Food trucks have seen a surge in popularity and have grown over recent years in major cities across the world. Lining every street corner and sidewalk with cheap and tasty food, food trucks were once thought to be a fad has proven they are here to stay. For starting up a successful food truck business, you need an appealing and competitive concept, a financial and viable business plan, and a solid marketing strategy to build your customer base. If you are considering starting up a food truck business, then here is our helpful guide on how to start up a food truck business.
As you may realise starting up a food business is not as simple as buying a food truck and cooking the food. It is important to plan and prepare prior to starting.
Work out your startup costs
There ar many things you need to start up a food business to give an accurate estimate for startup costs. There are certain costs you need to consider, these include:
- Food and ingredients
- The food truck
- Wages for you and employees
- Logo for the truck
- Permit and license
Create a Business Plan
Like any other business, you will need to have a food truck business plan if you want to succeed. Writing up a business plan is a great way of working out the details of your business before you begin to invest in it. It allows you to map out a financial plan for the business. Having a plan in place will give you a better understanding of how long it will take to turn a profit and what funding you will need. Your business plan sections should include the following:
- A business summary
This section should lay out your business goals, choose what type of food you want to sell, and establish your company’s identity. The present outlook and the future possibilities. Your theme, concept, and any other industries and markets that impact your business. The summary should be clear and concise.
- A market analysis
Identify who is your target market audience and analyse your competitors. Find out where your potential customers are based and attract them to your business. This section should demonstrate the knowledge of the existing local food market.
- Marketing plan
Describe what marketing plan you have and how you are going to sell the food. Come up with different marketing strategies and tactics for you to spread the word about your business. Important marketing strategies for food truck businesses include social media platforms, word of mouth, and influencer marketing.
- Product or service
Your primary product is the food you sell. Describe your menu in detail. Details for seasonal and future menu options. Address new market ideas and consider how your business is going to evolve.
- Create a management and organisation plan
Detail what type of business you are as a legal business entity (partnership, sole proprietor). If you have partners list their role, their wages and experience.
- Funding request
This section is for entrepreneurs who may be seeking funding for the business to get started. Write down in detail how much funding you are borrowing.
- Financial projections
Consider how much profit your business will turnover and your plan for the next 5 years.
Purchase a Food Truck
Most of your start up budget will go to buying the food truck. It is important to buy a vehicle that will last many years. Consider would you prefer a new vehicle or a used vehicle. There are many resources online for buying a food truck these include:
- National online classifieds
- Local online classifieds
- Reputable food truck dealer
Purchasing a food truck is down to what type of budget you have.
Pros to buying a new food truck
- With a new food truck, there are no previous owners.
- They look clean, new, and fresh.
- The truck can be customised to your needs.
- The truck should come with a warranty.
- The risk of repairs and breakdowns is reduced.
Cons to buying a new food truck
- A longer lead time may be required if you are having the truck customised to your needs.
- If you outgrow the size of the truck, you may need more money to renovate or to buy a new truck.
- You will require a lot of money to buy a new food truck.
Buy the supplies and equipment you need for the food truck
Some food trucks may not be fully equipped inside so there are essential equipment and supplies you will require to get your business started. We highly recommend V Street Food Trucks for everything you need. These items are as follows:
Food prep equipment
- Food processors
- Work tables
- Cutting boards
- Soup kettles
- Countertop food warmers
- Food trays
- Containers for serving food
- Mop and brush
- Rubbish bin
- Sanitising cleaning sprays
Choose your menus and food truck name
Your menu should be catered to your interest and to what cuisine people would prefer and like to eat. You should consider customer demand and choose a menu and concept that is reflective of your experience and interests.
Popular food truck menus:
- Healthy and organic food: salads, cold-pressed juices, trendy healthy food options, sandwiches
- Pizza: have a variety of different homemade pizza options
- All American food truck: burgers, hotdogs, chips
- Mexican food menu: tacos, burritos
- Breakfast menu: all day breakfasts, pancakes
Here are some tips for choosing a name for your food truck business:
- Your food truck business name should be something unique that people will remember.
- The business name should be catchy, easy to remember, and fun.
- It should be easy to pronounce. Avoid long confusing names.
- Your name should be descriptive of your concept, food menu, and theme so your potential customers will know straight away what to expect from your business.
Research where you are going to do business
One of the main benefits of having a mobile food truck is the ability to drive around and go to the busy areas where the customers are. With a restaurant, you are limited to your locations. Research and find the best places that will attract the most customers and most importantly what locations you can’t park in. There could be some parking restrictions, so it is important to determine what your options are.
Advertise and market your food truck
Marketing and advertising your business are an essential part to its success. There are various marketing strategies that will help boost your brand awareness to the public eye, these include:
- Use social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Social media is a great way to connect with people and get your business out there. Take pictures of food and use plenty of hashtags.
- Highly visible eye-catching logo on your food truck.
- Attend community events such as a festival or a catered event.
- Make sure the menu is appealing, legible, and clearly shows the food you have on offer.
- Have a website built for your business. This will allow you to be present online and build brand awareness. This can be shared on all social media platforms making people aware of your site and what menu and food you offer.