When food becomes a passion it’s not just food anymore, it’s an experience. Foodies with entrepreneurial zeal always seem to find a way to share their love of food with everyone and one of the most popular ways is food trucks.Food trucks first emerged in the 1930s and gained traction almost instantly. The combination of deliciously fresh cooked meals with a generous sprinkle of convenience is what makes food trucks so beloved. If you are a fellow foodie that wants to venture into the waters of the food truck business, you are in luck as we going to provide some essential tips for every up-and-comer.
As with every business, you will need to scout for the best locations, check the competition and find a unique way to have your voice heard in this business. Of course, you have to pick a location that you think is going to bring customers your way. It’s not wrong to take a glance at what the competition is doing as it is a good way to have a general overview of what the customers want and don’t want.
It’s not a bad idea to create a SWOT analysis so that you can pinpoint existing opportunities for the food truck business.
Plan Your Costs
It’s hard to give an accurate estimate for the vehicle as trucks can vary in price. If you opt for used trucks, the price should fluctuate from $40.000 to $80.000, but if you got your mind set on a new truck, the price can exceed the $100.000 mark.
Furthermore, you have to take into account the insurance, the employees’ salaries, technology and equipment required to run the food truck. Fresh ingredients and drinks should also be included in your expenses. Lately, commuters have been leaning on meal replacement shakes to sate their hunger during the morning hours and since your main selling point is convenience, stock up the fridges with delicious shakes and provide what other food trucks lack.
You might want to consider a loan or fund your business through investors and for that, you will require a proper business plan.
A Good Business Plan
After the preliminary costs have been established, it’s time to start swimming in the business waters. Maybe you have everything mapped out in your mind but a solid business plan is a must. A concise and well-written business plan will help you communicate your brand easily and allow for better pitches to potential investors and banks.
If you aren’t experienced in writing this piece of paper that will lead you through the starting phases of your business, a food truck business plan template will be there to make your life easier.
Your plan needs to include the following:
- Executive summary;
- Products and services;
- Market analysis;
- Marketing strategy;
Get The Right Permits
After you figured out the financial aspect, it’s time to get to one of the final stages, the permits. Policies and laws may differ from state to state so that’s why you should check with your local government, the Chamber of Commerce, the Health Department and the DMV office. Not having the right permits can lead to severe financial penalties. Here are some of the permits that you require.
- Business license.
- Foodservice license.
- Employer ID number.
- Health permit.
- Mobile food truck permit.
- Zoning and parking permit.
With the legal side of the process done, it’s time to think about what goes on behind the scenes. The equipment and its quality will determine how well your truck works. Here we have curated a list of essential items for your food truck.
- Cooking equipment: grills, fryers, toasters, microwaves
- Food preparation equipment: worktable, knives, kitchen thermometers, utensils
- Serving equipment: plastic cups, disposable cutlery, napkins, food trays
- Refrigeration equipment: ice machines, refrigerators
The Marketing Side
People always seek a deeper connection with a product. The best way to communicate with your customers and receive feedback is through social media. Another good aspect of social media is that you can market your brand at no cost. Since the main forte is mobility, you will want to announce where you are going to be setting up shops in the following days and social media allows for that.
Furthermore, you can set up a website where you can add promotions and discounts, sell merch and expand your brand to new heights. Design a logo that’s going to be eye-catching so that your truck is easily recognized. It’s not a bad idea to take part in community events such as truck festivals if you are on the lookout for more exposure.
It’s always the right time to open a food truck business as the love for food will never subside. However, that doesn’t mean that this path will be easy, but, if you go over our tips, we are sure that you are well on your way to starting a business that will keep on giving for years to come.