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How to Start a Food Truck Business in UK USA (Business Plan)

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • Is food truck business right choice for me?
  • Is food truck a profitable business?
  • How to start a food truck business and how much would it cost?
  • Procedure in food truck business registration and other legal work?

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is a food truck business?

The food truck is a vehicle that moves from place to place, equipped to cook & sell varieties of food like snacks, meals, and beverages.

 

A mobile restaurant is a large truck, trailer, or van equipped to cook, prepare, serve, and sell food

 

These food trucks enjoy the flexibility of moving to different locations and serving other clients if the market suits them better.

Market insight: In the US, its market size is around $2 billion. Similarly, in the UK, it is approximately £1.5 billion, Expected to grow by about 7% in the coming years.

food truck business

Is the Food Truck Business right for me : Pros and Cons?

Pros:

  • Trending and very Flexibility business model
  • Low investment and operating cost
  • Attracting customers is easy
  • Do not require much staff
  • Flexibility to decide your menu
  • You can experiment with your business by going to different locations.
 

Cons:

  • Tiny space can make it challenging to work at times
  • You have to start early in the morning & it might end late at night.
  • Unpredictable Vehicle repairs, fuel & breakdowns may occur.
  • Unfavorable weather conditions may affect customers’ footfall 
  • Finding a suitable location is always a problem
  • You need to be friendly & welcoming to your customers, even if you are not in the mood.
food truck business

Trends & Challenges of the industry

Some of the trends are:

  • Vegan food
  • Organic food
  • Mix culture food
  • Gluten-free flour food 

Some of the challenges are:

  • Competitive market
  • Rising prices of raw materials
  • Sometimes it isn’t easy to abide by government policies
  • Analyzing inventory and wastage
  • Finding a good supplier can be challenging for freshers’

How much investment is required to start a food truck business?

You can start that from $25K – $150K, depending on the quality of materials you take.

 

You mainly invest in vehicles, refrigerators, freezers, grinders, raw materials, branding, marketing, etc.

 

In the beginning, you can manage to do with less staff. It will save the cost of wages. Gradually, once your business grows, you can hire staff accordingly.

Top food truck brands to inspire you (USA) :

• Cinnamon Snail
• Ms. Cheezious
• The Cow and Curd

Top food truck brands to inspire you (UK) :

• Bell & Brisket
• Fishdog
• Pizza Pilgrims

How much can I earn out of a food truck business?

A Food truck business on an average makes about $250K -$500K annually, or $20K – $42K monthly. Profit margins might vary for different products, yet a food truck can expect a profit of 15% to 40%. 

 

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food truck business

A typical day in a food truck business 

Your day-to-day tasks would include the following:
 
  • Starting early in the morning
  • Sanitizing the kitchen area  and the van.
  • Preparing menu for the day
  • Check supplies for the day
  • Getting raw materials ready to cook
  • Getting meals and beverages ready
  • Opening the serving window once you are ready
  • Taking orders
  • Refrigerating necessary items for the next day
  • Handling customers’ complaints and feedback

Spot the opportunities:

• Tourists like trying new things, it is economical for them.


• Nearby offices, nearby events, or festivals, generally give good footfall.

• Home- made food is boring at times & Restaurant are quite expensive.

• Always offering something new, makes your customers come back

food truck business

Checklist of essential equipment

  • A vehicle equipped with electricity and water supply arrangements
  • Basic kitchen set up such as – Sinks and draining board; Good lighting¸ Utensils Stand, and Grease traps 
  • Cooking inventory includes induction, Ovens / microwave or Gas ranges, and Fridges.
  • Dress up items such as Aprons and Gloves 
  • Table service essentials
  • Boxes for raw materials & ingredients
  • Cleaning items
  • First aid kit
  • Firefighting equipment

How much should I charge my customer?

Getting the price right is critical; you can come up with pricing based on nearby competitors or an amount that covers all your expenses.

Keeping your rates within a similar range to your competitors so that it's affordable for your customer and makes you look competitive in the market.

If you are using high-quality ingredients, you need to keep premium pricing for your food items.

food truck business

Popular Food Items to offer

To be organized, you need to make a list of services you want to offer in case you need clarification. 

The most popular food truck items are-

  • Burgers
  • Pizza
  • Tacos
  • French fries
  • Sandwich
  • Hot dogs
  • Sushi
  • Kebabs
  • Desserts
  • Smoothies / Beverages
  • Barbeque items
  • Cupcakes
  • Fried item
  • Wraps
Certification and Registration

Get your Licenses, Insurance & Legal Permissions

Below is the list of commonly required food truck licenses & permits in the US

  • Business License
  • Employer Identification Number
  • Driver’s license
  • Food handler permit
  • Health department permit
  • Fire Certificates
  • Parking Permits
  • Seller’s Permit
 

A quick overview of registering your business in the UK

  • Register with your local authority
  • Visit HSE (health & safety executive) within 6 months of registration
  • Register with HRMC (HM Revenue and Customs)
  • Get a trading license
  • Take employers liability license
  • Gas/electrical safety certificates
  • Food hygiene certificate
  • HACCP approval (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point)
  • Street vendor license
  • Public liability insurance
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Tips to make your Food Truck business successful

  • Choose a right commercial vehicle
  • Get some experience before starting your business
  • Analyze the correct locations
  • Finalize your menu wisely
  • Make a list of necessary supplies
  • Take all the essential licenses, insurance & permits beforehand
  • Always set a budget & sales target
  • Monitor online reviews
  • Safeguard your assets
  • Invest in marketing your business
  • Staff uniform
  • Offer timely discounts and offers
  • Keep your truck neat & tidy from the outside
food truck business

Maintenance, hygiene, and quality control 

Running a business takes a lot of work. It needs lots of determination to maintain quality & standards as agreed to by the laws. 

These disciplines keep you organized & maintain your business without any chaos.

Below are the top parameters for maintenance and quality control:

  • Check all the equipment works fine every month.
  • Maintenance & repair of the vehicle every 6 months.
  • Weekly cleaning of fridge & microwaves
  • Everyday cleaning of hobs & counter.
  • Disposing of daily garbage
  • Pest control
  • Ensuring good quality raw material is used
  • Purchase from an approved supplier
  • You should have ingredient specifications
  • Product recipe
  • Serving the correct quantity & quality
  • Offering standard packaging
food truck business

Shall I take a Lease or purchase a food truck?

It is an interesting question if you should lease or purchase a food truck. The answer to that will be that it is dependent on the situation you are in.

If you plan to purchase a new food truck, costs may vary between $65K – $150K, depending on the outfitting, equipment, and all accessories.

A second-hand truck generally costs between $35K to $80K. 

Renting a food truck is also an option; however, its cost depends on the lease’s length. 

food truck business

Buy an existing business or franchise model or start from scratch

There are several pros and cons of both the business model you can choose among both based on your goals and objectives:

If you go for a franchise business:

  • You get an established brand name
  • You get a ready-made customer base
  • Plans and processes are set and simplified
  • Don’t have to worry about marketing or advertising

     

 

If you start a business from scratch:

  • You get to create your recognition and name
  • You set your plans and processes
  • You are your boss
  • Full credit for the business goes to you

 

Conclusion

Starting a food truck business can be rewarding and exciting for those passionate about food and entrepreneurship. 


It requires careful planning, research, and a solid understanding of local regulations and competition. However, with the right business plan, marketing strategy, and attention to customer service, a food truck business can be a successful and profitable enterprise. 


Despite its initial challenges, the food truck business is booming, jumping, and rapidly growing. 


Additionally, the flexibility and mobility of a food truck make it an attractive option for those who want to bring their culinary creations to various locations and events. 


The food truck is a great money-making business idea; you can go for this business

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

$54K/Month Food Truck Business (What Did It Cost to Start?) -YT Channel,”UpFlip”

What It’s Like Working On A New York City Food Truck” – YT Channel ‘CNBC Make It’

The Patron Saint of Street Food in South Central LA | Street Food Icon – YT channel ‘Munchies’

A. Lack of funds, competition, poor marketing, no solid research and planning, and difficulty in dealing with tough laws and regulations; are a few common reasons for the failure of the food truck business.

A. If you want to start your food truck business with zero money, you need to try it with crowd funding.

A. Food trucks bring in new cuisines from different cultures. It boosts tourism & economy.

 

 

 

 

A. Good market research, good location, delicious food, appealing menu, cleanliness, sufficient funds for repairs & unexpected situations, picking quickly what new product is in trend; these all factors lead to the success of a food truck business.

 

There are many things to consider before opening a food truck business, including:

1. Business plan

2. Location

3. Vehicle

4. Equipment

5. Permits and licenses

6. Insurance

7. Marketing

Some potential SOPs for a food truck business could include:

1. Food safety

2. Vehicle maintenance

3. Employee training

4. Accident and emergency procedures

5. Personal protective equipment

6. Waste management

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