Spoiler: If you want to start up a food truck business, then you’re going to have to be patient, motivated and passionate, and you’re also going to have to work harder than you have ever worked in your entire life (okay, so this last step comes more into play once you become a mobile kitchen owner, but still).
Being a food truck owner — and starting up a food truck business, of course — is not easy, and you are going to need plenty of ingredients before you can do so. Therefore, below you will find 15 must-haves for starting up a mobile kitchen. While everyone’s journey is different, meaning everyone’s recipe list, if you will, will differ, the 15 things below are non-negotiable (and they are also in no specific order).
15 Must-Haves For Starting Up A Food Truck Business
15. A business plan. Every single aspiring business owner needs a business plan. It maps out your entire business, it can help you get funding and you would likely be lost without it.
14. Money. A food truck is not cheap, but it’s also not so expensive that only millionaires can afford one. Nonetheless, you cannot enter this industry without the purchase of a truck, inventory, food and everything else money actually can buy — and needs to buy for you to open up your business. That, of course, should be a no-brainer.
13. Recipes. You are going to be cooking food every single day, and you are also going to make menus, and you need to know how to cook this food — that is where recipes come into play. This is literally the most important ingredient, because it is your product.
12. Location, location, location. You need to have a location picked out, because you can’t just park wherever you want in this industry. Sorry. If you don’t know, then you will learn soon enough, but when it comes to location (aka where you park your truck), permits, regulations, rules, laws and fun things like that will come into play. Don’t fear, there are still plenty of great places to park your mobile business.
11. Support. Being a food truck owner is not for the faint of heart, and you are going to need a great supporting cast (via friends, family, employees, etc.) to help keep your spirits up, and to also keep you motivated.
10. Social media/marketing strategies. You can’t open up your business and then expect thousands upon thousands of people to start flooding to it. You need to market/advertise, and you also need brand awareness to make an appearance. Social media should be a food truck owner’s best friend, not sworn enemy, so the sooner you learn the ways of, say, Facebook, the sooner you will attract — and gain and retain — more customers via social media.
9. A food truck … of course.
8. Permits, licenses and whatever else your city/state calls for.
7. Passion. If you are not passionate about being a chef and a business owner, then you will fail. You have to have a burning desire to succeed in this industry if you … well, want to succeed. This job is tough, and the hours are long and grueling. However, if you are hungry, if you hustle and if you don’t lose your passion for cooking, then you could end up having a thriving business on your hands.
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6. An amazing manufacturer — you know, like Prestige Food Trucks. You absolutely want to go with a quality food truck, and a place like Prestige offers exactly that. Plus, if you don’t know what your mobile kitchen all needs, then we can help you out in that department. Basically, we can help you out with the entire build, and that will lead to you having a state-of-the-art food truck. Or, you could go the opposite route and buy a cheap food truck from an unreliable source … and that’s when the real pain and suffering begins.
5. Knowledge. If you want to succeed in this industry, and make your life that much easier in the process once you become a food truck owner, then you will do your homework now. You will study the industry, the trends, the competition, business in general, etc. The more you know, the better off you will be.
4. Skills. After all, if you aren’t a mastermind in the kitchen, then no one is going to like your food. The more you know in the kitchen (kind of like the bullet point above in terms of knowledge), the better off you will be in the cooking department. If you can’t cook, then hopefully you are a really fast learner, or plan on hiring an all-star chef.
3. Some form of grand opening in place. You don’t have to spend a fortune on your grand opening. You do, however, need to tell your customers when you plan on opening shop. Create some serious buzz by keeping them updated and excited when it comes to your grand opening, just as a little tip.
2. Time. While some folks operate their food trucks part-time, you are still going to need a ton of time if you plan on turning this business venture into a successful business venture. If you don’t have the time to work, let’s say, double-digit hours five to seven days a week, then you don’t have the time to be a food truck owner. Your entire life is going to revolve around your business — well, if you plan on achieving an overwhelming amount of success in this lifetime, that is.
1. Positive mindsets. If you want to be successful, then you need to cut all of the naysayers, negative people and negative mindsets out of your life. You have to come to work each and every day just as positive and happy as the previous one. Two things: (1) You entered this industry because you wanted to, and because it’s your passion (cooking food, that is). (2) You need to create a positive environment for yourself, your customers and your employees, for no one wants to be part of a negative environment/community.
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