A food truck is another way to open a food business without the monthly overhead of a shop. Here are some ideas to start your own mobile food business.
A food truck is perfect for someone who studied to be a chef or who has a talent for cooking as it usually sells unique and tasty food, there is another option to go for in the food truck business if you are not a talented cook: novelty food. If all you want to do is open a basic mobile take-away then you can use a caravan which would be cheaper to set up. With a food truck people want good food and because of this you can charge a premium and have a higher profit margin than a caravan food business.
Option 1: Good food
The allure of the food truck is to get tasty fast food on the go and that is why you have to specialise in something that people will usually get at sit down eateries: gourmet toasted sandwiches, nachos, unique burger combinations, pizzas, shawarmas etc. You can also specialise in certain types of food such as Mexican.
Option 2: Novelty Food
If you are not good at cooking there is another way to get up and running that requires little skill but will stiff fit in the food truck format: novel foods. That is selling food such as corn dogs and other foods which is not widely available in Africa and may succeed in the food truck business as it is unique enough yet does not require a lot of skill. Some people will buy just to try it if they haven’t eaten it before.
The food truck is the biggest expense, this can be made from an appropriate vehicle, or you can see if you can pick up one second hand. Depending on what you are making you’ll probably be using a gas powered grill to cook the food. As well as something to keep the cool drinks cold while you are out on the road. As for the food: make something that can be made in various combinations with as little ingredients as possible, in other words if you are making burgers, the rolls, patties and chips will stay constant but the other toppings will change. This means less chance to lose money to spoilage.
Where to operate
The best place to operate a food truck is in big cities, flea markets or at events where there is lots of foot traffic. If you are operating in a city make sure there are no bylaws that you will be falling foul of. Also, depending on where you operate, you will need a health certificate and a certificate of compliance for the gas.
Next time we’ll be looking at another mobile food business: the dessert trailer.