How to Start a Food Truck Business 1-2-3
What are some of the benefits to starting a food truck or lunch truck business? You don't need previous food
truck experience and the start-up cost is low. This type of operation is virtually recession-proof, so this
also minimizes start-up risk.
In addition to the start-up benefits, many entrepreneurs start a catering truck business for the freedom
that it offers. Business owners can typically choose the hours they work and even where they operate. With all
this - food trucks also provide a high profit potential.
If you have a background working in the food industry, or have a popular family recipe that always pleases a
crowd, you'll have an advantage going into this field.
What is the Downside?
All that said, the mobile vending business can be tricky. Whereas a traditional restaurant has an interior
space where they can sell through an atmosphere they can control - food trucks don't have that. They have to
create an amazing customer experience through their product and service alone. It means paying more attention
to things like food presentation, convenience and staff friendliness (things you can control).
And just because a food truck is cheaper to start and operate than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, it doesn't
mean you can't be concerned about costs. It's important to be aware of areas in your business that may be
wasteful, and do cost-cutting accordingly. The more wiggle-room you give your business as far as profit margins
- the better off you'll be when times get tough.Mobile Vending License and Permits
License and permit requirements vary by city. In some cities, a vendor
needs a mobile food vendor license and the vehicle needs a mobile food vending unit permit. Some cities put a
cap on the number of permits given out at one time, so it's important to contact your local city office before
you start purchasing equipment and supplies.Food Trucks & Equipment
The smaller the truck, the less the cost. If you are on a budget, consider a smaller truck, a used vehicle
or even a cart to get started. You can find food trucks for sale at Vendingtrucks.com and used vehicles at
Does your city require that the vending truck be stored in a special facility? Where can you legally park
your vehicle? These are all questions you want to ask your
local city office.
Mission Restaurant Supply is a huge resource for
restaurant supplies, catering equipment and concession supplies. They let customers rate their products, which
is helpful for shoppers, and they also give "web special" pricing.
How to Accept Payments from Customers
Intuit GoPayment is a cheap and easy way for food vendors to accept credit card payments from customers. You
don't need to buy any fancy equipment - in fact you can accept payments using your iPhone, iPad or Android.
Intuit provides you with a free card reader, which you attach to your wireless device. A small fee is
charged each time a credit card is swiped. This means that you don't have to spend lots of money to get started
- and you can start attracting more customers right away who don't have cash on hand.Lunch Truck
The first step to starting a lunch
truck business is putting together a plan because you then have a step-by-step outline to follow as you
grow your food service.
As useful as a business plan is (especially at obtaining funding and partnerships), putting together a
business plan can be time coming and expensive. However, there is a simple, low cost solution.
This business plan template is specifically for starting a lunch truck business. The
fill-in-the-blank format makes the business planning process much easier. Here is a downloadable version.
Food Truck Business Tips from Mike Carter @ LearnCatering.com
Mike Carter has owned and operated numerous catering truck businesses of his own. Actually, Mike
attributes his own success to advice he received from other food truck operators - already earning
$100,000-$200,000 a year.
With his knowledge and experience, he stuck everything into a condensed start-up guide for people wanting to
start their own food truck businesses. Visit the LearnCatering website and click on "Start a Food Truck
- Step-by-Step: How and where to get financing, insurance, licenses, permits, mobile catering
units and more
- Insider Tips: Secrets to passing food inspections, how to find profitable "hot spot" selling
locations, how to get access to events, what are the best foods to sell and more
- Getting Lots of Customers: How to actually sell more by increasing prices, how to duplicate your
operation and virtually double profits - plus a 10-step action plan
Not sure you can start your own food truck business? Misa and Jennifer started their own Vietnamese food truck
business when they were just 25 and 26 years old. After 2 years in business, they had already grown their
business to 15 employees and 2 trucks!
Marketing Your Food Truck Business
Many food trucks have been successful using social media to advertise daily specials or their location
throughout the day. This is great news, because it's free, it's easy and it's instant.
Food trucks are also needed at community events, festivals, concerts, farmers markets, parties and corporate functions. When you're getting
started, make yourself available for these events where you can connect with more customers and get the word
about your business. Besides being profitable money-making opportunities, this can be another form of free
advertising as well.
Food Truck Business Resources: