A Billion Dollar Business Lesson From a Food Truck

A client of mine has recently gotten into the food truck business. The business is doing well, and they’re growing quickly. They invest heavily in their growth, and it pays huge dividends.

I was talking to a friend of mine about an old story involving a food truck. I thought the story was fitting given some recent meetings I’ve had with various CEOs and Owners.

Here’s how it goes:

Sometime in the mid 1980s, there was a hard working man who ran a food truck. His had the most delicious food in the city, and people flocked to his truck.

His business did so well, in fact, that when his son was accepted to Harvard, he was able to foot the bill with no problems. His son did well at Harvard – graduating from the top of his class.

The father was extremely proud, and continued to work very hard in his food truck.

He was doing so well that he ordered a second truck, and hired more people to keep up with the growth.

When his son came home from school over the holidays, he was shocked!, He couldn’t believe all the money is father was investing.

“Dad,” he said, “We’re going into a recession!!!
Didn’t you see the latest numbers from the department of labor, or the latest GDP numbers?
We’re going into a recession! You can’t afford a new truck or new staff!”

The father became very worried.

After all, his son was very smart Harvard graduate – top of his class, remember?

He continued, “What you need to do, Dad, is to cut costs to get ready for this economic downturn!”

So the man listened to his brilliant son.

He cancelled the purchase of the new truck and let all the new staff go.

But his son had even more advice:

“Dad, look at how much you’re spending on ingredients! This is insane!
Don’t you know you need to cut costs? Times are tough, and they’re only going to get tougher!”

And so the man found cheaper produce and cheaper meats.

He found out that his son was very smart indeed – it wasn’t long after he came home until the man really started to feel the brunt of the “recession.”

The business began to shrink, and people weren’t coming nearly as frequently.

So he started cutting even more costs more to make up for it, and even fewer people showed up.

“That damned recession!“, his son said as they sold the once-thriving business.

“That damned son!”, the man said as he applied for a job at a local restaurant

Today’s Key Question: Can you identify any areas of your business where you’re making decisions from a place of fear or worry, instead of carefully looking at what your business needs to grow and thrive?