8 Things You Should Know Before Launching A Food Truck in India

Food truck business

In India, we just love street food, and the moment we hear about them, we simply start painting a colorful picture in our minds. We get excited imagining how we will be going from one stall to another, relishing every single bite. Undoubtedly, it is a mouthwatering proposition for most Indians, irrespective of their age.

Over the period, the street food stalls have transformed into a more sophisticated Food Truck or Meals On Wheels format. It is becoming popular in many Indian cities, like Mumbai, Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, and Hyderabad, making its own mark in the constantly evolving restaurant space. The growing preference for food trucks in India largely follows the trend witnessed in the US.

The recent lockdowns due to COVID-19 have impacted and weakened the food truck business. However, it is anticipated that the segment will come around soon in the post-pandemic era. The revival will be on the back of the convenience that attracted the customers before the pandemic. The food truck owners may have to put in some extra effort to lure the customers once again.

In case you are excited by the idea of a food truck and wish to start one, then it’s your lucky day as you have come to the right place. This blog post will discuss the eight most important things you should know before venturing into a food truck business in India. So, without any ado, let’s start.

Things To Know Before Launching A Food Truck In India

Just like any other business, starting a food truck requires you to venture with hard work, careful planning, efficient resource management, and a love for food. So, here is a list of the eight things you must know before launching a food truck business in India.

  • Benefits of Food Truck Business

One of the striking features of the food truck business is its inherent benefits that are mentioned below:

    • A food truck business will cost around INR 8-10 lakhs, which is a relatively low investment for setting up a restaurant business. Such a low capital requirement makes the business accessible to people with financial constraints.
    • Given its limited operations, you don’t require too many resources to run the business. You can start a food truck business with just 1-2 persons, each costing you around INR 4,000-8,000 per month.
    • Although at a small scale, you can gain the experience of running a food business if you start a food truck. As such, this is a great starting point for budding foodpreneurs.
  • Licenses and Permits required

You need all the valid licences to start a food truck in India. Here are some of the key permits you will need before launching a food truck.

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

Given that it is a food business, you will need FSSAI registration if your business falls in the category of petty food business or FSSAI licence if your gross revenue exceeds INR 12 lakhs.

  • No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Fire Department

Given that food trucks deal with many gas appliances, it will be mandatory for you to have a NOC from the Chief Fire Officer of the state where you plan to operate. 

  • Permission Letter from Municipal Authority

You will need to get a written approval duly stamped by the local municipal bodies before launching a food truck.

  • Vehicle Licence

As the name clearly indicates, a food truck operates out of a commercial vehicle, and so you will need a vehicle licence issued by the Regional Transport Office (RTO).

  • Invest in a Good Truck

Your business will always be primarily dependent on your vehicle’s condition. So, it is advisable to invest in a good quality truck as it will require less maintenance and breakdown repair resulting in more uptime. Also, you may find selecting the appropriate food truck a little tricky as the trucks come in many different types based on the cuisine you want to serve. However, if you do proper market research, the decision will become much more manageable. Although you can opt for a second-hand truck, it is always better to purchase a new one if your financial position allows it. A food truck will usually cost you a minimum of INR 4 lakhs.

  • Equipment Purchase

You will need to purchase the essential kitchen equipment, including a gas stove, cooking vessels, utensils, cutlery, etc. You may also bring in a few chairs and tables so that your customers would have the option to sit. The total investment in the purchase of equipment put together would cost you around INR 2 lakhs.

  • Choice of Location

Given that a food truck has flexibility in terms of movement, you may think that location won’t be an issue in this case. The reason is that you can’t just park the food truck wherever you wish. You need to check with the municipal authorities whether or not you are allowed to park there and then ensure that there is sufficient space for the set-up, enjoys excellent visibility, and there isn’t too much competition. Hence, even in the case of a food truck, it is all about location.

  • Marketing and Promotion

Although word-of-mouth marketing can help you bring in new customers, to catapult your business growth, you must create a business website, partner with delivery chains, and provide exclusive offers. You should consider posting ads on social media platforms like InstagramFacebook, and Twitter or list your business on Google.

  • POS System

You should consider investing in a credible POS system to manage billing, inventory, and customer data. The investment in an efficient POS system is compensated by the reduction in inventory loss, ability to create customer preference-based menu, etc. In short, it will allow you to run the food truck business smoothly and profitably.

  • Earning Potential

Food trucks are usually known for generating a higher return on investment. Typically, a food truck can earn in the range of INR 7,000-10,000 per day, which adds up to INR 2-3 lakhs a month. If you can also get into some events and college fest, then the per day earning can quickly shoot up to INR 35,000-40,000.

The food truck is a profitable business concept that requires a relatively lower capital investment than most other food businesses, but it needs an excellent product. Basically, the success of your food truck will depend on the taste of your food and the quality of your service. So, if you are confident about your food and have the capital to invest, you should definitely start a food truck business in India. 

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Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


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