At some point in time, each and every one of us has passed by a food truck and thought, "Wow, what if I quit my job right now, and started a food truck serving my favorite dish!". Okay, well maybe not everyone; but I know I have! Here is a step by step guide to help push you towards your dream food truck!
1. A great idea
This is where it all begins. Just like any business, you wont't be successfully fitting in with every other business in the market. You need differentiation in your product, and a great, unique idea to start can really help your business grow down the line. Think of something you enjoy eating that isn't served everywhere, and always remember that the easier it is to eat on the go (and cook on the go), the easier it will be to run in a food truck.
The obvious next step - you can't start a food truck without funding. Funding can be obtained a number of ways - saving up, finding and investor (though this may be difficult for an unproven food concept), or taking out a small loan from a bank. The absolute bare minimum you would need to open a food truck is around $20,000 -
though, I wouldn't recommend it. Buying a truck can cost between $50,000-$100,000, while renting a truck can easily run you almost $3500 a month for the lowest end, old, broken down taco truck. Though if you do decide to rent, $50,000 is the initial capital I would shoot for. This allows for you to purchase everything you need, while still having room left over as runway. Check out our article on food truck rental Do's and Dont's
3. Great Food
As is important with any business, your product has to be great. While you may be a 5 star chef, or just the average cook, its always good to get professional opinions on your product before launching. This means sharing your recipe with friends, family, and as many chefs as you can get your food to! Have every taste tester take notes, and give feedback as to what they think would be good to add/remove from your recipes. Don't forget to try and serve your food in similar containers as you plan to serve on the truck! This can be crucial in figuring out the best presentation (in terms of looks and ease) for you dishes!
4. A killer design
You can't get anyone to try your food unless they decide to try your truck first! That means getting your truck looking fabulous is key in getting customers to chose your for their next meal. For most folks, contracting a professional graphic designer is well worth the money. Keep in mind that wrapping your truck in any design will run you between $3000-$4000! That aside, making sure you truck looks clean, but still pops out on the street is absolutely crucial to your success. You want people approaching your truck because it looks
like it serves great food - then you get to deliver on that!
5. Work your butt off!
Realistically, the most important step in starting a food truck is understanding how difficult the road ahead will be. It is no easy feat - starting any restaurant is difficult, but when the restaurant is also mobile, there's an excess of factors that can go wrong at any given time. You must always be prepared for the worst, but also the best! Working hard is the key to success anywhere, but dedicating yourself to your craft and your business are especially important while running a truck.