You need to consider multiple things while deciding a price for your menu items, and ironically you practice no control over most determinant factors such as the price of ingredients used. Food cost plays a dramatic role in determining the price of a menu item; you need to break down the ingredients and factor out the cost of one serving in order to ensure that you arrive at the right price.
Other overheads include labor cost, rent and equipment price, if your menu items require special expertise, then chances are that the cost of that particular item would specifically standout on the menu. However you need to act smartly while deciding the overheads as you could later distribute them over several menu items. Depending on your menu size it is advised that you keep a separate track of all over heads for individual menu items and then distribute as per your sales. Since only couple of your items could be best sellers, so ensure that you cover up your overheads through them, however few mobile cart vendors tend to cover their overheads through least selling items.
Since you’ve got a mobile restaurant, you could afford flexibility. Market fluctuations impact food prices and given today’s scenario, even the political climate plays a deceive role in determining prices of regular items. Henceforth you need to be smart as a stagnant menu could kill your business within days in a bad market. Diversification is the key here, regular stuff can go for a fixed price but high-end items such as sea food could have a price tag that keeps altering on regular basis.
Knowing your customer base could also help you in adjusting your menu prices; remember that customers only want value for money. If they feel that your food is worth their money they would definitely revisit, on the contrary even if your prices are a bit high but the food quality is up to the mark you could get away with that. Lastly keep aclose eye on your competitors, if they are selling similar item at a low price and the difference is piercing enough to attract customers, you must go for a counter-punch, reducing your price is not the only way to grasp customer attention, be honest and tell them what makes your food superior, it could be a special ingredient or a quality chef, whatever it is you need to justify your high price.