A Step by Step Guide to Start Your Own Food Truck Business

A Step by Step Guide to Start Your Own Food Truck Business

Food trucks have lately become quite a rage lately in the evolving restaurant space. The advantage of mobility in Food Truck format gives owners access to multiple locations at an initial capital that is lower than that needed in opening a restaurant or any other kind of format. Thus, it is no wonder that restaurant owners are looking to invest in a Food Truck instead of an individual. In fact, this article will tell you why it is a better idea to open a Food Truck instead of a Standalone Restaurant here. In this article, we will take you through each and every step of starting your own food truck business.

How to Start a Food Truck Business

The following points will guide you through the process of opening a Food Truck Business.

1. Choosing the Right Food Truck or Commercial Vehicle.

The first thing to do is to choose the right truck or commercial vehicle. Based on the given menu which is Italian and Continental, you need a commercial vehicle which is 18-Feet long, and a new one would cost around Rs 7-8 lakhs. There are various trucks available in the market from Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra and Ashok Leyland. But to save costs you can start with an old truck which would cost half the price of the new one.  However, when buying an old commercial vehicle or truck one should check for proper fitness certificate, registration, road tax receipt, and insurance. Also, it should not be more than 5 years old, as due to pollution problems various state governments and environmental bodies are considering to ban 10-year-old commercial vehicles in different cities.

The old vehicle can further be modified and designed based on the requirement with an additional cost of Rs 1 lakh from the various bodybuilder shops. So, the total cost of the final truck (old) without kitchen equipment is Rs 5 lakhs. This cost seems to very high from the 450 sq ft shop for QSR whose rent is somewhere around Rs 40,000, but in the long run, the food truck cost would be negligible as there is no or very less rent or fees to pay depending upon the vicinity.

How to choose the right location for the Food Truck

Choose a street that doesn’t have too many similar food vendors around, has a regular flow of traffic for inviting large footfall, and has establishments with young professionals and students in the surrounding area. Also, the parking of truck should be such that it does not pose any hassle to commuters, yet should be visible to the people. Also, it is advisable to buy a light commercial vehicle rather than going for a big size heavy commercial vehicle because in certain cities including Delhi big size trucks are not allowed before 9:00 pm.

Read a detailed article on how to choose the best location for your restaurant or food business here.

Karan Malik gave his insights on how to start your own Food Truck business

2. Kitchen Equipment and Raw Materials Required for a Food Truck 

The total cost of kitchen equipment comes to around Rs 3 lakhs which includes Microwave, juicer mixer, freezer, refrigerators, griller, steamer, working tables, one burner, exhaust equipment, generator or big batteries with inverter. It is advisable going for new equipment as they are mostly electronic items. Since you get a one year warranty on new ones, you would be relieved of the daily maintenance cost of the equipment. However, if you choose the equipment carefully and determine which can be bought old, this can save you a lot of money which can be used for other essential activities. Apart from the kitchen equipment, you can store raw material for the first week which would cost somewhere around Rs 30,000. Further, it is advisable to keep the raw material less for the first few weeks so as to keep the stock fresh and study the pattern of sale and then procure more.

3. Licenses and Permits Required for Starting a Food Truck Business

Since there are no clear-cut laws pertaining to food trucks, the defined set of documents required are not present anywhere specifically. However, it is important to procure the following set of documents

  • Fire Safety Certificate
  • Shop and Establishment License
  • NOC from RTO
  • NOC from Municipal Corporation
  • FSSAI Mobile Vendor’s License
  • Kitchen Insurance

The combined paper and licensing work can cost you around Rs 50,000. There are a lot of consultancies which can help you to get the licensing and other permits.

4. Manpower Required for Your Food Truck

In the food truck format, a maximum of two chefs and one helper are required who can take care of the operations of the entire food truck. The average salary of Chefs can be somewhere around Rs 13k-15k while the helper’s salary can go up to a maximum of Rs 8000. If you want to set up a delivery model for the truck, you can hire two delivery boys or can tie-up with third-party logistics companies which charge somewhere around Rs 40-50 per delivery. However, to keep the service level up to the mark and if you are looking to create an identity in the foodservice market, we would like to advise you to hire at least one delivery boy who will also help you to procure raw materials in the case of emergencies rather than depending upon the third party logistics.

5. POS Software for Your Food Truck

It is always advisable to have a good point of sale software which can keep your data safe and give a detailed information about your inventory and sales. A good POS can be a make or break your food truck business in today’s competitive environment as a lot of restaurant players, QSR format, and other food businesses use customer data to get repeat orders and take customer feedback. A good basic software for point of sale can cost somewhere around Rs 24,000 per annum, i.e, Rs 2000 monthly.

6. Staff Uniform for Your Food Truck Employees

We have already discussed how important the staff uniform is when you start your first food venture in our previous article “How to start a QSR under Rs 5 lakh”. The staff uniform gives an overall brand feel to the business which will in return help you gain more trust among your customers. A normal collar t-shirt will cost somewhere around Rs 120, and since you have only 5 employees in this particular format, 2 chefs coats (2 each) which will cost around Rs 300 while rest of the employees can have a t-shirt and a cap. The combined cost of all the uniforms would not be more than Rs 6000-7000.

7. Marketing of Your Food Truck

Unlike QSR, Food Trucks require less number of menu pamphlets for distribution since the primary business of food truck is based on the footfall rather than delivery. Still to create the initial buzz, one can go for 15000 Pamphlets which will cost around Rs 20000 and some billboards and banners in the nearby catchment area which will cost around Rs 10000. However, in the new digital age creating offline buzz is not enough.

Having a presence on Social Media is a must, and as it would keep your customers and followers informed about the location of a food truck on any given day so as to build a regular flow of customers and build brand connect. Also, it can be used to leverage on existing followers to spread the word about the food truck, offering discounts, choosing new food items for the menu, etc. Find out how to do the digital marketing for your restaurant the right way here.

Apart from that, keep a note of events and community gatherings in the local area and park the food truck around. Tie-ups with event planners, personal contacts with customers, and free goodies like t-shirts and mugs carrying the food truck logo, can go a long way in spreading and expanding the business.

8. Other things Required to Start a Food Truck Business

Apart from the aforementioned things, while starting the food truck, you require things like two mobile phones, calculator, attendance register, daily book, 2-3 big dustbins to keep the area clean, etc. These items may cost you somewhere around Rs 10k.

Cost involved to start your Food Truck business

Unlike other food business formats, the food truck business has its own pros and cons\, such as the location which is a problem for other formats but here the owner of the food truck can decide the location based on the market information and research, with no rent to be paid, no electricity bills, less capital required and low operational costs.

On the flip side, the food truck business is quite uncertain as there are no proper framework or guidelines to operate but if things are done carefully and responsibly, this format can be rated as the best food format in terms of returns in comparison to the investments made. The investments made in the food truck business is slightly higher than the QSR format but the good thing is that the overall operational cost is much less than a QSR or restaurant in a long run.

Apart from the regular business which has a minimum Rs 8000-9000 sales per day, a food truck can also make money from various events and catering. A single event or catering can generate earnings up to Rs 30,000 in a day.

Inputs are taken from Karan Malik, Owner of Supersuckers Food Truck.

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166 COMMENTS

  1. […] With low investments and minimal risks involved, Food Trucks are becoming a rage in the restaurant trends. While Food Trucks can also be considered as a part of the QSR segment, what makes Food Truck an ideal choice is its mobility feature. The availability of food on wheels is a distinctively attractive feature for customers, as most Food Trucks also promise gourmet food at affordable prices. Food Trucks offer more scope for experimentation in terms of food. With low investments and minimal risks involved, Food Trucks are fast becoming the popular choice for owning a restaurant business, especially for first-time restaurateurs. Here is A Step by Step Guide to Start Your Own Food Truck Business. […]

  2. Thanks for given budget details and planning.Is there any ideas to share with the solutions.Can you provide your number.I’m planning to start this business with two partners.I need take special training in chef.i would like to learn cooking with different varieties.I know for home level but need to learn profession.

    Do you have idea for this training.

  3. Thanks for a detailed break up. It can be a big help do understand the most import part of business, finance management. I feel it makes a lot of sense to focus on the most important aspects of food truck business , i.e food and the items one offers. There is a lot of competition growing in this market as well…but it is important to understand that quality prevails. Also to be frank, the other cost factor that is not quoted (may be intentionally) in the above break up it all the ‘chai pani’ that you need to cater to undesired but frequent guests.
    But in nutshell, a good source of information. Good luck to all the entrepreneurs.

  4. I Have a quick question. i am keen start a food truck business in Delhi NCR however want the truck to be a movable one not stationed. so basically it will be stationed in one place for few hours and then move to other place. is it possible? if yes then do we need take licenses and permissions from all the local authorities where the truck will be stationed? your help will be greatky appreciated.

  5. i am planning to set up this business only and from this article i really get the help or detailed info about business really thankyou

  6. Hey Food Truck Team, I have prior experience in the catering business but it’s run from home by my family. I want to start something of my own based out of Chennai. Can invest around 5 lakhs and work full time. Look forward to partnering with you if everything works out great. You can reach me at 9176460786 – Tauseef.

  7. Hey peeps… m intrested in food business… nd having all restro equipments… bt d major problem is funds, which i dnt have, nd i need intresting patner, who is intrested nd ready to do initial investment… m hvng 1nd half yr experience of running restro in delhi too, so if ny1 is intrested to do Patnership with me… plz contact me for further queries…

    REGARDS
    AMANCHHABRA
    +919760982405
    9760982405

  8. Investor can contact me as i have few ideas regarding it……Moreover i have a team to do more startups
    Help me guys….
    Sunny
    9910508496
    8700889190

  9. I am planning to start food truck in NCR region i.e. NOIDA. This is one of the best information I got from the above article.

    If anyone interested may contact me on 9594273053

  10. Hi Food Track team,
    I am planning to start this business in Pune’s one of the IT hub Magarpatta, would like to take your help. Below is my contact details
    9028396098

    • Hi Sandhya,

      I’m planning to start a Food Business in Delhi /NCR, can you help me with a lead to guide me with the paper work for food business
      You can reach me on 8468833933
      Thanks
      Tuhin

  11. Thanks Karan for providing useful information.
    I am planning for Bangalore east. Looking for like minded persons. You can reach me on 9964521177

  12. I would like to join for bangalore location. My number is 9986874763. Please contact me guys for further communication and updates.

  13. Hi I m interested to start food truck business for Hyderabad location. if anybody is interested and looking for a partner, please do reach me in what’s app 9441441321

  14. Hi Aman
    I am interested in Food Truck Business (partnership) Delhi NCR. Will you please discuss your complete plan if you don’t mind.
    Thanks & regards

    Whatsapp No. 00966559202825

  15. Hello,
    We have a readymade food truck in Mumbai which we started last year and had got good response for our menu items such as rolls, wraps , pizzas and pastas. However, run into trouble due to location and local authorities approval constraints. If anyone has ideas /suggestions to get complete approvals and good location , will be great help
    We are ready to join hands with a willing person to take this further and fruitful.

    Contact us 9004444412

  16. Hello,
    We have a readymade food truck in Mumbai which we started last year and had got good response for our menu items such as rolls, wraps , pizzas and pastas. However, run into trouble due to location and local authorities approval constraints. If anyone has ideas /suggestions to get complete approvals and good location , will be great help
    We are ready to join hands with a willing person to take this further and make it fruitful.

    Contact us 9004444412

  17. Hi Mates,
    More than starting a food truck business, I am more passionate about this food truck business.

    We are 2 people and are software professionals and wanted to target the software crowd near BTP and metro stations. I am sure that we can do a better business.
    All I need is a like minded joining hand to start the venture and coordinate well with high understanding and maturity.. People who are really passionate about taking things to a next level can call me and meet me for next set of discussions.

    Very open for discussions and like minded hands.

    Mobile 9113506632
    Vittal Venkatesh

  18. Hi guy’s.. I’m sathish, chef de party in Maldives (continental) I have plan to open food truck.. if anyone there pls let me know..

    • Yes Satish I have a food truck ….but since being from a different background ..not sensible enough to run a fooding business . We can work together if u r interested …call me up on 9519406958

      • Where are you located and I am located in Pune. We can discuss and take it to next level..
        WhatsApp on 8554873097

    • hi sathish.. I am working also in hotel based in Doha qatar and was looking for a chef who is also planning for a start up in food truck. let conect and join if you still interested and looking for partner. I work here in qatar in front office dept as front office manager. you can connect with me on +974-31212520

  19. Hi all…Am Jithin, currently running restaurant business in Kerala.Anyone interested to start food truck in Kerala..plz contact me 8089809331

  20. Looking to start a food truck business in Noida..Have also identified few locations to park the truck..But need suggestions to hire a chef.. Interested to join pls contact

    @ 8100713338
    Abhishek

  21. Mobility and profit are really good. Infact I know people who have made big bucks by parking their trucks in events like Auto expo but my only concern is that this business is very much dependent on the chef..how to go about hiring a proper chef who would be loyal ? Quiet a pain hiring a new chef if one leaves..Awaiting your response..

  22. Hi team,
    We are a Shirdi Maharashtra base people we wish to start Pav bhaji counter food truck in Shirdi any one sent me details of bank loan project report for food truck business pl help us.

    Regards

    • Hi Dev,
      We have a ready food truck , seems a good idea to start in Shirdi.. can we get in touch with u and discuss. Our contact no is 9004444412
      Vaishali

  23. Helo guys , I am from Lucknow and I run a food truck here in Lucknow but due to improper management and lack of capital the returns are not as excepted . I have team of experienced chefs so if anyone interested who can help me out or would like to invest or even work as join venture mail me up ks389319@gmail.com …you can call me directly on 9519406958

    • Hi Kuundan,

      I am interested in your proposal.Currently I am in Delhi however will contact you soon to discuss further.

      Thanks,

      Ravi Srivastava
      9891279338

  24. hi i am from mumbai currently based in doha, Qatar. i am looking for partner to start food truck in India. if there is someone who is ready to invest with me please get in touch. you may contact me on whatsapp +974-31212520

  25. Hi, Iam Looking to start a food truck business bhubaneswar. Pls call 9040075782 sambit,snigdha-7008430634,kindly any one who intersted to join

  26. Hello Folks,
    I am looking to set up and start a FOOD CART in Bangalore that dishes out yummy food in a clean and hygienic environment . I looking for a co-partner who is also interested in the food business and also partially invest in the concept ( I will be investing 60-70% of the investment required) or someone from the hotel management industry with also help. Interested folks could send me an email on nishant.ja03@gmail.com. Cheers;)

  27. Hi i am also interested to open a food truck business in Delhi and need a partner who can available for full time like a team with me and investment according capacity or can discuss later.contact me through email kirtinegi2007@gmail.com..thank you

  28. Kirti Negi
    I am also looking for the person who can invest in this food truck business and to start in Delhi ncr
    Pl contact at 9810003361
    Lalit

  29. Hi Team,

    I’m planning to start Food Truck business in Chennai,so need E2E procedure like documentation, licence and budget all.can anyone share me first contact?
    @krishnanvels@gmail.com

  30. Hello everyone…well my.name is derick based in Goa and has this idea of starting food truck business but lacking in ideas as to select .menu.especially dat goa receives a lot of india tourist.
    Reach o dasayshi@gmail.co.

  31. hi guys. i am looking for a partner to start up a food truck in mumbai or delhi NCr.
    Please connect with me on watsapp +974-31212520 currently i am based in qatar and want to srat up ASAP.

  32. Hey Guys, I’m from Pune looking for Partner/Investor to venture into Food truck business. Have been in Pune for 10 years & know the market closely.

    Please reach out to me in case anyone is interested in Food Business.

    Pune has shown rapid development in last 10 years & ranks among-st Top 10 Metros having major ITs coming in.

    Regards, Ankit
    +91-8087999593

  33. Hi i am keen on starting a food truck. I m a home baker and shifted from mumbai to delhi. Would def want someone experienced to help me regarding this. Thank you. Also if thers any whatsapp group for the same pls add me. My number is 9811100746.

    • Hi Ishha , I am also quite interested in opening Food truck . My number is 9810070020 and 7011880640. Let’s discuss .
      Thanks

  34. Hey Guys,
    This is Chirag,
    I am planning to start a food truck business in ahmedabad, looking for a good partner to invest and work with me.
    Interested peeps can get an hold of me @ +91-7600775257 or you can e-mail me @ chiragbajarani@gmail.com.

    Thanks.

  35. Hi Guys, I own a Food truck Tata ace, I sell Biryani’s alone anyone who cooks other items can team up with me in a business sharing mode, call me Henry 9884685484.

  36. Hi Guys, I own a Food truck Tata ace, I sell Biryani’s alone anyone who cooks other items can team up with me in a business sharing mode, call me Henry 9884685484.

  37. Hi
    I have researched this mode of business am interested to invest in the same for mumbai
    Please add me to the group
    9820125095

  38. Hi I am in navi mumbai in am interested to start food truck bussiness need partner and cook for it can u provide cook and document help call me 8976099963

  39. any one plan for Chennai….as i am looking to start the food truck bussiness in Chennai (first). Renjith kumar@ 07395987309 (

  40. Hello friends i am planning a startup food truck business in Hyderabad and would like some partners who are keen about this business.

  41. Hi Friends,
    I am planning to open a food truck in Gurgaon location. Let’s discuss the projected plan. Please contact me 8013420865.

  42. Hello Friends,
    I am from Pune and I want to start a small business in a food truck in Pune location.
    Is there anyone who will provide food truck for rent.
    Please Contact me on 9595531580

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