You are thinking you want to start a food truck business but you aren’t sure if you should. Perhaps, the very fact that most people today are willing to experiment and try food outside their homes is reason enough for you to venture into the mobile food industry. Here are some useful steps to start a food truck should you choose to enter the mobile food industry.
Steps to Start a Food Truck Business
Research, Research, Research
The first and most important thing you need to do before you even think about investing money in a truck, is to research in-depth to find out if your local area even allows food trucks to operate. Now if you do, you need to find out what types of trucks or carts are permissible. You don’t want to sink a load of cash into a truck you can’t get an operators permit for.
The next step should be to think about the type of cuisine that you are interested in serving in your rolling restaurant. This will help you figure out what type of equipment you will need as well as the methods in which you will cook and serve your tasty dishes.
Apart from researching for your own truck, you need to research about the restaurants and other food truck vendors in your area too. This will give you a good idea about the kind of competition you are likely to face in the future.
From being a menu planner to an efficient accountant, a responsible manager to a culinary expert, you need to play myriad roles. There is a lot of hard work and dedicated efforts that you need to put in before you see your food truck set up and earning enough to sustain and then making profits over a long time to come.
The Next Steps
You must look at the following steps to open a food truck if you are aiming to turn your mobile food service business into a profit making enterprise within a few years of being set up.
A good business plan is a must to start a food truck business. This plan must include everything from use of funds, estimates of expenditure, the truck’s unique selling points, and the profits that you expect to make out of the business and why you think this business plan reiterates the fact that you are a good businessman.
Location, Location, Location
The next thing to do is to find the right location for your truck to park. Everything about these locations must be right to get your truck rolling. The wrong locations or irregularities in the legal documents of the truck could lead to problems that will keep you busy for years to come. On the other hand, good locations can ensure a steady flow of customers and a good reputation as well.
Find your customers
You must also plan the concept of the food truck after you identify the target market. A great deal of thinking is necessary in planning the menu and type of cuisine for your customers. All the efforts that you put into your food truck will go a long way in bringing customers to your service window for a long time to come.
The next important thing in the steps to open a food truck is to maintain perfect accounts. Maintaining accurate bookkeeping will help you understand how much you are spending and how much you need to monitor your funds. A good accounting system with the use of computers and professional accountants will ensure you are always in control of your finances and know exactly your financial position at any point of time.
Checklist: How To Start A Food Truck
Here is a basic breakdown of the steps to start a food truck business you will need to cover:
- identify a market to target
- research market
- create a concept to address the market that is unique and appealing
- plan your menu
- write your business plan
- create your financial projections
- recruit experienced food truck advisers
- raise the capital (money) required to open
- secure locations to operate
- install a truck wrap
- install necessary equipment
- get required permits
- secure a commissary, commercial or shared use kitchen
- sign up with vendors
- get your food truck website
- begin pre-opening marketing
- get business insurance
- set up business bank account
- set up credit card account
- install point of sale equipment
- hire and begin training food truck staff
- buy initial inventory
- have a soft opening
- have grand opening
- become the next food truck success story!
The Bottom Line
For a complete rundown on what it takes to start your own mobile food business and the order to do things, check out Running a Food Truck for Dummies where I give you the nitty gritty details you will need to cover to open your own food truck.