How to Start a Food Truck in 10 Easy Steps

For those who have always dreamed of getting into the food business, it may be easier than you think… with the right team of people on your side. People used to think of food trucks as places to get greasy, untrustworthy foods that could give you the bellyache of your lifetime.

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For those who have always dreamed of getting into the food business, it may be easier than you think… with the right team of people on your side. People used to think of food trucks as places to get greasy, untrustworthy foods that could give you the bellyache of your lifetime. This isn’t the case any more.  Times have changed, and gourmet food trucks are on the rise. Instead, various entrepreneurs have developed fantastic business models for healthy trucks, yogurt trucks, sherbet trucks, and much more! Here are ten tips that will help get you started on a new journey in a new world of entrepreneurship, but please don’t go it alone.

  1. Get Licensed! – Unfortunately, nothing can ever be simple in the world of creating a small business. If people were allowed to just load food and equipment into a truck or cart and go wherever they’d like, life might be much easier. Instead, if they do this, they will be fined and maybe even arrested. That’s why it’s very important to determine city limits and get licensed for the area where you’d like to get started.  Not every mobile food unit is permittable.  It needs to be built, and designed properly by an experienced professional company. 
  2. Get Your Truck (Or Trailer) – If you’re on a budget, starting with a food trailer might be the best route to go. A food trailer is a lower start up investment than a truck, and has more options for fairs and festivals.  If your heart really desired a food truck you can always upgrade to one later, or grow your business to a second mobile food unit.
  3. Get Creative and Find Your Niche – Gone are the days of cold sandwiches and “exquisite Mexican” tacos. Nowadays, food truck owners serve gourmet cuisine, foods themed from other countries, or specialty sweets like cupcakes and brownies. To compete, you’ll need an unique and attractive menu being served from a quality built and clean mobile food unit.
  4. Get Financed – Once you have an idea of where you’re getting started, it’s always good to draft out a finance plan. You can look into getting a loan from your bank or credit union, or you can explore the finance options that are available through your reputable builder. You can also consider options such as bringing on a co-signer or investor into your business if your credit is too new or light.   
  5. Get Your Business Plan – After your expenses are set, it’s time to consider the little things. You’ll need to explore what different types of equipment you’re going to need to get to make the food you’re preparing for your consumers. Another thing to calculate is the cost of your product vs the cost that you are selling the product for. You will need to calculate this in order to see your income potential.   
  6. Get Insurance  – You’ll need a reputable insurance agent in your corner as your managing your new small business. You will need insurance on the vehicle itself as well as your liability insurance, be sure to check with your agent to determine any special coverage you might need.
  7. Commissary – Make sure that you do your research on the food truck commissaries in your area.  The majority of health departments will require that you work in conjunction with a commissary in order to give you your approval.  The commissary is where you will clean your truck the end of the day as well as prep your truck and some of your food the beginning of the day.  It is also where you will empty your grey water tank, and fill your fresh water tank.  Commissaries vary greatly in quality and amenities, so shop around for the best fit in your area. 
  8. Connect  – Try considering expanding outside of your food truck and consider catering and various other services that will give you connections and consumers that may enjoy your food and flock to your truck on their lunch breaks.
  9. Use The Internet – In this day and age, advertising is easier than ever. Use services like Google Ads and social media platforms like Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, and various other sources to get the word out and bring people to your food truck.
  10. Expand – Once it feels like all the hard work should be over, it’s the time to work the hardest. When your brand finally takes off, consider selling merchandise, expanding your fleet to other locations, maybe even franchise, or you can invest in a brick and mortar storefront after you have determined the area is a viable market in your mobile food unit. 

What Will 2021 Look Like For Food Truck Builders?

The food truck market has never been hotter! Whether you are building a new startup or expanding your brand beyond brick-and-mortar, we can help you present your brand, get in front of customers quicker, and do it for longer in the highest-quality custom food truck. We specialize in fully custom food trucks. You can depend on us for all of your custom food truck design requirements.