From $50 to $1,750 a Day with a Food Truck Business (Pt. 2)
- Before you watch this video, make sure you check out episode one. We've had the pleasure to colab with Reyes the entrepreneur and he hosted the first episode. So make sure you check out that video first, the link is in the description below or hit the thumbnail and let's go dive deeper into Onit Coffee. (upbeat music) Talk to me about revenue. What's a good day, what's a bad day dollar wise? - So we did that with about 20 different influencers and it generated a lot of leads for us and didn't cost us much money at all.
- Why don't we dive into franchising a little bit? Do you have plans to franchise it? Tell me how quick it took you break even. - That would have saved me a lot of time, a lot of money that I spent on payroll, out-of-pocket when we first started and we would have grown a lot quicker. - That's kind of contrary to what other food truck owners would tell me. (upbeat music) You guys were here with a CEO owner and founder of Onit Coffee. What an amazing unique business that we can't wait to share with you Shadi.
Thanks for doing this with us. - Thank you so much, Bulanov. - Let's dive into it. Let's talk about your initial budget, what it costs to get started. In your experience. - Absolutely. So I've invested nearly 120,000 to the truck, state of dollar truck, brand new chassis, long recycled coffee bar, brand new equipment.
Some inventory costs, some costs for permits, payroll. You wanna have kind of that initial right, that initial investment ready to operate for the first couple of months. So starting off, I would say about $120,000 invested into the project. - Break the 125 down for us.
- So, a large portion of that was the actual build out of the kitchen. It was honestly the vast majority. So a portion of it was the truck cost itself the chassis ,buying a brand new truck, right? And then the other portion was the actual build out of the kitchen, right? Doing the construction, installing of everything in then. Another smaller portion of that was the actual equipment itself. The coffee bar, the grinder, the fridge all the other machinery needed.
(upbeat music) - Let's do a walk through of the truck and facility and show us what you wanna show us and point out. - Absolutely. So before we get into that, just to show you we have where to go parking signs right here. One of the creative ideas we came up with we dedicated three parking spots on the property to to go parking for curbside pickup, right? Because it's getting a little bit colder outside and the COVID and everything going on you can park right here, scan the barcode, you'll view the full menu, text or call the number, right? Goes to the truck, to our business form. They'll get your order, they'll confirm, come out, pay cash, credit, whatever, on square. And they'll bring your order right to you.
Convenience. It's helped us out a lot. - That's very unique. You got a cool looking truck by the way. - Thank you so much.
- A lot to talk about what's on that. So, Why don't we start with what's on the ground there and that's really the plethora of options. - So, here, we have our hot drinks, right? We just launched a lot of those for the winter season.
Some of them are seasonal, right? And we have, for example a Mexican hot chocolate is very popular. Our Moroccan mint tea, our red Valley right now is very, very popular or macho lattes. Right here's the build your own menu. So if you'd like to build your own drink we kinda break it down for you with different options. We have a lot of sugar-free options for diabetic folks. We have teas, coffees, we have alternative milk options, lots of different options, a lot of different toppings.
- True options I see right there? - Yeah we have- - Keeping it simple? - Yeah, keeping it simple are Soyrizo Burrito, very popular for the vegan eaters. And then of course you've got (indistinct) we have our little Nutella, crypt sticks. - I'll try those this morning, delicious.
- Yep. A lot of different food options a lot of different food options. We're expanding that menu. (upbeat music) - Talk to me about revenue. Maybe when you started and where you are now, what's a good day, what's a bad day dollar wise? - When we started, it was brutal.
To be honest with you. We were making maybe $50 a day, right? And we tried moving around in the beginning a little bit, right? A good day at one point we was maybe like $200, which was not good. As we changed our business model and adapted with COVID-19 and kind of turned the truck almost into a location where people always come find us on a regular basis, we've broken 3- $4,000 in a day before.
We've averaged between the 1500 to $2,000 range for the past couple of months. So a good day for us I would say is between that 1500 to 2000. A remarkable day would be breaking the two, going upwards of three or more in a bad day as it's like under a thousand dollars. (upbeat music) - Let's talk about the truck. Beautiful design, impacting lives, one cup at a time, you know you've got by the city for the city to serve the city.
I mean, just amazing slogans. Can you share the story behind that? - Absolutely. So the mission with Onit is to work with a different nonprofit every three months or so to target causes that team on our fields. We need to shed more light upon, right? Mental health, suicide prevention, sex trafficking, refugees in need.
These are causes and issues that we need to talk about. We just wrapped up our campaign in November with my sister's house, a local nonprofit that's been around for 20 years and they help victims of sex trafficking in Sacramento. It's a major issue that is not being talked about.
And we did a simple campaign, 25 cents for every single drink for the month of November, went to them, right? And we called the campaign, I am not a number. Meaning you're more than statistic. You're more than a number. You're a human being. And there's a nonprofit that cares about you. And as a local coffee company, who wanna give back and do our part to serve the city.
And that's really the mission with Onit man, is to impact lives, to serve the city of Sacramento. I want to build the next major coffee franchise in the Sacramento area. My drive through is opening up hopefully late this summer and as well as our dining location and the the vision for the company is to allow people from within the company to own their own franchise location.
As you work your way up in the company and become part of management, I'd like to finance location for you where you pay back the company over time, and now you own your own location. That's how you build that longterm commitment. People see the value in working for on it. Okay. I'm not just here making minimum wage. I can work my way up to own a six, seven figure business. To own my own kiosk or kiosks.
And that is the vision for the company. And we're taking it one step at a time and trying to do our best to impact lives and serve the city of Sacramento. (upbeat music) - Tell me how quick it took you to break even. - I would say to break even it took us about six to seven months. - Six to seven months. - Six to seven months.
And honestly the consistent traffic that we've built up in the reviews and the customers and the seating area has been remarkable. And we've been able to thrive significantly within six, seven months. - And we a lot of time as well when we were pushing media and changing our outlet on Instagram or the way we do things on Instagram, changing the pictures from just regular pictures to quality and really promoting and doing those things. Everything kind of came together and we started to have crazy engagement. And that's where our days went from like he was saying earlier in the video about $50 to anywhere from a thousand to $2,000.
- So you guys never stopped again, improving on an hourly minute by day basis. That's what I'm hearing from you which is really encouraging. - We're constantly looking for unique innovative ways to grow the business to market ourselves differently. We've done a lot of unique events, man. For example, we did one it was a gaming tournament where the winner won a PS5.
We had 85 gamers, right? Each one did a $20 entry and we made about four or $5,000 that day. And it was a fun time. We did another one, a comedy night with local comedian Lance Woods. We set up a stage, he came out and perform, 250 people came out. We've done car meets, cars and coffee, and had a couple of hundred people show up to that.
Just see unique things 'cause when you do these events what happens is we attract different crowds. With the car meets, you're attracting that car crowd, with the gaming tournament, you're attracting kind of the gaming crowd. Now you're introducing all these different crowds to Onit Coffee that maybe would never have came to honor their thought about it. But because you did an event tailored to their industry, their crowd, their interests, they support Onit Coffee.
They wanna get involved. So what I'm trying to do is kinda get on it involved in so many different things to really diversify the crowds that come in. (upbeat music) - Let's get a little Greek. - Let's try to Mexican art chocolate.
Never heard of that before. They're all Mexican, huh? Got you, brother. - It's already for your bus? - What is this again? - The Mexican hot chocolate. - Mexican hot chocolate. This is one of the go-tos, the signatures. - Ooh. That's unique.
Not too sweet and it's got that right. - Shock that he takes. - I like it. All right. So you've got a beautiful concept here. Amazing mission. Why don't we dive into franchising a little bit.
Do you have plans to franchise it? Who's working on that. What does the plan look like? Cost wise too? - Yeah. I do have plans to franchise. My main goal right now is open up the first drive through the summer, open up the dining location, close on the second drive through. And then I wanna see kind of numbers, how we're doing assessed everything. Maybe take like a year or two to really kind of make sure our infrastructure is there, the processes is there. Then I'm gonna really look into the next steps, the franchise, right? I haven't really put together like a solid plan in terms of what are the numbers to franchise and how we're going to do all of that.
'Cause right now my main concern is opening up the first drive-through, right? That is the main thing I want to focus on. Once we accomplish that goal, hopefully this summer from there, the next goal will be okay let's build the structure and the plan for franchising. What's the cost? How much is it gonna be? All those things.
- Okay. (upbeat music) Let's talk about the most successful form of advertising. Advertising by far, I would say Instagram has been our biggest platform to advertise on. And we do a lot. We run a lot of ads on Instagram.
We boost a lot of posts and that's how we've reached 700,000 impressions at one point. We also run ads on Yelp. So we really try to target kind of the social media, right? The social media, Google, Yelp. - Yeah. If you both wanna touch on that. - Back when we were moving the truck around itself that wasn't as successful as keeping it in one location.
We decided that our delivery services grub hub door dash reads and there's one more. - Postmates. - We're gonna be our key to success, especially with coronavirus entering and all these different changes. So what we did is we did different deals with door dash all these different services, like 20% off of the order of $15 and above in different different advertisements with the delivery services as well as the Instagram, Yelp.
We're advertising through Google and Facebook ads. That way we get more leads in what we do is we call the customers and personally, invite them down and create that bond with each and every one as we can. - We've also done it more traditional route to have flyers on the flyer it said like, you could redeem a buy one get one free if you bring this flyer in, right? Track the effectiveness of the flyers.
When we went out home to home and delivered within like a five mile radius, and that actually worked. We had a lot of people come in and present their flyer. And that really worked out for us. We did another thing too. So we selected a couple of different people with pretty good engagement on Instagram that believed in the vision in the company.
And they came down and shot a picture with their favorite drink. They did a giveaway, right? So, comment on this pic, tag your friends, whatever we're gonna pick one person, they're gonna win three free drinks to Onit Coffee. So we did that with about 20 different influencers if you want to call them that in the Sacramento area.
And it generated a lot of leads for us and didn't cost us much money at all. (upbeat music) - You've got an amazing amount of reviews and you've been in it for just under a year, or a little bit over a year? - In months. - How did you get so many reviews so quickly? - It involves a couple of different things. One of the main things is I partnered up with Yelp Sacramento and I did a couple elite weeks, right? Elite week where they bring down different elite members to try out your drinks, your services, right? So these elite members, they came down, tried our drinks and left us reviews based on their experience. In addition to that as we became a stationary location we started to serve upwards of two, 3000 people a week.
And you seen two, 3000 people a week, there's gonna be a percentage that drops review. And we would ask our customers as a local business, right? It's a minority owned small business, if you could please leave us a review during this difficult time, it would mean the world to us. And so we grew to 200 plus reviews on Yelp and nearly 200 on Google within eight months. And now if you search up coffee and Elk Grove we pop up in the top five as a coffee truck. There are coffee shops that have been around for four or five years in elk Grove Sacramento that don't even have to want to under reviews.
He knows so, it's been pretty remarkable, man. - We hear Yelp all the time. What was the cost for you to get involved with the elite members? - So they cover it to be honest with you, they cover a portion of the elite week, right? So you can negotiate with them and come to an agreement but you're gonna have to sacrifice something. You know what I mean? So for us, it was a couple of hundred dollars.
Nothing really more significant. And they covered a portion of it. But I think the return on investment is huge.
I feel it's worth it. (upbeat music) - We got some blitz questions for you don't think too much, 10 seconds. Otherwise there's penalty. All right. So what's one sentence you'd like to hear from your employees.
- We love working at Onit. - What's the best and worst part of being an entrepreneur. The best part is impacting lives, manifesting your vision. Worst part, all the stress that comes with it. - Absolutely. I can avoid that. Biggest purchase you regret.
Probably some of the cars that I've purchased unnecessary. - Name one. - X5 M. - Okay. What business pool had the biggest impact on you and why? - How do we friends influence people? - Well, I have that. Beautiful.
- And why it really talks to you about how to talk to people and you know what I mean? And kind of get to know them and have them open up to you. - That's important. - They go.
- If you had to come up with a slogan for year 2020, what would it be? - Spread love. - Spread love. It's good.
- What's one thing that you'd like to see disappear from planet earth? - Arrogance, ego, and hatred. Not one thing three. - Awesome. (upbeat music) How did you come up with the logo? - So the logo, man, even the name, I was looking at different franchises in different companies. And I was looking at it in and out, right? In and out, very simple, very catchy, you're in, you're out and get your food and leave. And you don't forget it, in and out.
I was like, Onit, the word onit kept coming to me like I'm on it. We always say like, okay, I'm on it. And then I'm like, man, your coffee needs we're on it. Like we're on top of it. And then when people go, let's go get on it.
It sounds like they're saying let's get on it. You know what I mean? - Very, very catchy. - It's very catchy, the logo I worked with a lot of different designers and I'll probably look that over three, 400 different logos. Really what the logo represents so the always kind of like the drive through, right? You're driving through, that's where the arrow is. And then inside the end, you see the coffee cup, right? And then underneath you have our mission of impacting lives. One cup at a time, very simple, beautiful, aesthetic.
We went with that kind of magenta pink color to stand out from the competition. I didn't want to go with blue, Dutch brothers says blue, Starbucks says green, yellow, and red every burger joint has one. So I wanted something that's youthful, bright, vibrant stands out. When you go to a drive through our truck, you see the pink that's the signature Onit color.
And you know that's Onit a color. (upbeat music) - Can you tell us a little bit about the topic ingredients you're using, the equipment names or audience like the no details. - Yeah. Yeah. - And that'll be really helpful.
- Of course. So the main equipment that we use is all green made by La Marzocco, is all like from Italy of course. I mean, it's like the Ferrari of coffee. - Can't get any better.
- Exactly. We figured if we're gonna be the best, we got to definitely use the best necessarily equipment that we're using. As far as sauces and flavors go we really go find the most square maybe we can. A lot of our flavors are vegan, all natural flavors as well.
And we try to make our drinks so that it has a sweet texture to it. They can still taste authenticity of the coffee as well. My goal with each cup is that you can really taste like where it's from. So like our coffee itself on we get roasted here in Sacramento actually. It's all roasted local is directly the farmers and we really work heavily with our roaster and directly with the farmers as well.
So my goal is whenever you taste the coffee is tasting the hands of the farmers the baristas, and of course your hands as well. So when we say impacting lives, won't come by at a time actually wants you to taste the cup and be able to taste the lies that went into it and all the hard work that went into it as well. - That's awesome. Yeah, you don't hear that very often from really anybody in this type of industry.
So, pretty cool. (upbeat music) With what you know today, is there anything you would've done different? One or two three things as far as business growth, you personally. - Absolutely, man. First of all, if I would have known COVID-19 was coming I definitely would have planned to turn the truck into a location right off the top, right off the top.
I would've lost outdoor seating area. I would have listed my services immediately on door dash grub hub, all the delivery platforms. Cause those really took off with the pandemic.
- Interesting. - And I would have announced, curbside pickup a lot earlier. Invested a lot more money into marketing, the curbside pickup in some marketing that we're now like a location and just jumped right into that.
That would have saved me a lot of time, a lot of money that I spent on payroll out-of-pocket when we first started and we would have grown a lot quicker. - What else? - Also, when we started, we took about two months man to brand our cups. So we had blank cups that we were serving, very dumb move because- - Two months. - Two months, all the people that were posting our drinks on Instagram, like cup, and eventually we find like a supplier to make our stickers and we started branding every single cup, and that really helped take us to the next level. We put a lot more signage outside, started spending a lot more money on marketing, high quality images. And it really took us to the next level.
So don't run a business for two months with blank cups. - Very, very, a dumb idea. (both laugh) (upbeat music) The amount of employees that you guys have and the way you run it right now, that's kind of contrary to what other food truck owners would tell me and have said in our previous episodes. Tell us what that does to your margins. How do you approach it? Why so many employees versus running it more lean, help us understand that.
- So, one thing you got to remember with us our business model is a little bit different in many ways, right? Number one, almost essentially now we've become like a location. Lot of food trucks operate with much less like a lot lower hours than us. Some food trucks operate for four or five hours. We operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM.
So that means that with all the laws in California, labor laws and whatnot, a lot of our employees are part-time basis. So they work like six hour shifts, right? So after six hours, you have to bring someone else in. And if you work a certain of hours a week then you're owed overtime or you become full-time, right? So of keep people part-time because we're only a truck right now. Also for me, I look at it as a return on investment for my drive through.
Why? My drive through I'm going to have to hire upwards of 40 to 50 people because I'm trying to run a 24 seven operation, for example Dutch brothers coffee. They have about 40 to 50 people per kiosk, right? If it's a 24 seven location. So now when I go to hire 30 more people, I have 10, 15 individuals that have been with me for a year or two, right? That have the proper training and experience to train the newbies that enter the company. You need to have 10, 15 solid individuals to train the rest of your team. So I'm investing this money into them, right? Because I look at it as a long-term investment. If I was just a coffee truck it wouldn't make much sense to be honest with you.
I should probably have maybe five, six people max and call it a day, right? Reason I have sixteen is because we're trying to build a franchise. (upbeat music) - I know you've had some team members you wanted to kind of bring in and share a little bit about that. Why don't we do that now? - With Onit, we're very big on our team, right? We have 16 people that worked for the company. And I want to introduce you to Anthony Sesar Rainey, our outreach coordinator, as well as Rubin, he's one of the baristas here.
- What's up guys? - Thanks for having me. - I just want to say that I appreciate all that this company has done for not only my city in my community but the work that we plan on doing in the future and the vision that we have and impacting this community and growing and being the most dominant franchise, coffee franchise and not only Sacramento, but California in California alone, that was a big state condition. - Absolutely. And that Rubin I kind of want you to touch on brother. Anything you wanna add on.
I'll add definitely what attracted me here versus any other copies book. 'Cause that could easily have gone to a Starbucks easily gone to Dutch Bros, but here serving coffee, highest quality of possible attention to detail, pickable you had to get those details, right? To give the best experience possible to customers. And the fact that we're made up for so many backgrounds, it's incredible. Like many of us, myself I'm Mexican American. So I know like mess salads right here would be the hot shot. And then I'm going to have, this is like the best seller.
Everybody orders it. Nice, it's the best. So I like definitely coming here to work and knowing like a touch up a little bit getting new experience from out like all my coworkers are from different backgrounds.
Like, oh, you're from the Philippines or, oh, you're from this place, like be able to talk about our backgrounds and they'll connect more different experiences. You don't get from the average coffee shop, right? (upbeat music) - A lesson, a tip, a mistake you've made in general for our viewers. To be honest with you, for me without a coffee it's much more than just a coffee company. It's much more than just money.
I didn't need to build on a coffee to make money. I run a successful business with precision MD family owned business. And for me it's more about building that legacy as a Syrian immigrant impacting lives serving the city of Sacramento working with different local nonprofits, and opening up franchising opportunities one day, right? That is my vision for my team. I want to build the most impactful coffee company and franchise in California one day to give back to my people the Syrian refugees to give back to my community in Sacramento to my city and to serve people in need, man that is my number one goal. That is why I got into the coffee industry. And I like to lead with love and treat others what I mean, the way they deserve to be treated man, with love kindness and care.
That's that is my goal. That is the mission and God willing we will accomplish these goals. And I think within the next two to three years you'll hear a lot more on the growth of Onit coffee and there will be ups and downs.
And like I said with any business brother, I embrace failure. I learned from it. I adapt. I continue to push forward.
It is the person that puts the most relentless effort into something that succeeds. So for me I'm willing to put whatever it takes to manifest my vision, and that is the goal with Onit Coffee and follow up with us man in a year. And you'll see a lot of big changes Man, what an incredible way to approach life and business. So it's not much my brother, I appreciate it. - We appreciate you. Thank you so much so much. You guys enjoyed this.
What an incredible, inspiring story a new twist on food trucks. If you liked this video, make sure you hit that like button, only takes a few seconds, subscribe to our channel and make sure you check out all our other videos that we've done on food trucks.