Are you thinking about starting a food truck business? According to IBISWorld, there are more than 23,873 food truck businesses in the US. They’re popping all over the country, and they’re becoming increasingly popular over the years.
Food enthusiasts looking to start a business in the industry choose food trucks over brick-and-mortar restaurants because it’s more affordable, and the returns are great. According to Food Truck Operator, a $100,000 investment can result in a $250,000 to $500,000 revenue stream.
The odds of running a profitable food truck business look good, but before anything else, read this quick guide on starting a food truck business.
Research Your Market
Conducting extensive market research allows you to know how your target audience perceives your potential food truck business. You’ll know where your target customers are and which ones are likely to do business with you.
During your research, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Do you notice an emerging food trend in your area?
- Do you see an abundance of food trucks?
- What type of food truck do you see the most? Mexican? Vegan? Or Thai?
Answering these questions and thoroughly researching your market makes it easier for you to make strategic business decisions.
List All the Supplies You Need
Listing all the supplies you need for your food truck business helps you shop around for the best deals. Knowing what you need also keeps you from going over your budget, helping you save time and money. Here are some of the things you may need for your food truck:
- Undercounter refrigerator
- Washing stations
- Coffee brewer
- Cleaning supplies
- Pots and pans
- Disposable plates and utensils
- Cash register
Set a Budget and Apply for Financing
It’s important to get your finances in order before you start your food truck business. Create a business plan and calculate the amount of money for each aspect of your company, including staffing, kitchen equipment, vehicle repair and maintenance, marketing and advertising, and inventory.
Small business loans are a great way to finance your food truck business. Once you’ve created your budget and you found out that you need additional financing, here are some of the options you can choose from:
- Equipment financing
- Unsecured working capital
- Business credit cards
- Business lines of credit
- SBA loans
Market Your Food Truck Business
Many business owners are hesitant to market their business, thinking it’s an added cost. However, effective marketing increases brand awareness and establishes your place in the industry. Create a marketing strategy based on the market researched you’ve done. Here are some of the marketing efforts you can try:
- Create a website and optimize it.
- Utilize social media platforms to promote your food truck.
- Give away promotional materials to passers-by, including flyers, business cards, or coupons.
- Do a “Pay It Forward” campaign.
Park Your Truck in Areas with Many People
One of the advantages of having a food truck business is that you can take your business anywhere. You should find out where your target audience hangs out the most during your market research, such as parks, business districts, or tourist spots.
Get clearance to park your truck in those places and see the traction you get. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food trucks now perform well in residential areas as well. Many people want to go out and get food but eat it safely in their homes.
Starting a food truck business is a great venture for people who love to share their passion for food. But aside from passion, you need to learn how to run a profitable business. Be sure to keep these tips in mind if you’re planning to start a food truck business.