How To Get Started With Your Own Food Truck Business

By Brian Wallace

May 4, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

food truck business

Right now, there’s no better way to go into the food service business than with a food truck. Food trucks are portable, flexible and have low overhead. More people are frequenting food trucks than ever before, and even restaurant chains such as Starbuck’s, Chick-Fil-A, and White Castle are jumping on the food truck bandwagon for the same exact reason.

If you’re looking for a low-cost startup with a high chance for success, food trucks may be the way to go. But, how do you get into the food truck business, anyway?

Old trucks can be repurposed into food trucks. If you want a new food truck, it can cost less than $100,000. The business has a low overhead which means you can immediately start gaining profit.

Earnings can be as high as $250,000 to $500,000 a year. The good thing about food trucks is that you can always move to a different spot if the location isn’t great. If your recipes aren’t hitting their marks, you can easily change the menu. Flexibility makes this business model a good bet.

Steps In Getting Started In A Food Truck Business

  1. Start by researching the rules
  • Are food trucks allowed in your area?
  • Are you able to park anywhere or do you need a permit?
  • What are the rules about preparing food on the truck versus just serving from it?
  • Are there regulations about how far you need to be from other trucks or restaurants?
  • Can you join associations that will dispatch you to locations?
  • Are you required to use a commissary?

2. Buy a truck and equipment
3. Develop a menu
4. Know where to buy supplies
5. Have a business plan
6. Develop your online presence – this can help you find customers!
7. Get all your approvals and licenses in order
8. Make sure all your equipment works and you are meeting health and safety standards

See Also: 5 Women Entrepreneurs Who Failed Before Becoming Millionaires 

The Benefits Of Having A Food Truck Business

benefits of food truck business

The food truck revolution is about freedom. It’s about the freedom to work when you want, where you want and to be able to change things up at the drop of a hat. You could even choose to only work on the weekends or at festivals, giving you the ultimate flexibility over your life.

Having a brick and mortar store or restaurant means always having to be there while having a food truck means only showing up when you want to. Despite the flexibility, it is still important to maintain a schedule and show up when you say you will show up.

Food trucks can be a great way to test the waters to see if opening a restaurant is for you. It could be a good lifestyle choice for parents with kids who need flexibility in scheduling and a place for the whole family to work. It can also be a great way to have a change of pace after college as well as some real world experience as a business owner.

See Also: Staying Motivated as an Entrepreneur – Top Tips from Some of the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs

Getting Started

So, when you’re ready to take the plunge, how do you get started?

You can’t exactly go to your local car dealership to buy a food truck. Buying a used food truck is the easier way to go. These trucks are readily available on eBay, Craigslist, and through your local food truck association classified ads.

Buying a used food truck also give you the advantage of buying one that is already fully outfitted instead of having to buy a truck and retrofit it.  Many operators choose to shed their food trucks and they find much of their mobile equipment just don’t translate.

Learn more about what it takes to start your own food truck business from this infographic. You might find this flexible business model as the perfect fit for your professional needs. After all, who doesn’t love a great food truck?

Why Food Truck Businesses Are Revving Up [infographic]
Compliments of Food Truck Operator

Brian Wallace

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency based in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies that range from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian also runs #LinkedInLocal events nationwide, and hosts the Next Action Podcast. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019.

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