A Step by Step Guide to Start Your Food Truck Business in India
Lately, food trucks have become quite popular in the restaurant space that’s evolving considerably. Food trucks have the advantage of mobility where owners have the access to a number of locations at a lower investment than that needed to open a restaurant. Thus, it is no wonder that many people are looking to invest in a food truck business instead of opening a standalone restaurant. This article will give you an understanding of how to start a food truck business in India.
The points below will give you some business ideas including a proper Food Truck Business Plan to start your very own food truck business.
1. Choosing the Right Food Truck
The first thing you need to do is to look out for the right commercial vehicle or food truck to start your business. For a menu that’s Continental or Italian, you would need a truck or commercial vehicle that’s about 18- feet long. A new truck would cost you around 7-8 lakhs. There are different kinds of trucks that you could choose from – Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata, and Ashok Leyland.
However, if you’re looking to save up on costs then you could go for an old truck which would cost you half the price of a new truck. There are certain things to keep in mind when buying an old commercial vehicle or truck. You should check for the registration, fitness certificate, insurance, and road tax receipt. Also, the vehicle shouldn’t be more than 5 years old, as many environmental bodies and state governments are considering banning vehicles that are more than 10-years old due to pollution problems in various cities.
You can then get the old truck further modified and designed according to your requirements. This would come up to about Rs. 1 lakh. So, the total cost of the old truck without any kitchen equipment would be about Rs. 5 lakhs.
Now, this cost seems a bit too high, if you compare a 450 square feet shop with a QSR format whose rent would be somewhere around Rs. 40,000, but this cost would be nothing in the long run as you would have to pay nothing or very little for the truck depending on the location.
It is also advisable to go in for a light commercial vehicle rather than the really big sized heavy vehicles since certain cities do not allow big trucks on the roads before 9:00 pm.
Also Read : Top 10 Food Delivery App Startups
2. Choose the Right Location
When choosing a location, search for streets that do not have too many people selling the same kind of food. The location should have a regular flow of traffic. It should be a place that’s surrounded with many offices, businesses, and establishments with students and young professionals in the locality.
Park your truck in a proper spot which does not cause any inconvenience to people around, but should also be easily visible to all.
3. Kitchen Equipment and Raw Materials
The kitchen equipment you would need for your food truck includes juice mixer, freezer, griller, refrigerators, microwaves, tables, burner, steamer, generator, batteries with inverter, and exhaust equipment. The cost of all this would be about Rs. 3 lakhs.
Since these are mostly electronic products, it’s advisable to opt for new equipment that has a one year warranty period. However, if you wish to go for old or second hand products, then make sure to checking the equipment carefully. Old equipment can help you save a lot of money which can be used for other important things.
For the first week, you can store the raw material which would come up to about Rs. 30,000, but it is advisable not to stock up on too much because you would need to keep the stock fresh. During the first few weeks, you could study the sale pattern and then decide accordingly how much stock you would need.
4. Licenses and Permits
For starting a food truck business there are no proper laws laid out. There are no specified set of documents or food truck business licenses that are mentioned anywhere specifically. However, to be on the safer side, it is important to get the following set of documents and put in place.
- Shop and Establishment License
- Fire Safety Certificate
- NOC from Municipal Corporation
- NOC from RTO
- Kitchen Insurance
- FSSAI Mobile Vendor’s License
This paper work could cost you around Rs. 50,000. You could do this from a number of consultancies that can help you to get your permits and necessary documentation done.
5. Employees Required for Your Food Truck
For a food truck business format, you would require at least two chefs and one helper to handle the operations for you. The average salary for a chef can be around Rs. 13k to Rs. 15k and the helper’s salary could go up to Rs. 8,000.
If you wish to have a delivery service setup for your food truck, you could either tie-up with some third-party logistics company that will charge you around Rs. 40 to 50 per delivery or you could hire your own delivery boys.
In order to keep your service up to the mark, we would advise you to have at least one delivery boy who will also come handy in case of emergencies such as procuring raw materials rather than depending on the third party agencies.
6. POS Software
In today’s competitive environment, there are a lot of QSR format and restaurant players that are using customer data for feedback in order to improve themselves and get repeated orders.
Hence, it is advisable to get a good point of sale software so that you could track your sales and inventory. A good basic software could cost you around Rs. 24,000 per annum, which would be Rs. 2,000 a month.
7. Staff Uniform for Your Employees
A proper staff uniform gives an overall brand feel to your business. This can help you gain the trust in customers. For your employees, you can have a simple collar t-shirt and a cap, which will cost you around Rs 120.
For the chefs, you would need a coat, which will be around Rs 300. The combined cost for all the staff uniforms would not be more than Rs. 5,000.
For a food truck business you do not require too many menu pamphlets to be distributed since the business of a food truck is mainly based on the footfall unlike a QSR format. Initially, in order to create the right buzz around your business, you could go with 15,000 pamphlets which would cost you about Rs 20,000. Putting up billboards and banners in different areas is also another great way to market your food truck. This would cost you around Rs 10,000.
In this new digital age, you should have a presence on social media to keep your customers well-informed about the different locations of your food truck. This would get you a regular flow of customers and also help you build your brand connect in the right way.
Social media is a great way to get your existing followers to spread the word about your food truck, including your discounts and food items, etc. Learn about the different community gatherings and events in the local parks and areas around.
Personal contacts, tie-ups with event planners, and also giving away free goodies like mugs and t-shirts that carry your food truck logo could go a long way in spreading brand awareness and expanding your business.
Also Read : 15 Best Business Ideas Under 2 Lakhs
9. Other Things Required
Apart from the above-mentioned things, you would also require things like calculator, mobile phones, attendance register, diary, paper plates, glasses, napkins, and dustbins in order to keep the area clean. These items could cost somewhere around 10k.
The food truck business has its pros and cons. Location is one of the key points in a food truck business, where the owner of the truck can decide the location based on proper research and market information which is not the case with other types of business formats. The other positive side of this kind of business is that you do not have to pay any rent or electricity bills. You can start a food truck business that requires low operational cost with very less capital.
However, on the flip side, this business can be quite uncertain as you do not have too many guidelines or a proper framework for such a venture. But if things are done in a careful and responsible way, this kind of format can be one of the best food formats in terms of returns. Though the food truck business startup cost is on the higher side than a QSR format, the good thing of a food truck business is the overall operational cost that is much less than a restaurant or QSR in the long term.
Another great thing in a business like this is that apart from your regular business, you could also make additional income from catering and other events as well. You could earn up to Rs 30,000 in a day from catering for a single event which is a fairly good amount.
Video Review :