The average cost of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant is $275,000. If you’re an aspiring restaurateur, you’ve likely looked into your options, like buying a food truck. Sounds simple, right?
Here are 5 things you should know before you start your food truck adventure!
1. The Cost of Starting up
The costs of starting a food truck business are more than the vehicle, fuel, and food expenses. Unless you’re prepared to do it all on your own, you’ll need to hire and train employees. A food truck needs to be checked out and maintained by a mechanic, like any other vehicle.
Overall, the upfront cost for launching your mobile restaurant business can be over $150,000. Along with equipment for your truck and other essential supplies, you also need to acquire licenses and permits.
2. Licensing, Regulations, Insurance, and Permits
There’s a lot of paperwork and legal costs to handle before you drive your food truck out on the road. In most cases, you can drive a mobile food business without a CDL, unless the vehicle is 26,001 pounds or heavier. Check with your state’s motor vehicle commission for specifics.
You’ll need comprehensive insurance coverage that protects you, any passengers, your equipment, and members of the public. You should have a warranty, which helps to limit out-of-pocket expenses such as repairs.
Lastly, you’ll need to register and license your business so you can acquire parking permits. Cities, especially big cities, have zoning laws that govern where people can park and where businesses can operate. Unfortunately, sometimes the legal expenses can cost you a pretty penny, but they’re necessary for running any mobile restaurant.
3. Research Types of Food Trucks
No matter how basic your menu is or how little equipment you think you’ll need, you should research the model and types on the market to learn everything about which is the right food truck for you. Factors from your food offerings, to where you plan to sell, and when, are all things to consider when looking at trucks. Your mobile kitchen should fit all of your needs. You don’t want to invest in a truck that you later find out isn’t going to be a good fit. So do your homework!
4. Have a Digital Marketing Strategy
If you’re not marketing your mobile food business, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Even before launching, you should have a digital marketing and social media strategy. Establish and stick to brand identity for your online presence.
Sending out a few tweets here and there isn’t enough. You’ll need a proper social media campaign to really launch your business off the ground. It’s especially important to make sure followers (read: potential customers) know where and when to find your truck!
5. Learn From Your Competition
When figuring out where to buy a food truck, or how much is it to buy a food truck, you shouldn’t expect too much help from your competitors. The food truck industry is very competitive. Look into how other food trucks started (such as looking at their social media campaigns) or scout out the best spots in your city to sell.
Looking at your competitors will also give you an idea of what may be in-demand in your area. If the trucks in your city sell similar products consider introducing something completely different. If you’re one of ten other BBQ trucks, you’ll need some pretty amazing food to stand out from the crowd.
What to Know Before Buying a Food Truck
The upfront costs of buying a food truck can be steep. Permits, insurance, warranties, and other legal expenses are a necessary evil. But if you’re a truck die-hard food trucker, that won’t scare you off. To help your start-up, ensure you have a solid digital marketing strategy and you learn from your competitors to see how they succeeded.
If you want to know more about buying a food truck, request a custom quote from us today!