3 Signs You’re Ready to Open a Food Truck Business

by Greg DePersio

2 min read

The food truck scene is taking over in many cities. Because they’re portable and not rooted in one spot like a restaurant, they can go where the action is. During a downtown street festival, a food truck can set up shop right in the middle of the party. Many customers feel that food truck fare is more authentic than cuisine served at restaurants. Also, because opening a food truck is much less expensive than opening a traditional restaurant, the barriers to entry are lower, paving the way for more competition and a broader array of choices for consumers. If you realize that these three signs are aligning in your favour, you should consider opening a food truck business.

You’re in the Right Location

Opening a food truck is similar to investing in real estate – location is everything. For the best chance to succeed, you want to be in a densely populated area, ideally one that is cosmopolitan, walkable, and has an active night life. Rural towns and sprawling suburban areas don’t tend to be the best places to open food trucks, though even some of these locations have pockets where food trucks gather and do well. It’s easier for a new food truck to begin capitalizing on foot traffic in a more densely populated city with more pedestrians out and about on a daily basis. Once your business wows its customers and makes a name for itself, foot traffic matters less, as new customers seek you out based on friends’ recommendations.

You Have a Unique Niche

If you’re opening the ninth or 10th Mexican food truck in your city’s downtown core, you can still succeed. Maybe your truck offers a unique twist on Mexican food, or maybe your food is just that much better than your competitors’ food, and customers will come to realize this in due time. However, your chances improve exponentially when you can offer something that’s not otherwise served by the current market. If the existing food trucks in your area all sell Mexican fare or burgers, and you open the only truck that sells Greek food, your business offers something that the market is currently missing, and it has a great chance to succeed.

You Have Sufficient Funding

Relative to other businesses, such as opening a traditional restaurant, getting a food truck up and running is a low-cost venture. However, low cost doesn’t mean no cost, as there are many expenses you have to cover before serving your first customer. The truck itself is a big expense, and then you have appliances, food inventory, permits and licenses, not to mention the municipality where you set up shop probably won’t let you do so for free. All told, the initial cost of opening a food truck can run anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000. You also need funds to sustain you through the early months until you build a reliable customer base. A good business expense tracker or other business expense software can help you budget for the costs associated with your food truck. Opening a food truck can be lucrative for the right person. If you have the right location, a unique niche, and funding, along with a love for cooking, a food truck might be the perfect business opportunity.

References & Resources

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