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How to Start a Food Truck Business in 10 Steps

How to Start a Food Truck Business

A competitive and appealing concept, a sound business plan, a fully equipped food truck, and a solid marketing strategy to expand your customer base are all required to establish a food truck. A food truck business could be terrific if you’re looking for a way to make money.

With initial expenditures of roughly $40,000, successful food trucks can earn more than $500,000 per year. This article extensively explains food truck business and how to run it successfully.

How to Start a Food Truck Business: Easy Steps

1.   Research Local Food Trucks & Laws

According to the Restaurant MBA, 60% of food truck business and their enterprises fail within three years. The difference between a successful food truck business and a flop largely boils down to preparation. When it comes to beginning a food truck business idea, it’s critical to make sure you’re filling a gap in the market, meeting demand, and following the law.

Taking a Look at the Food Truck Scene

The food truck scene differs greatly depending on where you go. Before you start planning your menu, you should acquire a sense of what trucks are available in your area and which ones are the most successful. Local food trucks can be seen at food truck festivals and farmers’ markets on weekends.

When comparing vehicles, keep the following in mind:

  • Cuisine Prices
  • Parking Location
  • Serving hours

Decide on a name and a concept

You can narrow down a concept and name your food truck once you’ve figured out what restrictions you’ll need to follow and what types of cuisine work best in your location. You should think about consumer demand, although food trucks are recognized for their inventive remixes and distinct personalities.

The following are some of the most popular food truck concepts:

  • Fusion dishes
  • Regional cuisine
  • Organic and healthy foods
  • Comfort foods
  • Gourmet sandwiches
  • Pizza

Your Food Truck’s Name

You’ll need a name that fits your dish once you have a broad idea of your concept. It’s crucial to get your truck name perfect because it’ll become your social media handle and emblem, as well as being emblazoned on the side of a truck.

However, here are some general guidelines for naming your food truck:

  • Choose a unique name
  • Make your name descriptive
  • Make the name memorable and easy to pronounce
  • Choose a name that can grow

Create a logo for your food truck

A business logo is a final component of your food truck concept puzzle and food truck design. You’ll need something that conjures up images of high-quality cuisine while also being exciting enough to compete with other food trucks. Your logo will appear on menus, business cards, social media, and all of your marketing materials. It will serve as the foundation for the design of your truck and clothing (if you have them). You can use many logo creator online easily.

2.   Open a Bank Account and Register Your Business

You’ll need to create a business entity and register with your state before operating a food truck. The most prevalent types of business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company (LLC).

Open a Bank Account for Your Business

You’ll also need to open a company bank account to keep your personal and business finances separate. This account will house monies that have been invested in your company and will be used to pay for permits, licenses, and vendor payments.

3.   Start a Fundraising Campaign for Your Food Truck

Depending on your region, the cooking appliances you’ll need, and the type of truck you buy, starting a food truck business might cost anywhere from $40,000 to $200,000.

Make a business plan for a food truck

If you want your food truck business to prosper, it will need a well-prepared business plan, just like any other business. Your business plan documents your idea so that potential investors and loan officers can see why your food truck is a suitable investment. Your food truck business and plan lays the groundwork for how you want your company to start, function, and expand.

The following sections should be included in your food truck business plan:

  • Executive summary
  • Competitive analysis
  • Organization and management
  • Product line
  • Marketing plan
  • Financial projections
  • Financial requirements

4.   Obtain All Necessary Licenses, Permits, and Insurance

Remember how you performed some preliminary research into local regulations in step one? Now is the time to put your plan into action by obtaining all of the necessary permits and licenses, as well as insurance. General company licenses, food service licenses, and vehicle licenses are the three types of licenses and permits you’ll require. Most food truck licenses and permits cost between $100 and $500 each, depending on your location.

The following are examples of general business licenses:

  • Doing Business As (DBA) Registration
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Business license
  • State sales tax permit
  • Reseller’s license

5.   Invest in Your Food Truck

Several of the permissions and licenses you’ll need are determined by the vehicle you buy. As a result, this stage is usually completed concurrently with your permit application. Food trucks can cost anything from $3,250 for a used trailer to $300,000 for a brand new, custom-built truck.

Make sure your truck is equipped with code-compliant equipment, such as:

  • Refrigerators and ovens are working properly
  • Hot and cold water are available with adequate pressure
  • Fire extinguishers and first aid kits available onboard
  • Proper storage for food items
  • Professional installation of essential equipment

Where Can You Purchase a Food Truck?

You have a few alternatives when it comes to acquiring a food truck. A secondhand truck can be purchased from a private seller on eBay or Craigslist, or from an online directory service. You can normally acquire a fully equipped truck for approximately $50,000 if you buy a secondhand truck.

There are a few decent directories to look at if you’re looking for used food trucks:

Building a Food Truck

If you have the budget, custom-built food trucks can set your food truck apart from the competitors. Custom food trucks are designed to your exact needs by companies like Prestige Food Trucks, Cruising Kitchens, and Northwest Mobile Kitchens. The cost of a new personalized food truck will range from $100,000 to $200,000.

Getting a Food Truck on Lease

If you only operate seasonally or have a restricted budget, you might want to consider leasing a food truck. Leasing is an appealing choice if there are truck agents in your area because leases typically come with a lot of included service. Food truck leases often go from $3,000 to $4,500 per month.

6.   Hire and Train Employees

Even though food truck entrepreneurs handle a majority of the labor themselves, you’ll almost certainly need to recruit some hourly workers. The majority of trucks employ at least two to four people. The people you recruit should compensate for whatever abilities you lack or places where you are unable to focus.

Common Food Truck Staff

These are some typical food truck staff you might need:

  • Window attendant
  • Truck cook
  • Prep cook
  • Catering salesperson
  • Catering service


A food truck business can be an exciting opportunity to start your own business, earn money, and give back to your community. It does, however, demand hard work, devotion, and patience, just like any other business. Your chances of success are very good if you choose the correct funding option and follow these guidelines.

Check also: Ultimate Guide To Small Business Ideas