food & drink

Investor's Guide

There is no country where restaurants are not falling like nine pins, so it is not rocket science to predict that no new ones are likely to open in the foreseeable future. Traditionally most restaurant projects have relied on private investment. No banks will finance them unless franchises and big-name chefs are involved. This is not surprising when we take into account that across the board the majority of ventures do not survive past the six-year mark, probably because there is more to running a restaurant than cooking and serving food. There are endless operational procedures, suffocating regulatory requirements, and antisocial hours resulting in minimal family life.

So it was rather unexpected that a veteran sponsor of the catering industry went on record last week as having been delighted with his investments. Clearly, he knows something most people do not. The key is food trucks. He has financed four, and in every case has recovered his investment with profits in less time than anticipated.

From Delhi to the West Bank, from Hong Kong to Lima, limitless success stories abound, to the extent that food trucks currently appear to be the best investment in catering. Setting up in the business costs 30% of that for a conventional restaurant with much lower capital and running costs. Best of all, if the first location does not work, drive off around the corner and try there.

Eating at food trucks is not for every age group, but the market is big enough to guarantee a profitable return on the investment.