Foodies with an entrepreneurial urge may not be able to manage the cost of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant However, they may be able to launch food truck businesses.
Food trucks are huge vehicle that has a kitchen to cook meals and distribute food. They are popping up all over the United States and are increasing in popularity. A lot of entrepreneurs prefer food trucks because buying a restaurant is expensive, whereas food trucks are far cheaper.
If you’re wondering how you can start your own food truck business company that you own and what it will cost to start a food truck, you can follow these steps and suggestions to help start your journey.
According to a report from IBISWorld between 2015 to 2020, the food truck industry has grown by 7.5 percent on average. The benefit of being mobile food truck is the fact that it’s mobile.
The food Truck format gives owners access to multiple locations for an initial cost. It is smaller than creating a new restaurant of any other type. Thus, it is not surprising that small restaurant owners are considering investing in a Food Truck instead of a standalone restaurant.
This article will provide you with why it’s a better option to start the doors of a Food Truck instead of a Standalone Restaurant.
Introduction of how to start a mobile food truck business
In the beginning, you need to create a food truck business plan that will serve as a guideline for the growth and expansion that your restaurant.
It’s normal to be unsure when you’re setting up a small or large restaurant business. That’s the reason you should learn how to write your own strategy for the business of your own food truck here.
However, before you jump into your business plan, look at two additional things before you begin your food truck business. The first is Food Truck Environment and the second one is The Concept Of Your Food Truck.
1. Conduct a thorough investigation – the first steps to starting a food truck business
Before you decide to start your own food truck, you’ll need to ensure that your plan stands apart from the competition. Begin by researching your area for the following factors:
Existing food truck business models and concepts
Existing restaurant concepts
The demographics of the average populace
Space where food trucks are able to stop to sell their goods
The busiest times on the street are when commuters may turn into customers
Find out if there’s an interest in your area for the concept of a food truck you’re looking to present
2. Select the Food Truck Concept
You’ll need to meet the desires of the inhabitants of your area through your food truck. However, you’ll need to communicate your own interests and passions in your business too. After conducting your preliminary study, select a food truck idea that blends your personal style. Also, keep in mind the issues of the people in your community. You can then choose the name and logo that effectively reflects the core of your company. Your name, idea, and logo should reflect the following qualities:
Make your mark and be memorable
Make sure you are descriptive and attention-grabbing.
Be clear about your goals without being too specific, so that it allows for expansion
A well-thought-out design and a striking logo can leave a lasting impact on the customers and the decision they make to decide to purchase from your van.
3. Food truck business plan & strategy
Each food truck owner must develop and keep a business plan. It should be the very first step you take once you decide to establish your own food truck company. The document will help you get investors interested, and secure funding to get your company in operation.
The business plan for a food truck should comprise the following sections:
(a) A Summary of Executive
In this section, you should define your brand’s identity and objectives. Describe the kind of food products you’d like to offer and the reasons behind it.
(b) A Business Description
Explain the reason why you would like to set up a food truck. Describe what distinguishes your business from your competitors within this area.
(c) Analyzing the Market
Use this section to discuss the type of demographic your truck will cater to and what your intended customers would be.
(d) A Management and Organization Plan
Draw out your employees’ ranks as well as your organizational structure. In this part, demonstrate an organizational structure for your business that is clear.
(e) A Product or Service Line Description
The key is to give your menu details as well as choices to make seasonal or future menu changes.
Selling and Marketing Strategies: Give your advertisement strategy and other marketing strategies you’re planning to use to get the word out about your truck’s food service.
(f) A Funding Request
Be clear about where the funds for your truck are coming from. The amount is vital you’ll require to start your business.
(g) A Financial Projection
Here you’ll show your projected growth along with a budget to your investors. Also, your business’s future growth over the next 5 years.
(h) An Appendix
In the final section, you should add any other information that was not included. It could be logos, photos, and blueprints.
4. Get Funding For Your Food Truck Business
After you have completed your consolidated Food Truck Business Plan, you must look for the funds for the Business Plan.
Funding can be the most difficult challenge you’ll encounter when starting your own food truck company.
Your primary goal should be to develop a good business program. Also, you should be able to establish good personal and business credit scores. It increases your odds of receiving a business credit.
There are other, more imaginative ways to secure funding for your food truck venture.
Here are some suggestions to begin your own company with no capital:
- Find someone who has a food truck, and agrees to a lease or rental.
- Start with a budget-friendly cart, trailer, or used cart.
- Start selling at a farmer’s market fair booth, a pop-up shop, or a pop-up.
- Speak to restaurateurs who have succeeded in running a food truck business.
- If your truck’s idea involves the provision of the public with a service or benefits to the community, try to get sponsors.
- You could be eligible for an advance on your loan if already have an online payment processor.
5. Purchase A Food Truck
Since the majority of your startup funds will be spent on the food truck’s vehicle, it is crucial to choose one that is able to help your business succeed. There are some factors to think about when choosing the vehicle that will be the restaurant’s food vehicle, for instance, the following:
- Determining whether you’d like to lease or purchase a vehicle
- Deciding whether to go with either a used or new vehicle
- Picking a reputable food truck retailer
- Deciding on the modifications you’ll require to your vehicle
It is also important to secure insurance for your business and truck. It will protect against physical damages and liabilities that might be incurred. When you purchase the vehicle for your food truck it is possible that you will need to finish your permits and inspections to be street legal.
You may visit these below-mentioned sites to get an idea.
(I) What is the cost of a Food Truck?
The majority of food truck owners invest between $70,000 and $80,000 for the food trucks they operate. The total cost of buying a food truck could range between $50,000 and $175,000. It is based on how you buy the truck, the extent of customization according to your requirements as well as your local permits and licensing needs.
To help you determine what you’ll need to pay for the food truck you want to purchase, we break down the costs of used, new, and leased food trucks below.
What is the cost of a new Food Truck Price? Food trucks that are brand new typically cost between $100,000 and $175,000.
What does the cost of a used Food Truck Cost? Food trucks that are used generally range from $50,000 to $100,000.
How much does leasing A Food Truck Price? The lease of a food truck usually costs between $2,000 to $3000 each month.
(ii) What is the best option, to buy a new or used Food Truck?
One of the most important decisions to make when buying a food truck is whether you want to buy it brand new or used. There are pros and cons to each option but ultimately it depends on the amount you can afford and how much you are able to spend upfront.
(iii) Create Your Own Food Truck
Making your own food truck is the most difficult and interesting aspect of purchasing a food truck. If you select a trusted manufacturer, they’ll take a lot of the burden off your shoulders, and bring your dream to reality.
The founder of Prestige Food Trucks, Jeremy Adams gave us a fascinating insight into how a typical purchase procedure goes. Although a lot more communication is involved in the buying process than is described. The five steps below provide an overview of the procedure.
(iv) Food Truck Size
The typical food truck is about 16 feet in length and seven feet wide, however, they can vary between 10 and 26 feet according to their needs. Be sure to select the right vehicle to accommodate your kitchen layout, ingredients storage needs, as well as staff members.
Once you’ve determined your requirements, determine whether your portable food service requires food trucks, a food trailer, or a food truck. Certain businesses can convert everything from step vans and sprinter vans to RVs and passenger vans into fully functional food trucks.
(v) Food Truck Fuel
Choose whether you’d like to choose a gasoline or diesel-powered food truck. There are numerous pros and cons for both which is why it boils down to personal preference. Most food truck owners opt for diesel engines to power their trucks However, you need to be ready for that higher initial cost.
While gasoline is less expensive in comparison to diesel, it is able to provide higher fuel efficiency. Gas engines run more quietly and possess an unnoticeable odor while diesel engines offer unbeatable performance. If it is maintained correctly the diesel engine will be used for up to 300,000 miles.
If the vehicle’s maintenance is taken care of regularly, gas-powered engines are usually less costly to fix than diesel. Since diesel engines last for longer, you’ll receive a higher selling price should you choose to dispose of your truck.
(vi) Food Truck Power Supply
Generators powered by portable diesel are the most common energy generator for food trucks as well as trailers. Diesel-powered generators are able to withstand heavy use and can last for a long.
If you reside in a location that is sunny it is possible to sustainably run your food truck by adding solar panels to the roof. Another option for food truck power alternatives is to make use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Cylinders.
(vii) Food Truck Special Features
When you are customizing the food truck you have the opportunity to select unique characteristics. This will create your unique eatery on wheels. It doesn’t matter if you’re adding special equipment inside the vehicle, to aid in making food preparation faster, you should add attractive elements to the exterior of the truck to make your vehicle more visually appealing to potential customers. A reliable dealer will accommodate your ideas. Take a look at some of the useful accessories that you can put on your truck in the following article.
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6. Get the food Truck Equipment
If you own a vehicle already in your possession the second step will be to outfit your vehicle. These are essential to make your product and to ensure that your truck runs effectively.
To fill your food truck, you’ll require:
- Cooking equipment: Grills, ranges and microwaves, fryers, toasters, microwaves
- Warming and Holding Devices: Countertop food warmers soup kettles, fry dump stations
- Food prep equipment: Chef knives, work tables cutting boards, cookware, kitchen equipment Kitchen thermometers
- Server Equipment: Disposable take-out items such as napkins, food trays, cups, and plastic cutlery
- Refrigeration Equipment: Prep tables, under-counter refrigeration, ice machines
- Janitorial Equipment: Handsinks, compartment sinks, floor mats, sanitizing chemicals, trash cans, recycling bins, and floor care products.
7. Choose a POS System For Food Truck Business
If you’re running food trucks, most likely you’ll require a mobile Point of Sale (POS) system. These systems permit you to accept credit card payments directly from your customers. But it is required internet connectivity.
A lot of food trucks opt to go with a cash-only option to avoid relying on internet connectivity. However, the customers are less likely to have cash available and this can reduce your client base. This has led the owners of food trucks to pick POS systems that can accept either credit or cash.
Toast POS systems are great for food truck locations since they are able to be set up with pay-by-phone and mobile ordering options. Your customers will be able to make a payment and order via phone, allowing your time to work on making orders. There’s no need for a pen, paper, or receipts.
There are many mobile POS systems available in the internet world. But, how do you decide which one is the best and comes with the best features? We’ve compiled a brief list of the best mobile POS solutions. These are also suitable for restaurants and bars. We have listed the best features that can help you make the right decision.
Toast’s POS system allows you to create a non-contact guest experience. Features such as tableside ordering and payment options allow you to completely remove paper menus, receipts, and pens from the equation. This will not only simplify your process and free time for employees but also increases guest satisfaction.
One of the best Upserve attributes is their support and training. Their team of experts ensures your establishment is equipped with everything you need to be successful. In addition, Upserve has an intelligent menu system. It has a Menu search feature, and the ability to divide checks, in addition to other helpful features.
It’s a POS that’s flexible and can be used by diverse mobile companies and food service establishments. Buzztime includes two options for payments. One is the EMV “chip” credit card reader, and the other is an NFC device that processes mobile payments using contactless technology. The second one is like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. The service is also integrated into other POS services such as Digital Dining, NCR, and Micros.
It has a user-friendly intuitive interface. “Poster” is a great option, particularly for food trucks and mobile businesses. “Poster” offers a number of helpful options, including secure data storage, simple menu modifications inventory management, and many more.
One of the most well-known smartphones application. Square has many essential functions for restaurants. They allow you to monitor your inventory and generate reports that are based on sales information. And much more, all through an intuitive and cross-platform system.
Harbortouch is an all-in-one POS solution for bars and restaurants of all sizes. There is no upfront cost. Harbortouch has an online ordering system that integrates with the POS system. It also comes with Skytab devices that facilitate deliveries and curbside payment.
8. Find Food Truck Permits and Licenses – Important steps to opening a food truck
Once you’ve established the source of your funds coming from, it is time to research the licenses required to begin food trucks. Food truck licenses and permits may differ from state to state. And even it varies from city to city. It is, therefore, crucial to consult your local authority such as that of the Chamber of Commerce, Health Department, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to determine the requirements for food trucks.
- If you are looking to start a food truck business, you’ll be required to obtain similar permits and licenses required by restaurants.:
- Business License
- Employer Identification Number
- Food Service License
- Employee Health Permit
- Furthermore, you’ll likely require the following food truck-specific permits:
- Mobile Facility Permit for Mobile Facility
- Zoned Parking and Zoning Permit
While working with your DMV to create your parking permits and registrations, be sure to inquire about parking restrictions and limitations in your town, along with the places where overnight parking is allowed.
9. Manpower Needed For Food Truck Business
In the format of a food truck, there is a maximum of two chefs and one assistant must be employed to oversee the activities of the whole food truck. The salary for chefs can range from $1.3-$1.5, while the salary of the helper could reach a maximum of $800.
If you’re looking to create a Delivery model for your truck you could hire two delivery guys. Otherwise, you may connect with third-party logistic companies that cost around $2 (average) for each delivery.
But, in order to ensure that the quality of service is at par and also if you’re trying to establish yourself in the market for food service. I would suggest hiring a minimum of one delivery person who can also assist you in obtaining essential raw materials in case of an emergency rather than relying on the logistics of a third party.
10. Staff Uniform for Food Truck Employees
The uniforms for staff provide an overall impression of the brand to the restaurant industry. It helps you build confidence among your patrons. A standard collar t-shirt is priced at about $45 to $55. Considering that there are just five employees in this particular fashion, you’ll need two chefs’ coats (2 each) that will cost between $200 to $225. And the other employees could wear a T-Shirt as well as a cap. The total cost of uniforms will not exceed greater than $450.
11. Make a commitment to Food Truck Marketing and Advertising
Since your food truck will not be able to maintain a permanent address, marketing, and advertising to promote your restaurant play an important role in the success of your food truck business. There are a variety of marketing strategies you can employ to raise your brand’s recognition within the public eye.
Here are some ideas for marketing food trucks:
(A) Food Truck Business Logo
Your logo will be prominently noticeable. Place it on your truck, on flyers, and even online.
(B) Food Truck Business Menu
Create a striking menu board. It is important to ensure the menu is clearly attractive, and appealing, and clearly displays the food you serve.
(C) Food Truck Business Website
Create an online presence that showcases your usual sites, and images, as well as an “About Our Company” section.
(D) Social Media Presence
Set up social media profiles that allow customers to be informed about events. Let your customers know the location of your food truck, and happenings, see photos and engage with your company.
(E) Food Truck Business Location
Find unique places where you can operate your truck. At first, you need to look around different areas to determine which ones best suit your needs. Once you’ve identified the most suitable places, make sure to visit them frequently to build a name for your clientele.
(F) Food Truck Business Community Events
Participate in community events such as catered events and festival events with food trucks in the local area. These events can make your people more aware of your company.
(G) Food Truck Business Brand Establishing
Sell items featuring your company’s logo or slogan. You can offer T-shirts, travel mugs, and even stickers to customers to purchase from your location or on the internet.
(H) Food Truck Business Cards
There are a variety of ways to design your food truck business cards. The key is to ensure that they are in line with the branding strategy. To assist you in making sure your food truck’s business cards are designed correctly, here are some tips to follow when designing or going over the cards.
- Include all information on your food truck’s card that you believe clients would appreciate. We’ve included a shortlist, but you might have other items you’d like to include as well.
- Name of the business: You can use the name that people know you by.
- Your Role: The things you are doing. Make sure to mention the things you do or what is your role within your food truck company.
- Contact information: Phone number, website URL, e-mail, office address, social media profiles, etc.
- Catering: It is crucial to inform prospective customers that you can provide catering services via the food truck you operate.
You could create specific marketing collateral to promote your catering service. But it is essential that your food truck’s cards communicate to customers that they are a service you provide.
Pros and cons of opening the Food Truck
Food truck companies certainly have a unique set of benefits and challenges to think about before moving ahead with your business.
(a) Benefits of launching a Food Truck Business
There are a lot of extra advantages to running a food truck business rather than a small restaurant.
(i) Mobility in the food truck business
With a food truck, you’ll be able to move your business from one place to another. It ultimately expands the number of customers you serve beyond one location. And this process increases the potential for advertising.
(ii) Flexibility in the food truck business
You have the possibility of bringing food directly to festivals and events without the need to rent equipment. Food trucks also are more flexible in altering their menus and schedules.
(iii) Cost of Running the food truck business
Food truck owners can deduct various costs on their tax returns that aren’t accessible to restaurant owners. In the traditional sense, it includes the rental charges or the storage charges.
(b) The challenges of opening Food Trucks Food Truck
Every aspect has two sides. One is good and the other one is always against the good. There are many obstacles standing in front of the success of running a food truck business.
(i) Contest in the food truck business
With the food truck industry booming but it’s not easy to stand out and create concepts that stand apart from the crowd.
(ii) Hours of work
A food truck will require a lot of maintenance, location scouting and cleaning, event planning, and much more.
(iii) Zone laws difficulty
It can be difficult for food truck owners to keep updated with local zoning laws. Laws regarding where they can park their vehicles and for how long they can stay in a single place.
The process of opening a food truck could definitely be difficult. If you follow the guidelines above, you’re certain to start off with the right foundation for building a profitable business. Wishing you the best of luck.