Create a food truck concept:
Food trucks often succeed or fail based on concept. Most successful food trucks choose concepts that are either very niche, a unique take on a common cuisine, or something completely new. In that last category, combinations of cuisines have proved popular
The cost of the truck itself varies depending on the truck’s size, age, and any updates or alterations that might be needed to adhere to requirements. Check out this article to learn more about the costs of running a food truck.
Purchase food truck equipment:
Buying a truck and cooking essentials account for a major portion of your startup costs. To reduce your startup costs, you could rent a vehicle to test the waters. You could also consider buying a trailer. While it’s less mobile, it’s a less expensive way to start.
Licenses and permits:
To run a food truck, you need to get the necessary licenses and permits. These include health permits, parking permits, and any other business permits. The Baltimore City Department of Transportation administers the Street and Mobile Vendor program. This initiative is here to help applicants to gather the necessary resources to get a stationary and mobile business up and running.
For more information about vendor licensing, rules and regulations visit Baltimore City's Street and Mobile Vendor Program website here.
You’ll also need to adhere to food-handling regulations. More information about this can be found here about Baltimore City's food licenses and permits.
To start a food truck and operate for one year, an entrepreneur spends an average $28,276 on permits, licenses, and legal compliance, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Food Truck Index. Read more about food trucks in this comprehensive report called Food Truck Nation here.
Invest in the right technology:
To ensure a successful and seamless transaction for customers, invest in a secure payment system that is both fast and reliable. To prepare for rush hours, you want your payments processor to take customer payments quickly so you can maximize sales. Many food truck owners seek additional technology to aid in reporting and operations. For example, many POS system have inventory management and reporting capabilities that can help you run and grow your business. View a list of POS systems here under business operation resources.
Creating a menu:
Since you don’t have a ton of space for food prep, your menu should feature just a few key items that can be prepared in tight quarters. You also want to ensure your items can either be prepped in advance or cooked quickly, since customers will be standing and waiting outside of your truck while you cook.
You want to make sure you have a crowd wherever and whenever you park your truck. Start with a truck design that captures attention on the street and speaks to your concept. Research the best locations to park your vehicle based on the time and day. Encourage customers to promote your food on social media platforms.