How To Start A Food Truck? – Steps To Follow

How To Start A Food Truck

How to start a food truck? – Realistically speaking, there are several steps you will need to take to start a food truck business and run it successfully in the extremely competitive culinary industry. However, there are various opportunities as well. The food truck industry has seen an average growth of 7.5% in the last five years. Hence, you will need to make financial decisions, establish a plan, and get all the necessary equipment in place.

In this article, you will learn about how to start a food truck business. Then, we will give you various steps to follow that will enable you to start your business successfully. Once you take the first steps, you will need to get the various permits and licenses to make your business free of legal issues. Then, we will also discuss budgeting for the business and setting the location of the business. Finally, we will share with you how to market your food truck.


How To Start A Food Truck? – First Steps

How To Start A Food Truck - First Steps

According to Business News Daily,

A food truck is a mobile vending unit with a kitchen to make and serve food. They have been popping up across urban and suburban regions in the United States and are becoming increasingly popular. Many entrepreneurs opt for a food truck because the costs to secure a restaurant location are very expensive while food trucks are much more affordable.

Here are some of the first steps you will need to take as you consider starting your food truck business:

1. The Concept Of Your Food Truck

Firstly, you need to explore various food truck ideas through market research and consider your passion and expertise. You can also take some feedback from your family and friends.

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2. Your Business Plan

It will act as the roadmap for your business. Also, make sure your business plan consists of the following:

  • Executive Summary
  • Description of the Company
  • Market Analysis
  • The Offerings of your food truck (Menu)
  • Sales and Marketing strategy
  • Daily operations and management
  • Financial Projections
  • Business Risk Assessment and Contingency Plans
  • Support Documents in the Appendix.

3. Deciding Your Business Structure And Registering Your Food Truck Business

Select what type of business structure you want to have – a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Additionally, your choice will impact your legal obligations, liability, and taxes. Therefore, to select your business structure and register your business, you must discuss your plans and consult with an attorney.

How To Start A Food Truck? – Getting Permits And Licenses adds –

To operate your food truck, you need to acquire the necessary permits and obey regulations at the city, state, and federal level. These span a few categories, such as food and restaurant safety, zoning/parking, business permits, and licensing. Be sure to familiarize yourself with common business laws in your area to prevent any legal delays. You can learn more about food truck permitting here.

Here are some of the steps you will need to take to get permits and licenses:

1. Make Plans For The Permits And Licenses

Depending on the location you are in, the following are the types of licenses you might require:

  • Food Service Establishment Permit
  • Mobile Food Vendor License
  • Business License
  • Parking Permit
  • Fire Safety Permit
  • Seller’s Permit
  • Vehicle Permits and Inspections

To stay updated about licenses and permits, you can check your local government websites and agencies. You can also consult with an attorney.

2. Obtain The Permits And Licenses

The following are the steps you must take to obtain licenses and permits:

  1. Research the requirements of the state
  2. Complete the application form
  3. Ensure the application consists of the supporting documents
  4. Pay the fees for license and permits
  5. Submit the application form
  6. Wait for review and approval of the application form
  7. Receive the license and permit
  8. Renew after their expiration

Budgeting For Equipment And The Truck

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,

On average, it costs about $55,000 to open a food truck in the U.S. These costs include purchasing the truck, paying for permits and licenses, investing in a point-of-sale (POS) system, and receiving any legal consultation. Plus, you’ll have to consider ongoing expenses you might incur, like payroll, insurance, and advertising expenses.

Here are some of the things you will need to consider in this regard:

How To Perform Budgeting And Cost Planning?

Here are the factors to consider while budgeting:

  • Licenses and permits
  • Insurance coverage
  • Vehicle cost
  • Rental or leasing costs for commissary kitchens
  • Initial inventory and ingredients
  • Equipment and appliances
  • Kitchen supplies and utensils
  • Marketing and branding expenses

Getting Your Truck

Here are the things you need to consider:

  • Outline the size, layout, and equipment needed
  • Check food truck websites, online marketplaces, and classified ads for truck sales
  • Obtain the registration papers and title documents

List Down The Pieces Of Equipment Needed

The following are the things to consider as your equipment:

  • Cooking equipment
  • Surface for food preparation
  • Storage and refrigeration
  • Serving equipment and display
  • Utensils and kitchen essentials
  • Cleaning products and sanitation
  • PoS system and cash handling

Which Location To Stop?

While you are looking for a spot to park, consider the following things:

  • Make sure you are in a prime spot
  • Check whether you have competitors
  • Do you need permits for the area?
  • Is the food truck visible and accessible?
  • Parking costs

How Will You Market Your Food Truck?

The following are the marketing methods you will need to consider if you want to market your food truck:

  • Social Media
  • Online Presence
  • Email marketing
  • Partnership
  • Signage

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Wrapping Up

Hope this article was helpful for you in giving you a better idea of how to start a food truck business. When it comes to small business and entrepreneurship in the food business, starting a food truck can be fulfilling, profitable, and exciting. However, you will also need to plan your venture properly, do research, and accumulate funds before you jump into this business.

Hence, all you need to do is combine your culinary skills and strategic business mindset, and it will allow you to get past the challenges and get the rewards of running a food truck. Do you have any more suggestions regarding how to start a food truck? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments section below.

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