Running a food truck isn’t just about making food. You’re not only a chef; you’re a business owner. And as a business owner, you have certain extra responsibilities. You likely lack time to complete all these responsibilities, as most small business owners do. Your typical workload might include:
- Budgeting, payroll, expenses
- Inventory upkeep and maintenance
- Marketing campaigns
- Customer feedback
- Food prep and sale
If you employ staff, some of these tasks may be less time consuming. And if you have a budget for it, you’ll find that outsourcing things like marketing and accounting can save you precious time. If you’re not at that point financially, you still need to find ways to do it all. That’s where food truck apps can help. Many apps are available for these tasks. Keep reading and discover how you’ll benefit from using food truck apps.
Top food truck apps (and why you need them)
Below, you’ll find all the apps you can benefit from broken down by the categories listed above. Some of these apps address more than one responsibility, but it’s up to your specific needs and preferences to pick the best apps for you.
Cash flow, budget, payroll, expenses, and payment processing
Shopify is a popular payment processing system for food trucks. The interface lets you process transactions, as well as:
- Accept payments (including cash, credit, or debit cards and mobile payments)
- Print and email receipts
- Run a customer loyalty program
- Survey financials and business needs
- POS hardware integrations
- App integration with Facebook, Mailchimp, and QuickBooks
Another great financial app, Mint, is perfect for managing your finances. If you’re just starting out, this is the ideal free financial food truck app for you. With this app, you can:
- Track expenses
- Manage budget and savings goals
- Plan through purchase patterns
Another great financial management tool is inDinero. This app helps with bookkeeping, payroll, and tax filing. You can even send invoices to clients, track receipts, and monitor spending. Currently, inDinero is currently open by invitation only, but you can request a free trial on the website.
ZenPayroll is a focused tool for payroll management. You can report new hires to the government, email pay stubs to employees, and manage employee payments. Employees can donate a portion of their checks to a charitable cause through the app. The app offers a free two-month trial and then charges by several users afterward.
Another great monitoring app for expenses is Expensify — it’s literally in the name. You can monitor employee purchases and reimburse them with this food truck app. If you trust your staff with inventory purchases, it’s a great way to secure their spending. You can connect your credit card or debit card to Expensify so it can automatically track your expenses or snap pictures of your receipts to remove all that time-consuming data entry. It also simplifies logging miles and hours worked.
Square is easily the most popular mobile payment processor. Install a payment on your phone or tablet along with a small portable card reader. Ring up customer orders through the app, then swipe their card through the reader, and you’re accepting credit and debit cards on the go! Funds go right into the preselected bank account and are usually available in one to two business days. You have to pay a small percentage-based transaction fee on each swipe. You also get:
- Collecting taxes and tips on the go
- Real-time analytics on customer purchases
- Offline payment ability
- Cash, check, and card processing
- Embedded menu for online orders
- Inventory management with custom menus
- Easy updates for items and prices
Truckily is another free food truck app to help with social media location updates. Schedule your route in advance. Subscribed customers get push notifications when you’re nearby. It also auto-updates Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare locations as you move, so you don’t have to log in and manually update customers whenever you’re on the go.
Trello is a great organizational app. You can create taskboards with reminders. Once completed, move these tasks to a “done” column. It’s ideal for brainstorming things like new menu ideas. If you need on-the-fly supplier info, Trello can record it for spreadsheets later. Or ask staff to add their availability for scheduling.
Marketing and design
An excellent app for designing, scheduling, and posting about your truck, Canva has free and pro versions. If you’re talented and want basic print or digital logos and other design details for your social media or email marketing, check out Canva.
Mailchimp is a free and small-business-friendly app for email marketing. There are other email marketing tools out there, but this one offers a lot for free. Email is a great way to promote weekly specials and new potential offerings as well as to build up loyal customers. You can share promotions, events, and future truck locations. Build sign-up forms, design newsletters, and track your open and click rates to see how well you’re doing.
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