Getting On The Road: Start Your Own Food Truck Business In 8 Simple Steps

There is nothing that beats good food right on your doorstep, and the one thing that can top that is being the one making the food and bringing a smile onto a stranger’s face.

When it comes to starting any kind of business, there is a lot that goes into it. It takes plenty of work, dedication and drives to be a success. You will have your low points but it is those times that will make a person grow stronger.

Everyone loves food trucks for their convenience and delicious food, so surely starting your own food truck business will be simple right? In this article, we will be guiding you through the steps to making a successful food truck business, and delving into the realistic journey of making a business.

Getting On The Road: Start Your Own Food Truck Business In 8 Simple Steps

The Food Truck And Why We All Love It

A food truck, by definition, is a large, motorized vehicle used to supply freshly cooked food to passing customers. This can also be viewed as ‘street food’, for you will find these food trucks on the side of the street awaiting potential customers.

The type of food prepared and served at a food truck varies. You may find one selling hot Mexican dishes, oriental Korean food, or refreshing cold desserts.

For years, food trucks have been popular and they are only continuing to grow in popularity. These trucks are convenient if you are looking for a quick meal on the go and they are also eye-catching for tourists. New York is a great example of a place famous for its food trucks.

People from all around the globe come to visit and are able to get a taste of the true Big Apple with their cheesy pizzas and greasy burgers from these food trucks. Street food is something that will never fade, but how easy is it to start your own business in this area?

Pros And Cons Of Starting A Food Truck Business

Although food trucks are very popular, this is not to say that the process of making a business out of it is easy. There are a variety of positives and negatives to starting a food truck business, and it is important to acknowledge these factors before moving forward.

Pros

Popularity

Food trucks are very popular and it is simple to navigate sales, especially if you are in the right area. It is convenient for everyone whether you are a tourist wanting to try foreign food or a local needing a quick meal after a long day in the office. Because of its convenience, it is hard to see food trucks losing this popularity.

You Are Your Own Boss

One of the greatest things about owning your own food truck business is how you can be your own boss. Because of this, you have the freedom to choose your own hours, style the truck how you want, pick whichever cuisine you desire. All in all, you can set your own rules.

Mobile

Because your mini restaurant is mobile, you are able to move the food truck wherever you please, taking you to where the customers are. If an area is deserted, all you need to do is drive your truck towards the places with more activity, something which no ordinary food establishment can do.

Fun

One of the greatest things about food trucks is their fun factor. Not only can you decorate the truck as crazy as you want it to be, but you have the opportunity to make the food you are selling fun.

Going to a food truck is supposed to be exciting for the customers, especially those who have travelled far. Put fun spins on your food and make it memorable.

Cons

Competition

Despite its popularity, this does not always end positively. Popularity inevitably leads to competition, especially in larger and tourist-infested cities such as New York and Florida. Because of this competition, it may be harder to get people to take notice of your truck compared to others.

Although you may work hard at the business, there is no guarantee that you won’t be overtaken by another food truck business.

Cost In Maintenance

Another con of running a food truck business is the maintenance cost. Not only are you having to think about supplying the food you will be selling, but you have to think about the price of the truck, how much fuel money you will be spending to run the vehicle, insurance costs, licensing.

Weather

When people think about starting a food truck business, many tend to forget about the unpredictable weather conditions. On a bright and sunny day, you can expect a great day of business. On a day pouring down with rain, thundering, snowing, hailing, it is unlikely that you will generate much profit. 

People will choose to head over to a restaurant that is warm and comfortable and will not want to stand outside in the cold. As well as this, you may find that if you are a truck selling cold desserts, people will not be interested in the mobile business in the winter.

Likewise, people may gravitate towards cold desserts and away from a spicy food truck in the hot summer.

Starting A Food Truck Business: Steps To Success

Starting A Food Truck Business: Steps To Success

There is plenty to think about when it comes to starting a food truck business, and it is not an easy road. It is more than deciding what food you will be selling and designing your truck. You also need to consider finances, legalities and plenty more.

Here, we will be guiding you through the many steps to starting a food truck business. Once you know these steps, you will be able to move forward on your journey to a successful food truck business.

What Kind Of Food Truck Are You?

The easiest part of starting a food truck business is deciding on what kind of food truck you are. Are you looking to sell hot or cold foods?

Do you have an international cuisine you are wanting to share? Although it is important to choose food which you love, it is also essential to put in your research. What food is popular? How much will it cost to produce the ingredients you need?

Budgeting

Now you have an idea for your food truck, you need to start budgeting. This is an important step to be taken and should be done before starting your business.

When it comes to budgeting, you should be looking at the start-up costs such as the price of food, drinks, vehicle, gas, flyers. It is only necessary to look at the minor details first. Once you have developed your business further in the future, you can then start looking at other expenses.

Food Truck Regulations

This step is one of the most important steps to run a successful food truck business. As a business owner, it is vital to stay in line with all of the regulations and guidelines as to not break any laws. Some regulations may differ depending on state and city, but these are the main ones which should be looked into:

Food Safety

As you will be preparing and selling food, this needs to be compliant with the local food safety requirements. In order to discover what you will need for your food truck, contact your health department to receive all of the details.

Parking

As a truck will be your main need, you have to be sure that you are parking it legally. Ideally, your truck will be parked on the street for numerous hours, so you need to be sure of parking limits.

As well as this, you need to check whether the location of your food truck is allowed as there may be restrictions on distance from other establishments or commercial/non-commercial zoning.

Seller’s Permit

For some states, you will be required to have a seller’s permit. Although you are selling food from the comfort of a truck, this does not make it any less of an established business. Make sure to apply for a seller’s permit to stay within the rules of your state.

Vehicle License

This one may seem obvious but you need to make sure that you have a valid vehicle license. Are you qualified to drive your food truck? Be sure to have this all in check. Depending on circumstances, you may need to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

When running a food truck business, it is not only about travelling to where the crowds are. You want people to follow you and know about your business. To do this, you need to advertise. Advertise through the use of social media such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. 

Post consistently updates on the food you will be offering, where you will be located that day. Perhaps you have a deal up which will get customers intrigued. As well as this, you can also hang up flyers around the city and hand them out to people passing by.

Eventually, the more you interact with your customers, you will see your following increase and you will soon be recognized.

Estimated Vehicle Price

Estimated Vehicle Price

There is plenty to think about when it comes to the truck itself, and this is the most important aspect of the business (without a truck, there would be no business!).

Before considering the price, you want to know what kind of truck you want (size, model) and whether you want to buy one brand new, previously owned, or for rental. Although a brand-new truck may seem like a dream, it might not be within your budget.

That then brings us to the cost of the vehicle. On average, you will be looking at between $50,000 and $200,000 for a truck (this varies depending on factors stated above).

Remember, there is a lot that goes into owning a truck. This food truck is far from ordinary, for it will be filled with kitchen appliances such as grills, hobs, fryers, and more. Be prepared by saving up money. It may even be beneficial to set up a five-year plan to help you in the long run.

Why You Should Start A Food Truck Business

To start any business can be scary, but there is too much good to having a food truck business to pass it by. If you are uncertain, however, simply go through these steps to help you make a final decision:

  • Do you enjoy interacting with customers?
  • Do you have a passion for food?
  • Do you have the drive and discipline to be your own boss?
  • Are you a people person?
  • Will this make you happy?

If you have said yes to all of these questions, then you know this is the right path for you.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have explored all there is to know about running a food truck business. Before making a decision, it is important to know the ins and outs of being a business owner, especially for a business as unique as running a food truck. 

There are many things to consider such as state laws, regulations and budgeting and it is easy to forget about these important steps. Although some argue that running a food truck is easy, it still does take a lot of work. But once you move past all of the serious issues, you can then enjoy the life of a food truck owner.

Design the truck however you desire, create beautiful foods which will leave people wanting more, live a life where you are always outdoors and see new bright faces every day. 

Owning a food truck can be great fun if you allow it to be, and as this is your own independent business, you have the freedom to do whatever you want!

Whilst it is true that starting a food truck business comes with its many cons, we cannot forget all the positives. Not only are you making the food you love but you are bringing a smile to strangers’ faces too.

Denise Jones