques your interest.
Learn from a food truck owner how she got started: In the early days of starting the business Lisa didn’t own a food truck. In fact, Lisa operated Crepe Company as a “pop-up” business for the first two years before investing in a mobile food unit. This is an important lesson for entrepreneurs starting out.
So many times first time business owners believe they need to wait for something to happen before opening for business. For example, not starting the business until they have a food truck. Or not starting a business until they own a restaurant. The key takeaway from this story is you shouldn’t wait until everything is perfect to get started. You can begin testing out your recipes, making sales, and building a brand much earlier than that.
If you are interested in crepes, then these videos should give you a good glimpse of how your business might look like. Hopefully, there are a few ideas here that you can use if you are going to get your own food truck business running.
Reader Note: M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks did not build the trucks shown in the YouTube videos above.