How To Start & Fund A Food Truck Business
Have you ever considered starting your own restaurant, but high overhead costs, the need for a large staff, or other expenses and challenges have held you back? What if there was a more affordable way to provide local residents with your tasty creations? The great news is that there is an easier, less expensive way to open your own business: a mobile food truck.
A food truck offers many benefits over a full-service restaurant. Overhead costs are much lower, you won’t need as many employees, and you won’t have to purchase or lease an expensive commercial building equipped with furniture, appliances, and fixtures. Another huge advantage is that you don’t have to wait for customers to come to you. Instead, you can bring your truck almost anywhere, from businesses to schools and even special events in your area. This opens up opportunities to reach a larger customer base and put more profits in your pocket.
Don’t be fooled, though. Operating a food truck business still comes with its own demands. You’ll be required to invest some amount of capital in startup and operational costs. You’ll have to register your business, obtain permits and licenses required in your area, and purchase stock and inventory. You’ll need a reliable truck that meets all regulations and requirements and is stocked with everything you need to create your dishes. In other words, you’ll have to put in hard work to get your business off the ground and keep it operating successfully.
In this guide, we’ll explore the steps needed to open and operate your food truck business. We’ll start with basic things like registering your business, choosing a name, and creating your menu. We’ll also explore finding and customizing your truck, getting the permits needed to legally operate in your area, and marketing your business to bring in customers and revenue. You’ve already taken the first step by opening this guide. Now, let’s drive a little further on the road to starting your mobile food truck business.
Table of Contents
- Create Your Business Plan
- Research Sale Locations
- Choose A Name & Theme
- Register Your Business
- Get Necessary Permits
- Create A Menu
- Source Ingredients
- Calculate Startup Costs
- Seek Business Funding
- Purchase Or Lease A Truck
- Design & Wrap Your Truck
- Get A POS System
- Bolster Your Web Presence
- Market Your Business
- Final Thoughts
Create Your Business Plan
Every successful business starts with one thing: a great business plan. Even if your business concept seems simple, it’s still important to have a solid business plan. Not only does your business plan help you stay on track with your future goals, but it may also be a requirement for funding through banks, credit unions, and other lenders.
Your business plan should be designed around the needs and goals of your business. These will differ from other businesses — even other food trucks. However, all business plans do essentially follow the same format, which includes these sections:
- Executive Summary: This is a concise summary of what your business does and what need it solves within your market. This section should also include what sets you apart from your competitors and will help your business be a success.
- Company Description: This section should include information such as your location, date of formation, and legal entity type.
- Industry Analysis: This section provides details on your market, including current trends and the size of your market.
- Customer Analysis: This section answers the question, “Who is your target customer?” Provide demographics of your target customers within this section.
- Competitive Analysis: This section provides information about your competitors, including their strengths and weaknesses. In this section, you can also include what factors give your business an edge over your competitors.
- Management Team: This section should have names and bios of your management team, if applicable. You can also use this section to identify employees you need to hire in the future.
- Operations Plan: This section includes the processes your organization goes through daily in order to be successful and profitable. You can also add in any goals you have for the future of your business.
- Marketing Plan: In this section, you’ll write out what methods of marketing you will use to draw in new customers.
- Financial Plan: This section should include financial projections for the future. You should also add in ways that your business brings in revenue. If your business plan is being presented to a lender, this section should also include details about your financial need, such as how much you need to start and how funds will be spent.
Research Sale Locations
A mobile food truck lets you bring food right to your customers, allowing you to expand your market and increase your revenue. The key, though, is finding the right places to sell your food. The goal is to find the locations where your services are needed, and the process might take a little troubleshooting.
First, do your research on local parking and zoning regulations. While bringing your truck to your busy downtown area at lunchtime could be a lucrative move, you may be breaking the law … and lose profits to hefty fines. Understand the laws in your local area, then scout potential locations.
Many food truck owners have a specific spot they return to on a regular basis so customers know where to find them. If this is what you envision for your food truck, look for spots with plenty of foot traffic and a demand for your type of business.
You can also research local events, such as holiday celebrations, food festivals, and concerts. Though these are short-term gigs, popular events that draw in large crowds could provide an influx of revenue throughout the year.
You can also consider catering to private events. From weddings to birthday parties and business luncheons, your food truck can be used to deliver the food and help you rake in the profits.
Choose A Name & Theme
The next step is to plan the specific details of your food truck business. You can start by choosing a theme. To narrow down your choices, think about what you like to make. If your friends love your healthy snacks and meals, consider an organic/healthy theme. If your Mexican dishes are a hit with your family, this could be the perfect theme to bring to your customers.
The possibilities for your theme are limitless. Some additional ideas include:
- Ethnic Cuisine
You can also serve local favorites out of your food truck. For example, you could serve shrimp and grits, chicken and waffles, and other southern favorites in the south or jambalaya in New Orleans.
You also need to evaluate the local competition. Think about it: if there are already multiple pizza trucks at one event, you’re going to miss out on some customers. Your theme shouldn’t just reflect your talents but should also be appealing to your customers. Bring something new and unique to the table that sets you apart from your competition.
Once you’ve picked a theme, it’s time to name your business. You want your name to reflect your brand and your theme. You want a name that stands out and is catchy and memorable. Remember, if you plan to register your business under its name, check with your secretary of state to ensure no other business is using the name you’ve selected.
Register Your Business
There are a number of reasons to register your business. The type of legal structure you select determines how much you’ll pay in taxes. Some legal structures also offer personal liability protection. Registering your business as a legal entity may also affect how you raise capital for your business. Let’s take a look at the different business structures to determine which is best for your food truck business.
A sole proprietorship is a business entity with a single owner. One of the biggest benefits of a sole proprietorship is that no registration or paperwork is required. If you conduct business activities, you’re automatically classified as a sole proprietorship. Business profits and losses are reported on your personal tax return.
Even though this is the easiest and cheapest business structure to form, it has its drawbacks. Sole proprietorships do not offer personal liability protection. This means that you can be held personally liable for the debts, obligations, and liabilities of the business. Operating as a sole proprietor can also make it more difficult to obtain business financing.
If you have two or more owners, you may choose to operate as a partnership. There are three types of partnerships to consider: general partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability partnerships.
A general partnership operates much like a sole proprietorship with the exception of having more than one owner. General partners can be held personally liable for the debts and obligations of the business. General partnerships also do not have ongoing requirements and do not need to be registered with the state to exist.
A limited partnership is made up of two or more owners. One partner is a general partner, who can be held personally responsible for the debts and obligations of the business. The general partner is typically involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. This type of partnership also has limited partners. Limited partners receive liability protection and are not personally responsible for the debts and obligations of the business. Limited partners are also known as silent partners and are often not involved in the daily operations of the business.
A limited liability partnership is a partnership that grants liability protection to all partners. This legal structure is typically used by professional service-based businesses. Under an LLP, partners can’t be held responsible for the actions of other partners. However, each partner may be held liable for their own actions, such as medical malpractice.
A corporation is the most complex and expensive business entity to form. Corporations are required to pay corporate tax rates, and in some cases, double taxation may occur. Corporations also have more ongoing requirements than other business entities, such as holding annual meetings and having a board of directors. On the positive side, corporations offer liability protection to their owners. Corporations can also raise more capital through the sale of stock.
Limited Liability Company
A limited liability company combines some of the best features of several business structures. LLCs offer liability protection to its owners without requiring double taxation or corporate tax rates. LLCs also don’t have ongoing requirements like corporations. However, LLCs can’t issue stock.
For your food truck business, weigh out the pros and cons of each entity to determine which is best for you. Typically, a sole proprietorship, partnership (if there is more than one owner), or LLC is the best option. However, you should always consult with an accountant or attorney to discuss the specific needs and goals of your business.
Get Necessary Permits
Even though your business is on wheels, you still have to abide by the same health requirements and regulations as traditional restaurants. This means that you have to acquire licenses and permits to legally operate your food truck.
The types of licenses and permits you need vary based on your location. In general, though, you should expect to acquire the following:
- General Business License
- Food Service Establishment Permit
- Food Handler’s Permit
- Health Department Permit
- Sales Tax Permit
You may also be required to obtain additional local permits, including signage, parking, and zoning permits.
To operate your food truck, an inspection from your health department is required. Make sure that your truck meets all requirements and regulations and that you’re following the rules when it comes to things such as cleanliness, food preparation, and food storage.
To learn more about the requirements in your city and state, contact your local health department and other city officials to make sure your business is in compliance.
Finally, you should also apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the Internal Revenue Service. This number is easy to apply for online and is available at no cost. An EIN is essential if you plan to hire employees for your business now or in the future.
Create A Menu
Once you have a theme in mind, you can begin planning your menu. Not only will you decide what foods and beverages to include on your menu, but you’ll also choose the menu design.
Keeping your theme in mind, determine what will be on your daily menu. Make sure to also consider what ingredients are required. For example, you don’t want to include items that have ingredients that aren’t easily found year-round. Telling customers that you’re out of popular menu items is a sure way to lose business fast. If you want to put an item on the menu but ingredients are difficult to source, consider using it as a daily or seasonal special.
Next, think about your menu design. Some food trucks use traditional menus. However, this comes with additional expenses and may not be a wise idea if you plan to change your menu frequently.
An easy and affordable way to display your offerings is with a menu board on the side of your truck. Your menu board should be legible and easy to read. It should also include important information, such as what sides are included with entrees and the price of each item. You can also use your menu board to highlight new menu items and daily specials.
Want more tips for creating menus? Learn more about creating, implementing, and maintaining a menu for your food truck.
In order to make your delicious dishes for your customers, you have to stock your food truck with ingredients. In order to do this, you’ll need to find suppliers that offer high-quality ingredients at competitive prices.
You’ll likely order most of your ingredients from a wholesale restaurant supplier. You can also use local suppliers, such as your city’s farmers market, for locally-sourced food. If you use locally-sourced items, make sure to include this information on your menu, as this is a huge selling point for many customers.
You may also have to shop with specialty stores if you need rare items that aren’t stocked by local or wholesale suppliers, but you can turn to your local grocer or wholesale club in a pinch if you need ingredients fast.
If you know other people in the food truck or restaurant industries, ask for recommendations for the best suppliers with low prices and quality ingredients.
Calculate Startup Costs
With a better understanding of what your business looks like, you can start to calculate the costs associated with opening and operating your food truck. Of course, the most obvious purchase will be the truck itself, which we’ll discuss in more detail a little later in this post.
For now, let’s focus on the additional costs that your business will incur. There will be several upfront one-time costs, such as:
- POS System
- License & Permit Fees
- Truck Wrap & Modifications
- Additional Equipment: Ovens, grills, deep fryers, refrigerators, exhaust hoods
You’ll also make purchases from the start that will be recurring costs to keep your business operating. Some of these expenses include:
- Supplies: Napkins, plates, cups, utensils
- Payment Processing Subscription Fees
- Web Hosting
- Cleaning Products
- Office Supplies
- Truck Maintenance
- Equipment Repairs & Servicing
An additional expense to consider is commissary rental fees. A commissary provides you with the space you need to prepare and store your food. In addition, you can also store your truck at your commissary and dispose of gray water. For many food truck owners, using a commissary is much more affordable than renting their own private commercial kitchens.
In some states, joining a commissary is required by city laws or health department codes. Contact your local health department or city office to find out about the laws in your area. Though pricing varies based on your location, you should expect to pay as low as $250 or over $1,000 per month in prime locations like New York City.
Another expense to add to your list is insurance. You will need several types of insurance for your business. This includes:
Liability Insurance: This insurance protects your business from potentially being sued by customers. For example, if a customer gets food poisoning, liability insurance will cover the legal fees and settlement, if necessary. Liability insurance also protects your business from lawsuits brought by injuries from slip-and-fall accidents, illnesses as a result of food allergies, and other risks.
Commercial Auto Insurance: If you own a personal vehicle, you already understand the importance of auto insurance. When an accident occurs, your insurance will cover risks and liabilities such as bodily injury and property damage.
Property Insurance: Just like a traditional restaurant, you need property insurance on your food truck. This insurance protects your business from accidents and theft.
Workers Compensation Insurance: If you have employees, most states require you to carry workers compensation insurance. This insurance pays lost wages and medical expenses for employees that are injured on the job.
Once you have made a list of what you need for your business, you can do online research to shop around for prices. If you know someone in the food truck or restaurant industry, bring them your questions. You can also ask them for referrals for vendors, suppliers, and even employees.
The total cost of opening your food truck varies based on factors including whether you lease or purchase a truck, the concept of your business, and prices of supplies and inventory in your region. As a general idea, you should expect to spend about $40,000 to $250,000 to get your truck on the road and ready to serve customers.
Seek Business Funding
Now that you have an idea of what you have to pay to start your food truck business, the next step is finding the capital to fund these costs. While you may be able to cover these costs on your own (more on that later), most new business owners use a lender to get the money they need for startup costs and future expenses. Whether you lean on someone you know that is willing to invest, dip into your own savings, or apply for a business loan, here are a few options to consider.
If you have a savings account, consider tapping into it to fund your business. The great thing about using your own money is that you don’t have to find a lender. You won’t be indebted to a lender, and you won’t pay interest or fees. The drawback is that if your business flops, you risk losing your savings.
Friends & Family
Do you have a friend, family member, or colleague with extra money that’s looking for a new investment opportunity? Pitch your idea to them. Come prepared with your business plan, be professional, and present your business idea. If they’re interested, work out the details. Will they be giving you a loan with interest? Or does equity financing — capital in exchange for ownership in your business – seem like a better fit? Learn more about debt vs. equity financing.
No matter which route you choose, always make sure to get everything in writing and all agreements signed by each party. Also remember that even though you know the lender on a personal level, you must treat them just as you would any other lender. This means making payments on time and otherwise upholding your end of the deal.
Rollover For Business Startups (ROBS)
Do you have a 401(k) or another retirement plan that you can’t touch because of penalties and taxes? You don’t have to wait to access your money if you set up a rollover for business startups plan — or ROBS for short.
Setting up a ROBS plan is a completely legal way for you to access your retirement funds early without penalties. In order for your plan to work, you must set up a new C-corporation. Once your C-corp is established, you create a retirement plan for the new corporation. Then, you roll over the funds from your existing retirement plan into the newly created plan. These funds are then used to purchase stock in your business, providing you with the capital you need to start or expand your business.
There are a few things to consider before setting up a ROBS plan. The first is that you must be an employee of your new corporation. There are also steps that you must take to remain compliant with laws and regulations. This is why many new entrepreneurs turn to a ROBS provider to set up and maintain their plans.
A huge benefit of a ROBS plan is that you’re using your own money, so you don’t have to worry about paying monthly payments, interest, or fees to a lender. However, you do have to pay a setup fee to your ROBS provider and a monthly maintenance fee. You also risk losing your retirement savings if your business does not succeed.
Recommended Option: Benetrends
Benetrends was the pioneer behind the ROBS plan with the introduction of its Rainmaker Plan in 1983. Benetrends has secured over $4 billion in funding for over 15,000 entrepreneurs and can help you get startup capital for your business through your qualifying retirement plan. Through Benetrends, you may receive funding in as little as 10 days. There are no penalties and taxes are deferred.
To start your ROBS plan, Benetrends requires a setup fee of $4,995. While this isn’t a loan and doesn’t require loan and interest payments, you will be required to pay a service fee of $130 per month to maintain your account.
There are no credit score, annual revenue, or time in business requirements to work with Benetrends. However, you do need to have a qualifying retirement account with at least $50,000.
Lines Of Credit
A line of credit is one of the most flexible forms of financing. A line of credit is less like a traditional loan and more like a credit card. Your lender will provide you with a set credit limit. Instead of using a card to make purchases, you’ll make draws from your line of credit account into your business checking account. Funds typically hit your account within 1 to 3 business days. Then, you can spend the money as you see fit.
A line of credit is a great option for unexpected expenses, large inventory purchases, or other immediate needs. Once you receive a line of credit, you don’t have to wait for approval from the lender when you initiate a draw. This gives you access to cash whenever you need it, whether it’s now or in the future.
Once you’ve made a draw on your line of credit, you’ll repay the lender through regularly scheduled payments over a set period of time. The lender will charge interest and/or fees for this service. As you pay down your balance, funds are replenished and become available to use again.
Recommended Option: Fundbox
Through Fundbox, you can receive a line of credit up to $100,000. This line of credit can be used for any business purpose, and you can make multiple draws up to and including your credit limit.
Fundbox charges fees starting at 4.66% of the borrowing amount. You can choose from 12- or 24-week terms, and payments are automatically deducted from your business checking account. There are no draw fees, and all remaining fees are waived if you pay your balance off early. If you don’t make a draw, you don’t pay any fees.
If you haven’t opened your doors yet, Fundbox won’t be an option available to you. However, Fundbox is a great option for new businesses that need extra capital. Fundbox also considers the performance of your business when approving applications, so personal credit challenges won’t be an issue.
To qualify for a Fundbox line of credit, you must have:
- A U.S.-based business
- A business checking account
- At least $50,000 in annual revenue
- At least 2 months of activity in supported accounting software OR at least 3 months of transactions in a business bank account
If you want to spread out the costs of purchasing supplies or inventory from your vendors, consider using purchase financing. With purchase financing, the lender pays off your vendor upfront. You’ll then repay the lender the borrowed amount along with fees and interest through smaller payments over a longer period of time.
This financing is ideal for purchasing inventory and supplies. While interest and fees will increase your cost, a longer repayment schedule prevents you from having to pay the full cost out-of-pocket.
Recommended Option: Behalf
You can pay nearly any vendor with Behalf, which provides purchase limits up to $250,000. Behalf offers repayment terms from 30 to 180 days. When you borrow from Behalf, you’ll be charged a fixed fee between 1% to 3%. You can pay your vendors by using Behalf’s virtual card or through ACH transfer.
To qualify for financing through Behalf, you must meet the minimum credit requirements of:
- At least 2 years of personal credit history
- At least 3 open accounts that are paid on time
- No more than 1 delinquent account
- No recent defaults
You must also be the owner of a growing business that meets these requirements:
- At least 1 year in business
- Positive annual income
- At least 1 open business account
- U.S.-based business in good standing in the state in which it’s registered
Personal Loans For Business
No business credit history spells big risk for most small business lenders. However, you can bypass this challenge by taking out a personal loan for business. If you have a solid credit score and history, a personal loan is an affordable financing option that comes with favorable terms and low interest rates.
When applying for a personal loan, you use your personal credit score, personal credit history, and personal income to qualify. Time in business, business credit score, and annual revenues of your business are not required to qualify. Funds from your loan can be applied to startup expenses, from purchasing a truck to buying inventory or hiring employees.
Recommended Option: Upstart
Upstart is a lender that does not restrict you from using their personal loans for business expenses. Through Upstart, you can receive between $1,000 and $50,000 to get your business off the ground. Rates start at 7.46% for borrowers with solid credit profiles. Rates go up to 35.99% for less creditworthy borrowers.
To qualify for an Upstart personal loan, you must meet these requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
- Have a valid email account, name, date of birth, and Social Security Number
- Have a source of income
- Have a personal bank account in the U.S.
You must also meet the minimum credit requirements of Upstart, which include:
- Personal credit score of 620 or above
- Solid debt-to-income ratio
- No bankruptcies or public records
- No delinquent accounts
- Less than 6 credit inquiries within the last 6 months
Business Credit Cards
When you need immediate access to extra funds, a business credit card could be just what you need. A business credit card works just like your personal credit card. The credit card issuer provides you with a credit limit. You can use your card anywhere credit cards are accepted up to and including your credit limit.
You’ll then make monthly payments that are applied toward the principal balance – the borrowed amount – and the interest charged by the lender. As you pay down your balance, funds become available to use again.
Business credit cards are great for emergency expenses, the purchase of supplies or inventory, or for any other business purpose. You can also use your credit card for recurring expenses, such as fueling up your truck. This move is even smarter when you use a rewards card that provides cash back or rewards with each use.
Recommended Option: Chase Ink Business Cash
Chase Ink Business Cash
15.49% - 21.49%, Variable
Chase Ink Business Cash rewards you for using your card for business expenses. With this credit card, you’ll receive 5% cash back on internet, cable, and phone services, as well as purchases from office supply stores. This applies to the first $25,000 spent each anniversary year. After that, you’ll receive 1% cash back.
You’ll also earn 2% cash back on purchases made at gas stations and restaurants. This applies to the first $25,000 spent each anniversary year. After you’ve reached the $25,000 cap, you’ll receive 1% cash back.
You’ll get 1% cash back on all other purchases. Rewards are unlimited and never expire as long as your account remains open. New cardholders can receive $500 bonus cash for spending $3,000 within 3 months of opening an account.
Chase Ink Business Cash also offers additional benefits including free employee cards and Zero Liability Protection. You’ll also receive a fixed APR of 0% for the first 12 months. After that, your APR will be 15.49% to 21.49%. There are no annual fees.
To qualify for this card, you must have an excellent personal credit score.
Purchase Or Lease A Truck
One additional expense — and your largest — that we haven’t yet discussed is your food truck. This will serve as your mobile restaurant, so it should not only meet all health regulations but should also be fully stocked with everything you need to create your menu items.
You have several options for acquiring your food truck. First, you have the option to purchase your truck. You can purchase a new truck that is fully outfitted and up to code. You can also purchase a used truck.
A brand-new truck is the most expensive option. However, you won’t have to worry about any unseen problems (such as engine or transmission problems) or health code violations. You may even be able to customize your truck, from choosing the layout to picking your equipment.
A used truck can be far less expensive. However, there are problems that may need to be addressed, such as repairs of mechanical problems or code violations. You may also end up with additional expenses if the truck isn’t outfitted with the right equipment for your business theme.
If you plan to purchase your truck, having it financed could help you save tens of thousands of dollars in upfront costs. Equipment loans may be an option for you. After fronting a down payment, you’ll repay the lender over a set period of time, such as monthly payments for 5 years. Each payment will be applied to the principal balance (the amount of the loan) plus interest. After all the payments are made as agreed, the truck is yours to keep, sell, or trade.
You may also lease your truck. A lease works in a similar way to equipment loans. You’ll pay a down payment, then make monthly payments to the lender. However, at the end of your lease period, you’ll return the truck and sign a new lease. Some lenders also give you the option of paying off the balance at the end of your lease if you want to keep your truck.
If you don’t qualify for equipment financing, you may explore other financing options such as taking out a personal loan for business or getting an auto loan for business. If you have a solid credit score and history, you’ll be able to borrow the funds you need at competitive interest rates.
If you don’t want to finance your purchase, you could tap into other sources of funding, such as using your savings or setting up a ROBS plan.
Design & Wrap Your Truck
Your food truck is essentially your storefront, so you want to make the outside stand out to appeal to your customers. One design option for the exterior of your truck is a vinyl wrap. A vinyl wrap is like a large sticker that covers the outside of your vehicle. Your wrap can be fully customized with the colors of your brand, logo, and other images or text.
The first step is designing your vinyl wrap. You want your design to stand out to customers without being obnoxious. Include your logo prominently and use colors that reflect your theme and brand. You can also include text such as your phone number or website. Make sure that any text on your truck is clear and easy to read.
Once your vinyl has been designed, it will be printed and laminated. When the vinyl wrap is complete, a professional food truck wrap installer will need to be hired to complete the job. While it may be tempting to save money and take on the task yourself, hire an installer to make sure the wrap is installed properly and free of wrinkles and bubbles.
On average, you should expect to pay anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 or more for your food truck wrap, although prices vary based on factors such as design and dimensions of the wrap. If you want to save money, you could also have your truck painted and wrap smaller sections or apply large laminated vinyl stickers.
Get A POS System
Sure, you could operate a cash-only business, but you could lose valuable customers by taking this route. Instead, consider purchasing a mobile point-of-sale (POS) system for your food truck.
A POS system goes beyond just a traditional credit card processor. This system allows you to not only accept credit cards, debit cards, and other forms of payment, but it also offers features like reporting and inventory tracking. You’ll also be able to ring up customer orders and print receipts.
Your POS system should be calculated into your ongoing expenses. Monthly fees vary, but typical fees include monthly service fees, credit and debit card processing fees, and hardware fees.
Some POS systems are better designed for food trucks. Learn more about the best options for your business.
Bolster Your Web Presence
Your food truck itself will serve as one of your primary forms of advertising. However, you should take your marketing a step further by providing information about your company through your website and social media profiles.
Your website doesn’t have to be overly complicated. In fact, you can use a website builder to create your own simple yet professional website. On your website, you should include details such as contact information and your menu. One of the most important things to include is where you will be located. If you have a regular spot, include the address prominently on your website along with your operating hours. You should also use your website to post announcements, such as appearances at local events and catering options.
Once you’ve created a website, you can display your web address right on your truck. Make sure that the URL is easy to read, even from a distance. Select one that’s short and memorable so it’s easy to remember when you drive past.
You can also take advantage of free social media profiles on sites including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Use these profiles to display pictures of your rig and your delicious creations, update customers on current specials and events you’ll be attending, and provide other information to help locals find your business. Yelp For Business is another excellent resource.
Ready to take your online marketing to the next level? Learn more about how you can create and maintain your web presence.
Market Your Business
To fully reap the profits of owning your own food truck, you have to reach customers through a strategic marketing plan. There are a number of ways to get your name out in your area. The first ways are through your website and social media. As previously mentioned, keep your website and profiles updated with your locations, offer up catering services, and interact with your customers online. Don’t be shy about asking for positive reviews and feedback from your customers, either. Word-of-mouth advertising is one of the best forms of marketing, and it’s totally free.
Another tactic is to promote your business through other websites. For example, if you cater events or weddings, add your contact information and web address to wedding and local event websites.
You can also host your own event to introduce your business to the world. Food tastings, holiday parties, and fundraisers are all great event ideas that you can use to market your business. Another idea is to donate food or services to a charity or fundraiser. Not only does this promote your business, but it also gives you the satisfaction of doing something positive within your community.
Owning and operating a food truck business can be difficult, but the satisfaction of providing quality food to local residents while bringing in profits is worth the effort. If you’re considering launching your own business, remember that entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a race. Take the time to craft a solid business plan, secure affordable capital, and take additional steps to become your city’s next successful mobile restaurant. Good luck!