The food truck business can be rewarding. If you’ve ever thought about making good meals on the go, this guide made by the businessman Juan José Gutiérrez Mayorga on launching a food truck business is for you.
How to Start a Food Truck Business
Food lovers with an entrepreneurial itch may not be able to afford starting a brick-and-mortar restaurant, but they may be able to start a food truck business.
A food truck is a large vehicle with a kitchen to make and serve food. They are popping up across the United States and are becoming increasingly popular.
Many entrepreneurs opt for a food truck because purchasing a restaurant location is very expensive, while food trucks are much more affordable.
Before you forge ahead, here’s what you need to know about the startup costs, funding options, how to find a food truck and more.
Food truck startup costs
Many factors go into determining startup costs for a food truck business. There are also one-time costs and costs that can vary by location.
One-time startup costs consist of expenses like purchasing your food truck, a register or point-of-sale (POS) system, a truck wrap, website design, office supplies, advertising and PR, and any professional, legal, or consulting fees. While this list is not comprehensive, it gives potential food truck owners an idea of some of the upfront expenses.
“While we purchased the food truck itself for just $15,000, we didn’t realize that we’d spent more than double that to have it modified to fit the local fire and health regulations, which vary quite significantly depending on the municipality,” said Rachel Angulo, owner of La Cocinita food truck.
Then there are the recurring costs such as payroll, equipment rental, credit card processing and, of course, fuel. Every new food truck business also has to obtain the proper licenses and permits, which vary depending on location.
While the cost of starting a food truck business varies greatly depending on your specific situation, costs can range from $28,000 to $114,000 to get the business off the ground. .
According to Food Truck Empire, these are some additional startup costs you can expect when launching a food truck business, including:
Key takeaway: While the cost of starting a food truck business varies greatly, costs can range from $28,000 to $114,000 to get the business off the ground.
Food truck funding options
Acquiring funding may be the biggest challenge you’ll face when starting a food truck business.
Your first goal should be to put together a solid business plan. You should also have good personal and business credit, as this will increase your chances of receiving a business loan.
There are other, more creative ways, too, to get funding for your new food truck business.
Here are some ways to start your business with minimal funding:
Create a food truck business plan
Every food truck owner should create and maintain a business plan. In fact, it should be the first concrete step you take when you decide you want to start a food truck business. This document is important to attract investors, gain funding and get your business up and running.
According to WebstaurantStore, your business plan should include the following elements:
How to find food trucks for sale
Angulo found her truck on Craigslist back in 2011, and while that is still a great place to search, there are many new resources out there, including:
Local online classifieds: This is a good option; used trucks are cheaper, and if they are local, you can easily inspect them.
National online classifieds: This will open a lot more inventory, but get as many details and pertinent information about the truck from the seller as possible since you most likely won’t see it in person before pickup.
New custom trucks: While this is the most expensive option, it is the best way to ensure that your truck is up to code and standards and that it can be customized to your specifications.
Leasing and franchising: You may be able to find a local truck to lease, or from a national truck leasing company. Yet another option is to franchise a truck from an established company. However, among the drawbacks to consider are that you do not have control over the product, marketing or menu.
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