A food truck is a huge motorized vehicle, similar to a small bus or wagon, in which you may prepare and serve food. It has an onboard kitchen, and fast food such as French fries, sandwiches, grilled foods, or any regional delicacy sells quite well. Global cuisines such as Italian, French, and Mexican are also gaining popularity among foodies. And including the meals, they also serve cold beverages such as soft drinks and water. This unique eating concept has quickly gained popularity in India, drawing inspiration from food trucks or restaurants on wheels in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Food trucks have recently become fairly popular in the rapidly changing restaurant industry. The benefit of mobility in the food truck concept is that it allows owners to operate several sites with less initial capital than they would need to open any other type of restaurant.
As a result, it’s no surprise that small restaurant owners prefer to engage in a food truck rather than a standalone restaurant.
Many concerns will arise during the planning process if you are beginning your own food truck business. An organized business plan for your new food truck might assist you in laying out all of the solutions to your possible questions.
This not only ensures that you cover all of your bases but also gives potential investors critical knowledge about your new company.
Food Truck Industry in India
If you have a flair for wonderful food, starting a food truck enterprise in India is a great chance for you. Unlike a restaurant, there is no need to purchase or rent expensive real estate. As a result, you can begin with a minimal investment. Some food truck proprietors keep their trucks parked in apartment buildings, business offices, private spaces, or schools.
Many food trucks have been converted into permanent kitchens or are stationed for operation in mall cellars or at private events. In major cities, there are a few food streets where you can start. Because it is still in its infancy, India’s food truck or mobile kitchen industry has immense potential.
Food trucks have always been outliers, delivering restaurant food to places where no chef has ever cooked before.
However, with Covid-19 on the rise, things are getting difficult. Their typical clients, walkers roaming the streets and office employees stopping for lunch, have been confined to their houses. Food trucks arose from a need for change: restaurant rentals were too costly, and food trucks provided a less expensive option to serve a larger spectrum of consumers.
Trucks are being forced to think outside the box yet again, ten years after the food truck boom. Trucks are now going into residential areas and parked outside hospitals, hawking their food to a whole new audience in order to stay afloat.
Creating a Business Plan for your Food Truck Business
Although starting a food truck business in India may appear difficult, the following points will walk you through the process step by step:
- Picking a food truck or commercial vehicle that is perfect for you
- Obtain the necessary cooking gear and basic supplies for a food truck.
- To start a food truck service in India, you’ll need to register for the necessary licences and permits.
- Look for the people who will be needed to keep the food truck running successfully.
- Install a point-of-sale system for your food truck.
- Make a decision about your food truck employees’ uniforms.
- Promote your company.
- Decide how much money you’ll need to establish a food truck business in India.
- Other items needed to maintain your food truck business in India running smoothly
Choose the right food truck (vehicle)
In India, a typical food truck can cost between INR 8-10 lakhs. A fully outfitted food truck might cost up to 20 lakhs on the high end of the range.
The following is a detailed breakdown of all costs:
Vehicle: To begin, you’ll need a truck. You can either buy a used truck or rent one. A vehicle will usually cost you at least INR 4-10 lakhs.
Equipment: You’ll need to make a one-time investment in key kitchen equipment for your truck. The stove, tools, cooking dishes, and cutlery will all be included. You might want to set up a few tables and chairs so that guests can sit if they wish to (but this isn’t required). The total cost of the equipment would be roughly INR 2 lakhs.
To create the meals, you will require a store of merchandise or raw materials. That would set you back around INR 20-30,000.
POS: Your point-of-sale system is far greater than a single piece of equipment that handles invoicing and software. CRM, analytics, and inventories are just a few of the main business activities it connects to. A nice POS will set you back about INR 25-30,000. (6-month pack).
Staff: You will need to recruit a few people to perform your business’s core daily operations. Fortunately, hiring staff in India is not prohibitively expensive. You should set away roughly INR13,000 to INR15,000 per month for each individual.
Licenses and registrations necessary for the food truck business:
A food truck, like any other business, requires all of the necessary permits. Food trucks that are considered “illegal” in India have previously been targeted by the government.
The licences you’ll need to start a food truck are:
- FSSAI Certification- The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulates FSS (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011, which is one of the most significant licenses.
- Business Incorporation- In India, a chocolate business licence can be obtained through a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) registration, or by forming a private limited company to obtain legal status and access various sources of funding. LLP and sole proprietorship have fewer compliances and other related formalities than a private limited company.
- Trade Licence- To obtain a Trade License, you must first obtain a NOC from your state’s relevant government.
- Obtaining a Trademark Registration- Registered trademark is by far the most substantial concept for any new firm because it prevents replication of the logo as well as other businesses’ logos while also maintaining customer confidence.
- Goods and Services Tax (GST) Identification Number- Starting a business necessitates the opening of a current account, and you must have a GST number in order to do so.
- Chief Fire Officer’s No-Objection Certificate (NOC): An NOC certificate from the Chief Fire Officer is required because food trucks work with a lot of gas appliances.
- Clearance certificate from the city council: Once you’ve decided on a place for your operation, you’ll need a signed statement signed by the local municipal authority before you can begin setting up.
Optimal manpower planning for your food truck
Since a food truck is a not-so-spacious business, all you require is 2-3 cooks and must be available at designated times. Make sure you get in touch with other cooks and keep their contacts as well in case of the absence of your permanent hires.
Depending on your operation and other factors, you will need to hire a cleaner in order to keep the truck clutter-free, neat, and most importantly hygienic.
Pick the right location
Even though your company is mobile, that doesn’t mean that finding “the finest site” will be a normal practice. You should make a plan ahead of time so you don’t waste time looking for the ideal location every day.
First and foremost, you should think about where your target market will be. If you’re targeting the “working lunch” crowd, who are searching for a quick meal close to their offices, you’ll need an accessible site.
Consistency is also important to customers. They’ll want to know where you’ll be travelling and when you’ll be arriving. If you’re in one place one day and gone the next, you risk alienating regular consumers who perceive you to be inconsistent.
What are the requirements for becoming a member of a more established food cart “pod”? How much does it cost, and what permits are needed? Figure it out now so you can account for parking and registration fees in your final budget.
Consider and write down your timetable if you’re planning to serve from numerous places on any given day. How frequently will you relocate? How long does it take you to disassemble one spot and establish another?
Branding and marketing your food truck
With the rise of food trucks, it’s more important than ever to figure out how to draw in customers. Fortunately, you’ll be driving a mobile billboard, which you may take benefit of and utilise for advertising and marketing.
It’s critical to include your social networking accounts in your branding and marketing strategy so that people can quickly find you and know where you have been online. It’s also critical that you keep your social media presence up to date.
Nothing is more annoying than a profile that has not been updated in days or weeks. If you don’t appear to be active online, many clients will assume you’re closed.
Aside from social media, make absolutely sure your food truck is featured on Yelp and any other local food truck directories and applications. It’s crucial to establish a presence on these apps and receive good feedback, especially in the early stages.
If you can acquire local press, that’s also worth pursuing. It’s good notifying the weekly arts and culture papers about your presence because they frequently evaluate food trucks.
Consider your personal story –
- What makes you unique?
- What distinguishes your cuisine?
- What made you decide to open a food truck in the first place?
Everybody has a story to tell, so share yours and see if you can gain some media attention that will attract people to your truck.
Always keep in mind that it will take some time before you start creating revenue. So, when you’re thinking about investing, consider having three months’ worth of operating funds on hand just in case you need to use it.
The following is a list of potential approximate costs, with the amount of investment varying:
- A second-hand vehicle (Tempo Traveller) costs between Rs 5,00,000 and Rs 7,50,000
- Equipment and truck furnishing – Rs 2,50,000
- Licenses and permits cost between Rs 40,000 and Rs 50,000
- 2 person staff – Rs 15,000 per person
- Supply of raw materials (Recurring Cost)- Rs 25,000
- Marketing – Rs 10,000
Open a Bank Account For Your Business
- This keeps your personal assets separate from your company’s assets, which is critical for private asset protection.
- Keeping track of your numerous costs and income sources is necessary for understanding your company’s financial results.
- It also makes tax accounting more straightforward.
Get Business Insurance
Business insurance protects your financial well-being in the event that you suffer a covered loss. It is essential that your business be insured in order to operate safely and legally.
Different types of insurance policies cover a wide range of risks that a company may face. If you aren’t sure what types of risks you will face, start with General Indemnity Coverage.
Starting with this kind of coverage is wise since it’s the most popular one for small businesses.
The insurance product workers’ compensation also constitutes an important requirement for many businesses. If you have employees, your state will certainly require you to purchase workers’ compensation insurance.
Popular food truck themes & Concepts
There are a lot of innovative food truck concepts and themes that have been of significance in bringing food trucks into the mainstream Indian eatery category.
Some of these are noted below:
- Health Theme
- Regional Food Truck
- Gourmet Food
Popular Food Truck brands in India
- The Lalit Food Truck Company, New Delhi
- Eat n’ Run, Mumbai
- The Spitfire BBQ Truck, Bangalore
- S.W.A.T, Bangalore
- Frugurpop, Gurgaon and Mumbai
Food trucks are a rising industry in India, and flourishing all over the world. A food truck is relatively easy to open, yet some aspects are definitely a bit more difficult to operate and maintain- like cleaning, or lack of space.
It can turn out to be really profitable, and you can start off with your own budget, with a lot of scopes to grow eventually. This article has been put together in order to provide all the information you need to start your own food truck.