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food truck business plans

A business plan is vital for most new businesses but it is an absolute must imperative for a prospective mobile food vendor. By creating food truck business plans, you do two things:

  • Show prospective investors that you have a clear foundation for getting your food truck up and running.
  • Learn about the different aspects of running a food truck, as well as finding out who your local competition is and who in your market will be your potential customers.

A business plan is especially helpful to those new to the mobile food industry. It creates a blueprint for building your food truck business, and will tip you off to problems you may not have previously considered, such as the hoops you need to jump through for licensing and health codes.

While most business plans have the same general structure there are some sections of your plan that will be geared specifically to food trucks.

Here is a breakdown of all the key parts of food truck business plans:

Executive Summary

Start out with an overview of the meat and potatoes of your business plan. Think of it as the introduction. Develop it so it keeps your readers attention. Here are two tips for writing an executive summary geared toward a food truck business plan.

  • Give the reader (potential investors) the basics of your business concept. What is the style or cuisine of food you’ll be serving from your new food truck, the name of the business and your primary parking locations (parts of the city, events, catering).
  • Explain why you are well suited to operate a food truck. Do you have previous cooking experience in food trucks or restaurants? If not, do you have any experience in the food truck business? If the answer is no, then you need to be prepared to sell them on the idea that despite your lack of experience, you are still the perfect person for this new food truck business.
Company Description

This part of a business plan is sometimes referred to as a business analysis. It explains in more detail (than the executive summary) to the reader the operation location, legal name and the concept of the food truck you want to create. This is where you will give details on your local competition (food trucks and restaurants), population of the areas you will operate and other information you have gather during your research.

Market Analysis

This part of food truck business plan is where you lay out your marketing strategy. There are three primary parts to a market analysis:

  • Industry- Who will be your customers? Is your food truck going to serve business professionals at lunch time? The bar crowd on late nights? Explain your customer base and why they are going to flock to your new food truck, not the competition.
  • Competition- Who is your competition? Many people opening a new food truck assume everyone will prefer their truck to the existing trucks in the area. Don’t underestimate them. Many of them have already built a loyal customer base, and attempting to poach customers from them will not be easy. Find out as much as you can about your competition, including their menu, parking locations and prices. Then explain in a paragraph or two how you will compete with the already established businesses.
  • Marketing- What methods do you plan to use to promote your food truck? How are you going to target your core audience? Many food trucks use free social media services such as Twitter and Facebook. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more to make it to the top. What is going to set you apart from your competition? Give specifics on how you plan to get the word out about the newest mobile food business in your market.
Business Operation

This section is where you explain about your when and where you plan to operate and what your planned staffing levels will be. You will also need to explain the benefits your truck will provide potential customers. This is also a good place to mention any close ties you may have with local food suppliers or local farms that will give you a competitive edge.

Management & Ownership

Who is going to run the business? What role will you play in daily operations? Are you going to be the accountant, driver, head chef and marketing guru? If so, how do you plan to get this all accomplished? Many new food truck owners start out on their own others bring in staff to help with day to day operations. Explain who is going to do what, including any potential employees whom you feel will be a great benefit to your new food truck.

Financials

Now comes the part of a food truck business plan that scares most inexperienced entrepreneurs. So how much is this mobile food business ultimately going to cost? This is where you want to list the projected growth of your new food truck empire. You should include a profit and loss statement that projects how much are you going to spend versus how much you are going to make. Other items you should include in your financial report include:

  • Break even analysis
  • Balance Sheet
  • Food Truck Industry Data
  • Possible Risk (show investors that you understand that all food trucks don’t succeed by explaining how you plan to pay them if you fall into that category.)

If you have additional suggestions for creating a food truck business plan please feel free to share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

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H - Town StrEATS

HOUSTON, TX - Late Monday a popular Houston food truck was the target of an armed robbery off Washington Avenue and Decatur.

The H-town strEATs truck was parked at restaurant Beaver’s at 2310 Decatur for their monthly speakeasy benefit event when an armed robber demanded cash from co-owner Jason Hill on the truck at just before 10 p.m.

During the incident one of the two suspects shot a round into the truck damaging a refrigerator after an employee brushed away the suspect’s handgun.

The suspects got away with a small amount of cash before leaving the scene. No injuries were reported. The suspects were described as two, masked black males. They fled the scene in a silver Chrysler PT Cruiser.

After the truck’s owners tweeted about the scare Hubcap Grill owner Ricky Craig, who once once ran his own food truck, pledged to replace the cash taken from H-town strEATs in the robbery out of his own pocket.

Matt Opaleski, co-owner of H-town strEATs with Hill, wasn’t at the scene during the robbery but he tweeted out thanks to the public for their support. They won’t be taking up on Craig’s offer, though they appreciated it. Beaver’s is offering to also match the money they were robbed of.

Find the entire article at chron.com <here>

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MagicalButter
Once again the city of Chicago has shown it’s food truck hypocrisy by approving a special event permit for a food truck with a corporate backer.

CHICAGO. IL - In a strange turn of events, this new food truck might leave you with the munchies.

A cannabis food truck will be in Chicago Wednesday as part of a two-week “Cannaball Run” tour focused on educating medicinal marijuana patients on cooking with cannabis.

MagicalButter’s Samich Truck will showcase cannabis cooking demonstrations (THC-free), alcohol infusions and decarboxylation for those with medicinal marijuana prescriptions.

The truck will be stationed along the Mag Mile, at 505 N. Michigan Ave., at 5:30 p.m.

The event is part of the ArcView Investor Conference, which will host 200 investors interested in investing in the budding cannabis industry.

Find the entire article at nbcchicago.com <here>

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Grilled Cheese Food Truck Of The Year Contest

Grilled Cheese Sandwiches may be the most iconic of American comfort food. No matter where you are from, nothing helps calm your nerves more than biting into a sandwich made from warm buttered, toasted bread and filled with delectable cheese.

While there are some folks who disagree as to what classifies a sandwich as grilled cheese, we can all agree when we have a good one…it doesn’t matter what they call it.

That is why we are happy to announce a new food truck contest we are starting today which has the goal to find out who has the best grilled cheese food truck in 2014.

Like all of our other contests, the grilled cheese food truck of the year contest will open today and will be run in two stages. For the next two weeks (we will accept emails submitted by 12 PM Central Time on Friday September 26, 2014)  we will give our readers the opportunity to submit their choices via contact form below or by email at: contest@mobile-cuisine.com. Once the data has been collected and counted, we will open a poll (Monday, September 29, 2014) that allows for voting for the top 10 submissions.

Eligibility For 2014 Grilled Cheese Food Truck Of The Year Contest

To be eligible for the final poll, the vendor needs to have opened before July 2014 and must regularly serve grilled cheese sandwiches from their truck, cart or trailer. Vendors can be located in any country so feel free to submit choices from outside the United States and North America.

We look forward to receiving your submissions. Grilled Cheese food truck vendors are free to submit their own carts or trucks for consideration and voters may vote as often as you wish. The only request we have is that you submit one entry at a time and include the name of the vendor, as well as the city  or area the they operate in.

So let the voting begin. And remember, vote early and vote often.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

Your Message

If you have any questions about the 2014 Grilled Cheese Food Truck of the Year Contest, feel free to share them in the comment section below of share them on Twitter or Facebook.

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Lone-Star-Chuck-Wagon

Episode 4 of The Great Food Truck Race brought 3 contestants closer to their dream of owning their very own food truck, unfortunately, that means that one of the teams was sent home packing…who could it have been?

SPOILER ALERT AHEAD!!!

The show started with the trucks traveling from Oklahoma City, OK to St. Louis, MO with hopes of making it through the weekend.

The remaining 4 teams to take part of episode four of The Great Food Truck Race season 5 teams are (with Twitter accounts):

Beach Cruiser (Venice, CA)
Let There Be Bacon (Cleveland, OH)
Lone Star Chuck Wagon (Houston, TX)
Middle Feast (Los Angeles, CA)

As the food truck teams approached St. Louis the folks in Middle Feast discussed wanting to keep the momentum. Let There Be Bacon showed that they were thrilled to be back in the Midwest because of our love of bacon and Lone Star Chuck Wagon hatched a plan to increase their prices to attempt to keep them out of the bottom spot.

Tyler Florence met the teams to explain that this week will center around food quality and taste. In a change from other episodes, the trucks would start without any seed money, which led to them starting Day 1 with a SPEED BUMP! Each team would work with a local restaurant to recreate their famous toasted ravioli. Each truck would be provided with the same ravioli, but not prevented from giving them their own spin.

DAY 1

The teams head to the restaurant to get their supplies and a quick lesson in preparing them. Beach Cruiser came right out and asked what the restaurant sells them for to understand the local price point. Middle Feast asks how they can put a Middle Eastern twist on it but the owners certainly didn’t look happy at the idea, so they determine they will sell it as shown.

As the teams head into the city Middle Feast does something that very few trucks have done over the years of this show…they actually reached out to work with a local food truck to find a good spot. Beach Cruiser ended up getting lost which leads to a slow start.

Once everyone was parked lines started forming at all of the trucks except Beach Cruiser. Lone Star follows through with their high priced plan and sells their ravioli for $20. Beach Cruiser is marks theirs for  $5 but also gives the customers a ticket to get a coffee next door for $2. Middle Feast sold all of their ravioli 30 minutes, which provides them with over $300 in seed money to get to the store and buy their products. When the totals come in for the ravioli test Lone Star sold 32 raviolis which gave them a whopping $640 in seed money.

After stocking up the teams head back to the streets. Lone Star continued with their high priced dishes. The lines at all of the trucks were long so who knows who will end up at the top. In a surprise move, Middle Feast began selling tacos which ticked off the crew at Beach Cruiser.

Tyler Florence made a surprise visit to each of the trucks to evaluate each of their menus. Let There Be  Bacon is first but because they were way behind, he jumped on the line to help them out for 30 minutes. He liked their food and gives them some pointers. Middle Feast was told to go back to their roots and be more authentic with the food they serve. Lone Star’s dish was called amateurish and way too high priced for what they were serving. Beach Cruiser was Chef Florence’s favorite, but he still had some tips for them to make it even better.

DAY 2

When Day 2 arrives, Chef Florence met with the teams and basically read them the riot act. He stated that if they were in actual business selling what he tasted yesterday, none of them would be open for longer than 30 days. He announces that today there would be a cooking challenge. The winner would get a huge prize.

After shopping the teams setup and began serving food, including their new dish for the day.

The contestants meet with Tyler again and he gives them another tongue lashing before he lets them go to cook him a sample of their new dish. The dishes were judged on creativity, presentation and taste. The best dish would be given the prize of having that truck’s weekend earnings doubled.

THE TASTING

Let There Be Bacon – Chef Florence wanted to see their bacon play a more visible role in the plating of the dish however he did state it tasted great.

Lone Star – Chef said it was delicious and gave him an emotional connection to the team’s story.

Beach Cruiser – With wide eyes, he said the food was great and his mind was taken directly to Southern California.

Middle Feast – Chef Florence said their dish was delicious and showed passion.

TRUCK STOP RESULTS:

  • Winner ($500) – Lone Star

With the teams lined up to get the results from Tyler Florence he announces their totals. With a whopping $24,000 in totals:

  • Lone Star Chuck Wagon: $10,418
  • Let There Be Bacon: $5,056
  • Middle Feast: $???

With the results in, and with less than $160 separating Middle Feast it means that Beach Cruisers had the lowest amount this week and thus were eliminated from the race!

Next week’s stop? Mobile, AL

So what did you think of the third episode of The Great Food Truck Race? You can share your thoughts in the comment section below or share with us on Twitter or Facebook.

Join us next week on #FoodTruckChat as we live tweet during the show.