How Lean Startup Principals Can Be Applied to a Food Truck | FTE Episode 073

wheelygrillyExtremely popular in the technology space, but not so much within the food industry, The Lean Startup is a method for developing businesses and products that was develop by Eric Ries. In today’s featured interview with Roman Rytov of WheelyGrilly, we explore how this methodology can also be beneficial in the food truck industry to help determine the menu items you serve and even the brand you portray. If you’re currently stuck in your food truck business today’s interview could be just what you need to break through into greater profitability and popularity in your area.

Quotes from the Show

Don’t trust your experience unless you’ve really tried it with practical verification. – Roman Rytov explanation of what the Lean Startup is. 

Everything is limited: The space, the labor, the time, the price. You go out for only a couple of hour and you need to make money in that limited amount of time. – Roman Rytov on operating a food truck. 

We decided to come up with our first menu. I would say 80% – 70% percent of it is gone. – Roman Rytov  how the WheelyGrilly food truck menu has changed overtime due to following Lean Startup principles. 

Before you make any change or adjustment, know what you’re trying to improve and then you have an option to measure the outcome. – Rytov on the importance of knowing why and what you’re changing. 

med-food

What You’ll Learn

  • What the Lean Startup is and how the methodology can be used on a food truck.
  • The definition of a minimum viable product or MVP as it is often referred.
  • Why the minimum viable product on a food truck is the menu. This is where you can really begin to start experimenting with what food people want and are willing to pay for. If a menu idea doesn’t work out, it’s easy to fix.
  • Why the chicken roll is WheelyGrilly’s featured menu item and how it’s evolved over time.
  • How to identify if a menu item is not working.
  • That the typical consumer in America doesn’t like trying totally brand new food items. It works better to make creative spins off well-known faire.
  • Why you should find a certain vending location where you can go to test new food ideas and get honest feedback about new ideas. It’s probably not best to due this with friends and family because they won’t want to hurt your feelings.
  • Why WheelyGrilly has stopped taking every concession opportunity they’ve been offered.
  • Why doing far away festivals doesn’t translate into repeat customers very often.
  • Some of the benefits of having a signature drink on the truck.
  • The reasons WheelyGrilly decided to test different drink prices and the results of these tests.
  • Why you should remove menu items that don’t attract customers and don’t add to the bottom line.
  • The strategic thought process behind the abstract name WheelyGrilly.

Mentioned in the Show

WheelyGrilly – This is today’s guest Roman Rytov’s Mediterranean food truck. Give WheelyGrilly a try if you live in the Atlanta area.

Lean Startup – Learn more about the Lean Startup principles developed by Eric Ries. Naturally, you can find the book for under $15 over at Amazon if you want to learn more.

Me.n.u Food Truck – Example of an awesome food truck that tested their food concept with pop-ups well before owning a food truck. Over the past couple years the Me.n.u food truck guys have blown up in their home city of Toronto. Owner Allen Tan was also a previous guests of the show here.

About Support Staff

Brett Lindenberg is the founder of Food Truck Empire and Food Empire Pro. Brett's mission is help to entrepreneurs start and grow profitable food businesses. Since 2014, Brett has interviewed over 100 entrepreneurs on the Food Empire Pro podcast and written hundreds of blog posts on all aspects of food business. Brett has been quoted in media outlets like Entrepreneur Magazine, CNBC, and The Washington Post.