How To Start a Food Truck

A passion for food, paired with an entrepreneurial kick, will fuel your goal to start up a restaurant. While that does seem tempting, starting up a restaurant is no walk in the park.
Starting small might put you on a less risky path to getting your food business fix. A food truck business could be the way to go. It’s less costly, and you get to serve the food you love.
Challenges might come your way when starting your food truck venture, but that’s to be expected with any business venture. If you believe in your food, your resilience will power you through the hardest of times.
Here are some steps to guide you on how to start a food truck.

Step 1: Look Up the Food Truck Scene

You can’t start up a food truck going in blind. You need to look around and check your surroundings. What are other food trucks serving? What will set you apart from them?
Always have clear answers to these sorts of questions. It’ll build your confidence throughout the process. Researching the food truck scene can involve looking at several factors. Check out some of them below.
  • Know your demographic. Who will be your audience? Vegans? Meat-lovers?
  • Plan your menu. Try to be as detailed as you can. The more specific your food choices, the better idea you can get for all the costs you need to carry out.
  • Peruse your competition. You can easily go through their social media platforms and gather your info. Understand their concepts and ideas. Try to create new ones that will make you stand out. Creating a competitor’s analysis would go a long way at this point.
  • Speaking of competition, you should also check out their pricing. Getting an average price from each opponent’s food truck can give you an outline for your pricing system.
  • Your location can single-handedly ruin your chances of flourishing your food truck business. Make sure you’re in a busy area. For instance, you can find a place filled with employees going for their lunch breaks.
  • Be aware of all the regulations in your region before starting your business. Some areas might not allow you to park your food truck.

Step 2: Create Your Food Truck Business Plan

Your business plan will provide you with a convenient reference to revert to. The plan is meant
to present your food truck business to investors and those interested in funding your truck.
Since your food truck business plan’s role is critical in shaping your progress, you’ll need to take extra care while writing it. Here’s a standard format that can get you started.
  • Executive summary: This will sum up your food truck’s goals and vision. You should incorporate the truck’s branding identity, the type of cuisine you’ll serve, and why you chose to do it.
  • Company’s description: You can include a more detailed description of your company’s unique selling points.
  • Market analysis: Identify the demographic you’ll target in this section.
  • Organization and management plan: Organize your internal employment structure hierarchy.
  • Service or product line plan: Describe what you plan to serve, your menu, and other seasonal foods.
  • Marketing and sales strategy: Layout your marketing and sales plan. Find out how you want to sell your food.
  • Funding request: Disclose your funding source and the amount needed to start up your food truck.
  • Financial projections: Arrange your financial plan and list out your projected economic growth for the next five years.
  • Appendix: Add any miscellaneous information that might be useful, such as images, logos, etc.

Step 3: Plan Out the Costs and Funds

In this step, you’ll need to get into the nitty-gritty details of your finances. The costs involved in starting up a food truck can vary depending on the type of food and the area you’ll serve, among other elements.
Start-up costs can range from $28,000 to $114,000. The costs can include the food truck, cooking equipment, uniforms, etc. There are also recurring costs, such as payroll, gas, and insurance. So you can imagine, food trucks can carry a hefty expense.
This is why acquiring a solid funding source is pivotal. There are a few options you can try out. Crowdfunding is one of the more convenient options since it has a high return and low risk.
Getting a loan can also be an option. You might find it easier to obtain a loan for a business account. Nevertheless, investors will be your knight in shining armor. Securing them will not only give you financial backing but business experience as well.
Once you’re done with your business and financial plans, it’s time to look into a legal standpoint. First, you’ll need to register your business with the government to start your food truck. Here are other obligations you should look into.
  • Licenses: This can encompass your food service license and business license.
  • Permits: Make sure you get your employee health permit, mobile food facility permit, and zoning and parking permit.
  • Federal and state tax ID

Step 5: Buy Everything

Yes, it’s finally time to buy everything from your food truck and all the way down to your napkins. We recommend speaking with an expert in the food truck business before this step.
There are several ways you can purchase a food truck, whether, through leasing or getting a used one, your options can be flexible depending on your capabilities.
Apart from your food truck, you should start gathering your supplies, such as refrigeration, serving, and cooking equipment. You can also invest in a decent POS system to give your customers flexible payment options.

Step 6: Hire Your Food Truck Staff

You can’t do it all on your own. Hiring a team and training them is needed. If you love cooking but aren’t so good at handling customers, you can hire a window attendant.
You can figure out each role that you’ll need and select the best-suited applicants. Layout an employee handbook and give your new hires some time before starting to train them.
An online presence will be your food truck’s marketing holy grail. Invest in building your website. Get the word out about your new food truck through social media.
Expose your food truck to various events. All these tips will provide you with a marketing framework you can map out accordingly.


Building your food truck empire will be a rewarding experience. The steps will guide you for a better outcome. It’s up to you to make your food truck concept come to life.
Constructing your brand and name will propel you to greater feats. With continued success, you might be able to branch out into the catering business and more.