Background

Bro-Ritos is the only Food Truck in New Jersey offering burritos, which gives them a niche advantage in the Food Truck market. As they continue their growth, they want to do so strategically. Bro-Ritos has generated a high demand for their service but has missed many opportunities due to having only one food truck and unsuitable weather conditions since it's a seasonal business. A team and I consulted Bro-Ritos to develop a strategic growth plan.

My Role

As the only UX Researcher on the team, I created a detailed operations flowchart and business process documentation to make on-boarding easier as their team and business grows. I started by identifying their goals, needs and pain points. Next, I met with the owners on a weekly basis to gather additional information, and showcase my recommendations. Then, I created a flowchart and business process documentation after the owners confirmed I gathered all the necessary information.

Key Methods

  • Interviews

  • Participatory design

Results

We learned that Bro-Ritos is more than a Food Truck; it's a brand that excites and delights their audience. They have a strong customer base, from individual consumers to corporate clients. To overcome seasonal weather barriers, a storefront was decided as the optimal solution. Bro-Ritos is now in the process of establishing a storefront from our strategic plan.

The Process

Interviews

 

In designing the our consulting plan, ​​​we approached the problem space by gathering as much information as possible about Bro-Ritos, which helped to understand our client thoroughly. As a team, we began by signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to keep all information confidential, which Bro-Ritos also agreed to. Next, we created a scope of work (SOW) to outline all goals and information needs. After defining all goals, we consistently met with Bro-Ritos once a week for at least an hour to gather information and receive feedback on our progress.

 

After our initial meeting, we were able to align our scope of work to all the goals that Bro-Ritos wanted to achieve. The goals set for the project included the following:

1) to identify where would be the best location to open a storefront,

2) to identify how to expand to a second food truck, and

3) to document all processes and procedures of business operations. 

Participatory Design

Meeting with Bro-Ritos every week helped us to understand their business, brand, and the customer base, which gave insights into the three high potential locations to open a storefront. They include the following.

Newark

 

We learned that Newark's large population, especially students who comprise a majority of the population, the diverse community, and rapid growth, make it the most favorable location for a storefront. One street in particular that was chosen for consideration is Halsey Street, a central area in the city. A recent New York Times article revealed; “Over the past six years, many cafes and art collectives have opened along Halsey Street, which is a side street that runs parallel to the Broad Street thoroughfare, giving New Jersey’s largest city (population 277,000) a denser downtown cultural district.” Additionally, Halsey Street is adjacent to four key locations that Bro-Ritos could service: Rutgers University Newark, Rutgers Law School, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and the Prudential corporate office. 

Union

 

Union's ethnically-diverse community and high-traffic areas make it the second top candidate for Bro-Ritos potential storefront. We learned that Union is at the center of four major highways in NJ. Additionally, there are already several restaurants in this city, establishing the area as a place to enjoy food. Quodoba is the only restaurant that serves food offering similar to Bro-Ritos. If this location is chosen for a storefront, it gives about 300,000 customers within a 5-mile radius another option to purchase burritos. 

Jersey City Heights

 

Jersey City Heights accessibility to public transportation and Bro-Ritos’ currently operations in this area make it the third top candidate for a storefront. The main street, Central Ave, bordered by Pershing Field Park, is a popular high foot traffic area. Over 18 restaurants can be found on either side of Central Ave. While this is a reliable option for Bro-Ritos, the tradeoff is that 8 of these restaurants serve similar offerings as Bro-Ritos (tacos, burritos, and quesadillas). 

Food Truck Expansion

 

We learned that Bro-Ritos spent a total of $23,000 to make their first truck fully operational. Truck assembly expenses such as water pump replacements, refrigerator installations, and truck design wrapping were very significant. When entering their second year of business in 2018, we learned that they were already a profitable business, which allowed us to explore the possibility of financing the second truck. 

After multiple discussions with Bro-Ritos, we agree to finance the second truck. Our research allowed us to find a truck leasing and rental company, Penske, which would allow Bro-Ritos to make a purchase with $0 down. Penske specializes in the leasing and rental of fully assembled food trucks, which saves clients assembly time. While Bro-Ritos is already a profitable business, it makes this option the most favorable to purchase a second truck while cutting 90% of truck assembly cost.

Process & Procedural Documentation

 

As Bro-Ritos expands and grows, the possibility of onboarding new members or employees were taken into consideration. After discussions with Bro-Ritos, we learned that the critical challenge to additional employees would be time and training. Documenting all business operations, processes, and procedures for Bro-Ritos would allow onboarding new employees with little to no time lost training. 

We learned that there are two sides to how Bro-Ritos operates, the business, and the operations. After learning about both, a playbook was created for the business, and a flowchart was created for the operations. 

© 2019 by Tyreek Houston.

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