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How to Start Food Truck Business – Step by Step Guide

Business Startup Checklist

Free Business Startup Checklist

October 29, 2020

8 Min Read

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In this fast-paced world, one no longer has the time to sit and dine in a fine restaurant or even in a café regularly. Especially in bustling cities, people would much rather grab a quick bagel or packaged snack on their way to work. A food truck business can churn out some really good money in these areas. What can you do to get started with your own Food Truck Business?

Steps to Start a Food Truck Business

If you’re at Block A with no clue of how to get your Food Truck Business started, here are some factors you can consider:

1. Target Areas

Food truck select areas and locations

A food truck business has the benefit of being able to function remotely from a few adjacent locations. Without requiring the commitment to choose a specific location, you can instead choose a few target areas that you’d like your business to operate from at different hours, perhaps.

While some localities might only have customers during lunch hours, you can move to another area in the evening or early breakfast hours.

You can pin down some target areas, preferably a street outside busy offices or a locality that would draw in several customers. Start by picking out a few prominent areas where you’d like to start your business.

2. Food and Beverage Options

Food truck business foods and beverages

The food you serve is definitely an integral component of starting a food truck business. A Food Truck will take off well if the initial meal options are kept simple but delicious. A couple of food and beverage options can be great to start with.

It is important to keep in mind that a food truck in a busy place can slow down if the food menu is too complicated for a quick pick. Whether you decide to set up a hotdog or waffle truck or perhaps one with burgers and sides, pick out a few meals for the menu and maybe some drink options to go with them. Whatever you choose as your food menu, try to keep it simple.

3. Skilled Chef

Food truck Shef

While many people start their own food truck business with a few family members involved, you can always hire a chef from that niche. Even if you’re taking on this task personally, having a hand or two seasoned at cooking can be great.

It is all about speedy takeouts and finger-licking food with each serving when it comes to serving from a food truck. Skilled professionals on board can help keep the quality of food while also ensuring a fast pace. Before you start planning your business, consider the bulk you are going to take on, and how many chefs will be needed on board to get going.

4. Sales Pitch and Style

Food truck style and sales pitch

There will be several food trucks, even on the same street, and what will drive your business is your sales pitch and style. If your food truck business doesn’t seem interesting or looks like it’s not serving some delicious stuff, it is less likely for people to stop by.

Start working on what your USP will be – juicy hotdogs, the dips with your fries, or perhaps an interesting aesthetic that will draw people in. Start working on the factors you will use to spread the word before you get down to the business’s nitty-gritty.

5. Budget and Equipment

Budgeting is a prime factor that needs to be chalked out before a food truck business can be set up. Whether it is the truck’s cost and size or other costs for food, transport, staff, and marketing, everything needs to have a separate allocated budget.

There are definitive costs of having the right equipment to churn out quality food, and properly ventilate the van while also maintaining hygiene and quality standards. These need to be laid out beforehand.

4. Chalk out a Food Truck Business Plan

Food truck business plan sample

Once you have the above-listed basic aspects in place, you can start with your food truck business’s actual planning process. This involves considering the market aspects beyond your fundamental ideas for your business. While many things will be subject to changes as you go, it is advisable to set metrics in mind.

Study relevant trends to analyze what could work or what wouldn’t work for your business. You can list out a few products for your food truck and separate work on the raw materials, power, and other specifics you’d require for the same. For instance, chilled beverages, fresh fries, and foods that need fresh dough would require some pre-planning to be executed efficiently.

You can read the complete food truck business plan guide to explore how to write a detailed and informal business plan.

Sample Food Truck Business Plan

5. Plan Your Pricing and Aesthetic

For any food truck business, price is always a tricky point to tackle. While you do not want to undersell any of your dishes, overpricing will instantly steer away several customers that would have otherwise brought in profits even at lesser rates. Price planning can be done efficiently by first budgeting finances for raw materials and then studying competitor prices.

If your working neighborhood already has a taco truck, you might want to price your tacos evenly to not appear pricier than your competition. However, if you choose a niche that has a unique aesthetic and is the only one of its kind in the locality, you can afford to stir up the rates slightly. In any case, make sure your vibe is inviting, and the food is valuable for the buck to make sure your customers always come back for more!

6. Look Out for Competitors

Food truck business competition

While you might have a personal favorite dish to serve on your food truck venture, studying your competitors is always great in the hospitality domain.

If a brand is doing great selling donuts in food trucks, you either want to ensure your donuts somehow exceed quality and aesthetic or market your brand with a different dish. A thorough market survey to study all competitors can be a great way to pin this down.

7. Finances and Budgeting

Food truck finance and budgeting

Having an upper limit for a budget can help ensure that you don’t end up overspending on any particular aspect. A structured budget can help you draw in profits and prevent unnecessary spending on just a single avenue. After all, a business is desired to be profitable, and a realistic budget is significant for that to happen.

With Upmetrics in your corner, you can chalk out an efficient financial plan in no time! Read more on how to write the financial section of your business plan to get sorted in this domain.

8. Food Safety and Regulations

Food truck safety and regulations

As a food venture, you also need to adhere to food safety rules and ensure everything served from your truck fits the safety standards. Serving anything substandard can be bad for business and have the chances of attracting legal disputes in case any consumer is affected seriously.

To avoid all such hazards, read up about food safety regulations and location regulations for your region’s food trucks. Starting a business in complete compliance with the laws of the land definitely helps keep legal hassles at bay.

9. Staffing Requirements

Food truck staff requirements

Finally, you need to sort out your staffing needs. The number of assistants you require, chefs on board, and other hands to help will be directly proportional to the number of working trucks. You can also start out with a single-truck food business and later expand as see fit.

Chalk out the wages and other food safety wear required for your staff along with some backup members.

10. Market to Your Target Group

Starting out, it is obvious you wouldn’t amass all the popularity at once. Thus, whether it is in the dish or perhaps your style, pick out something to sell that is unique to you. Market your product to a chosen target group that will become your loyal consumers.

For instance, ice cream trucks often work well with kids, while a quick donut/sandwich pack can be a go-to for office-going folks. Youngsters would love to savor cheese delicacies and fried burgers every other day. Select a target group and fine-tune your dishes accordingly.

Summing Up

Thus, a food truck business is filled with daily interactions and friendly service while keeping it all very professional. Try to set up on a busy street or road where folks are more likely to appreciate your cuisine.

With a little bit of planning and a lot of passion, you can surely get your food-truck business reaching heights in no time. Start small, maintain your service quality, and see your business expanding to places you had never imagined!

About the Author

Sudeshna                                                        Ray

Sudeshna Ray

Avid writer and content marketer, Sudeshna Ray, has created content for diverse premises including technical niches, business and marketing, finances, creative character sketches, and much more. Engineer-turned-Writer-turned-Marketer, she has explored several aspects of performance, lead generation and establishing a brand presence in the digital domain.

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