How To Start A Food Truck
Are you wondering how to start your own food truck business? Our guide walks you through what you need to do to make your food truck dreams a reality.
If you’ve always wanted to start your own restaurant but prefer to avoid the high overhead costs, you might be wondering how to start a food truck. Food trucks are an easier and more affordable way to open your own business and share your tasty creations with the masses!
In this article, we’ll go over the basics of starting your very own food truck. You’ve already taken the first step; let’s keep going!
Table of Contents
What Are The Requirements For Starting A Food Truck?
As a business that will be serving food (out of a somewhat unconventional space), there are plenty of requirements you’ll have to meet to open your own food truck.
The specific legal requirements will vary depending on your state, county, and even city of operation, so do your research to ensure you start your business out on the right and legal foot, including getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN).
Here are some other general requirements:
- Business license
- Driver’s license
- Health Department permit
- Food Handler’s permit
- Fire Marshall certificate/approval
- Seller’s permit
- Commissary letter of agreement
You’ll also need to know what type of business structure you want to set up, whether as a sole proprietor, an LLC, or another kind, each coming with its own pros and cons.
Because you have a restaurant on wheels, you may not be thinking about renting a commissary space, but it is actually a city law or health department code requirement to join one.
A commissary provides you with the space you need to prepare and store your food but will also add to your monthly expenses, as rental fees are typically between $250-$1,000.
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.
Some industries can get away with not needing much business insurance. Food trucks are not one of those industries.
You will need several types of insurance to operate your business responsibly and legally:
- Liability insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- Property insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
Learn more about the types of business insurance you may need as a food truck owner.
6 Steps To Start Your Own Food Truck
Best POS Solutions For Your Food Truck
Toast is a great option for food trucks mainly because of the multiple methods customers can use to order, which can help when you’re at a busy pod or have a long line.
Toast POS is an all-in-one Android-based system created especially for the restaurant industry. The excellent customer service certainly doesn’t hurt, either! The Starter plan begins at $0/month and offers the option to grow with your business and change to more expansive plans in the future.
Square For Restaurants POS
Square for Restaurants is an all-in-one cloud-based restaurant POS. It offers online ordering and an iPad kitchen display system and is easy to use for just about anyone who has ever encountered Square or an iPad before.
There may be options with more advanced features and reporting, but Square beats them all with an easy-to-use and functional interface for a great price. The Free plan starts at, well, $0/month!
Like Square for Restaurants, Shopify POS is a cloud-based all-in-one POS system, it was just created for retail, not the food industry. It will take some more work to customize Shopify POS to your needs, but not much more than any other platform.
The introductory plan starts at $39/month ($29/month when paid annually) and includes features like a full online store builder, in-store inventory, gift cards, and custom discounts.
talech POS is a reasonably priced and highly customizable cloud-based system with options specifically tailored for businesses in the food industry.
This POS system can be perfect for food trucks that are just getting started and don’t want to worry about investing too much in POS hardware to take payments. talech’s Mobile POS plan costs $0/month and includes the mobile POS app to take payments with your smartphone, menu management, reports, and other great features!