Don’t know if this helps you or not – take it for what it’s worth.
When I first started, I had anticipated being downtown. Just as I was getting the permits together I learned that construction/improvements closed the spot that I wanted for 6 weeks.
I was then forced to find another spot. In my county we cannot roam from spot to spot. We have to be at a fixed spot everyday. If you want to change spots you have to go through the whole permit/zoning/inspection deal again.
I found an empty small car dealership lot to set up at. No electricity but it was a nice level paved 14k square lot. I could set up a 10×10 with a couple of tables and chairs under it. I was fortunate to lease it for about 10% of what the agent was normally renting it for.
I spent 6 weeks there and didn’t move. The first week was pretty much a wash – maybe $20-30 a day. However, within a couple of weeks the neighborhood that was behind the spot greatly warmed-up to my presence. The would walk their dog and stop by, come home from work, stop by etc.
By the 4th week my sales were about $100 a day. By the 6th week even more. Had I stayed at that location, I am sure that business would have grown. It didn’t hurt that I was next to a 7-11 where people would stop for gas/cigarettes etc.
Personally, I don’t believe in the roaming schedule. I believe in building your clientele by perseverance and reliability. In my town, people have to establish a layer of trust before they buy from a trailer. As weird as it sounds, this “trust” is established by them seeing you over and over in the same spot each and every day.
Obviously the food trucks in L.A., S.F., N.Y.C, don’t subscribe to the above principle – and their business model doesn’t necessarily dictate it. However, for those that are trying to establish their brand and clientele, I believe that it is crucial for your customers to know where you are and when you’re going to be there.