Few Hong Kong food truck operators have left the market whereas some F&B groups have taken over operation of existing food trucks. Hong Kong food truck market – exit or entry?
Few Hong Kong food truck operators have left the market after running for less than one year, whereas some operators have put the food truck business for sale and have been taken over by F&B groups. Is it the right time to exit or enter the Hong Kong food truck market?
Lacrucci witnessed the process by a few operators who were excited to apply for the Hong Kong Food Truck Pilot Scheme last year. Some got through several rounds of selection process by cooking off their signature dishes, then they were selected to be few of the finalists.
After operating for more than 3 quarters, a few of them decided to quit. Few of them succeeded to jump over the stepping stone from being a food truck operator into a restaurant owner.
Background of Hong Kong Food Truck Pilot Scheme
Hong Kong Food Truck Pilot Scheme is a new initiative by HK Government in early 2017.
The Pilot Scheme is led by the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) which aims to enhance the appeal of tourist attractions and provide diverse and creative food options to tourists and the public.
In order to enhance more business opportunity, the Government has rolled out a series of refinement measures to food truck operators for few months. Apart from eight original locations in Hong Kong, five additional operating locations were introduced in May 2017.
The refinement measures also allow food truck owners to participate in self-identified tourism events. Food truck operators are able to enjoy higher freedom and flexibility.
Pros and cons of operating food trucks in HK
The idea of food trucks is new to Hong Kong F&B market scene. It will take time for both the government and food truck operators to find out the best policy and business model to succeed.
Some people are skeptical to the profitability of running food trucks under current rules and restrictions in Hong Kong. But in longer run, some operators are expecting the government to allow more flexibility on locations which will increase their business opportunity.
What are the pros and cons of operating food trucks in Hong Kong?
- Low set up costs as compared with setting up a restaurant
- Low to nominal rental costs as compared with extraordinary high F&B shop rental in HK
- Good marketing channel for F&B operators to promote their food concepts which are uncomplicated but delicious
- High profits for events or festivals to food truck operators
- Opportunity for start-up entrepreneurs who would enjoy a lifestyle business in running a food truck
- Government future policy and direction on promoting the food truck business in Hong Kong
- Challenges from local F&B operators who will lobby against food trucks due to potential competition and threats
- Weather concerns: raining and heat in Hong Kong Summer times which affect the business
Lacrucci trusts that the keys to success to operate food truck business in Hong Kong are in maintaining food attractiveness and creating business opportunity by outreaching to more profitable event venues. It should be rewarding after persistent efforts!
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