Food trucks are big business these days: since this unique business model took off in 2008, these miniature mobile restaurants have exploded into a billion dollar industry that continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Food trucks require entrepreneurship in step with the modern age, often powered by word of mouth on social media.
Like any startup, there’s no easy path to success. However, there are five stages that any planning process must include. Let’s learn how to start a food truck business from the bottom up:
1. Start with the Menu
If you’re building a food truck, the truck itself may seem like the obvious first step. But there’s something much more important than the truck: the food! Your business needs to start with a carefully planned menu, one that can be produced in a small space but will still keep loyal customers coming back.
2. Plan Your Equipment and Your Budget
The food you prepare will determine the equipment you need, which will in turn determine the amount of space, utilities, and the size of vehicle required for your operation. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, a detailed list of equipment, prices, and dimensions needed to produce your menu is your second planning necessity.
3. Design a Layout
With necessities listed, now your comparison shopping can begin! The size of your equipment will dictate the size of your vehicle, so make a careful comparison of the dimensions of your necessary equipment. No matter your menu, all food trucks will need basics like a portable hand wash basin, refrigeration for food storage, and appropriate food prep space. Keep both dimensions and efficient workflow in mind when you’re putting together a workflow.
4. Approvals and Permits
While food truck approvals and permits vary from state to state, and even city to city, most locations will require your blueprints and plans to be approved before building can even begin. Mobile-cuisine.com, a resource for food truck vendors, recommends making an appointment to get your preliminary plans reviewed sooner rather than later. The state and city officials in charge of these reviews can help you sort out permits and legal requirements, and catch potential problems early.
These are just the early planning stages of the food truck business, but they’re the most important part of the whole process. With a good plan and a good foundation, you’re set for an easy and under-budget buildout without any unexpected tape to get in your way.
Looking for more advice and more details? Try Entrepreneur.com’s Food Truck Startup Guide for an in-depth look at the requirements of starting your own food truck.
To get your hygiene requirements in order, try out Monsam Enterprise’s range of portable hand wash stations, with options for any food vehicle.