The Licensing Process for Food Trucks

Awesome – you’ve been working on your food truck business plan and you think you’re about ready to get started! But there’s one thing you may not have thought of which should definitely be at the forefront of your mind right now … regulations associated with food trucks. New regulations are being proposed all the time and, in fact, one of the newest regulations being proposed are brand new licensing rules. These are definitely things you need to keep in mind before you get too far along the path to running your food truck.

Licensing Needs to Be Covered in Your Food Truck Business Plan

Your business plan needs to take into account all of the new regulations that are being proposed and the ones that have already been approved. This means you need to make certain you’ve not only read all of them but completely understood them as well. It will do you no good to come up with an excellent plan for products and where to sell if you don’t meet regulations and you aren’t able to get the license you need to get out there on the street in the first place.

Food Truck Business Plan

Ensure Your Food Truck Business Plan Addresses all of the Regulations You’ll Need to Adhere to in the Area in Which You’ll Operate

In Andover, food trucks are required to get a permit from the Board of Health. If a proposed plan goes through they will also be required to get a permit from the Board of Selectmen. This new permit will require them to submit a plan which follows a new host of regulations including operating out of an approved and licensed facility. It will also regulate where food trucks are able to park so as to not impede the traffic of everyday persons who wish to travel across sidewalks and public ways. They will also be required to pay annual fees and fines from violations.

Why Are New Regulations Being Introduced for Food Trucks?

These new regulations are being proposed because of the drastic influx of new food trucks. In general the new laws and regulations will ensure that food truck owners are following the old laws and regulations. What will change are the fees associated with operating under these new regulations. This means that you need to take into account increases in rates and increases in cost or number of permits required before you get out there at all. Your food truck business plan will need to account for all of these charges, especially if you hope to get financing from anywhere other than yourself.

Before you buy a food truck you need to ensure that you have done your due diligence. Look at the area you’re planning to work in and monitor the changes that have been going into effect recently. This will help you to get an idea of what might be proposed or accepted in the future. You may also want to look at current proposals so you can be sure you’re prepared if any of those happen to go through the approval process. This will ensure that you are ready no matter what might come your way.

The Requirements for Food Trucks Vary From State to State

When you think about your initial startup costs you likely think of the cost of the truck and the equipment you’ll need. You probably also think about the groceries that you’re going to need. Make sure you don’t forget about the permits required. The number of permits and the cost of those permits will vary drastically from one state to the next and may even vary from one city to the next. Before you try setting up shop anyway make sure you have the right permits and licenses to avoid getting expensive violation tickets.

“Make sure your food truck business plan reflects all of your startup costs even if you’re planning on paying for them yourself and don’t have to persuade financiers to loan you money.”

A food truck business doesn’t have to be complicated and it doesn’t have to be overly expensive. If you know what your community requires from you when you create your food truck business plan, rather than when you’re trying to get out on the street, you’ll be far better off and you’ll be able to save yourself some money in the way of fines. Make sure your food truck business plan reflects all of your startup costs even if you’re planning on paying for them yourself and don’t have to persuade financiers to loan you money. If you are approaching others for finance, they may think you forgot part of your costs and may decide you’re not conscientious enough for them to invest with. You’ll end up getting more help with your plans to buy a food truck if show you’ve done the work and the research thoroughly.

Is This How Your Mobile Food Truck Business Started?!

How Does a Food Truck Business Get Started?

“You went to a local food truck meet up and instantly an idea started to grow inside you.

You started to dream of beating out the competition by starting a food truck that knocks the socks off the others you’ve tried.

Now is the time to act on that idea and dream.

If you want to learn the secret to having the crowds lining up at your food truck to taste the revolutionary culinary creations,

enjoying your awesome customer service at hard to beat prices then Mobile Food Vendor can help.

If you want to start your own successful food truck business, you need to check out to get started.”

Well, perhaps not all food carts get started this way, but many do and that’s a great thing!  But it’s a bit like buying a house when you’re away on holiday and have fallen in love with a holiday destination – is that house going to be the best investment decision you’ve ever made (read “business decision”)?

Like the holiday purchase, the decision to become a mobile food vendor can be made based on emotion and whilst you’re swept up in the romance of it all.  Now, food trucks can be lucrative, thriving and enjoyable businessed – don’t get us wrong.  But the take-away point we want to make is that more than emotion needs to be used to assess the future of your business.

The reality is that competition exists, regulations exist, the fickleness of the consumer exists, costs (including unexpected ones) exist and all of these factors and many, many  more combine and interact to create the environment in which your food truck business will operate.

Ignore any one of them at your own peril!

The Food Truck Business Plan

That’s why exists.  We aim to provide the good, the bad and the ugly of starting – or if you’re already started and operating – or succeeding in your venture.  It might sound boring and stuffy to some to sit down and do paperwork, but it doesn’t have to be like that.  Firstly, you don’t have to do it on paper!  Hop on the laptop, computer, mobile device – whatever – and jot down your ideas.  In fact, your business plan doesn’t even need to be made up of sentences and paragraphs, really.  It certainly needs to be understandable, but what’s wrong with ‘dot points’?  Just get started with some research, like the guidance we’ve provided on this site.

Don't stress about business planning

Don’t stress about your food truck business plan, just get something reasonable jotted down.

As the old saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, so set aside at least an  hour, grab a snack and a drink, find somewhere that you won’t be disturbed and turn of all outside distractions.  Then start on a list of all of the things you’ll have to consider to make your food truck business a success – not just the romantic and emotional side (but that is really, really important!  that’s what is going to make you stand out from your competition!)  but also the things you have no control over.  The things in your environment that you have no control over exist whether you want them to or not and how you manage those risks will be the make or break of your business.

“Don’t stress about your food truck business plan, just get something reasonable jotted down.”

What does it take to run a food truck?

Are You the Right Person for the Job?

Mobile Food Business owner

Not everyone is a good fit for owning a food truck business, no matter how passionate they might feel. Falling in love with the idea of a food truck, and running it successfully requires several other skills, traits and commitments.

  • Energy and Motivation

    – The more energy you have, the more likely you are to succeed in the mobile food business. This is an active job where you’re going to be on your feet for long hours and you need to be up to the task.

  • Commitment to Planning and Strategizing

    – The food truck business is like any other business – it doesn’t just happen.  It requires the owner to go through a thorough planning process to get their ideas put down in concrete terms that can be actioned.  We have a free mobile food business plan available on this site  – CLICK HERE to access it.

  • Organization Skills

    – Being able to multitask and still remain organized is essential. Since you will be handling everything from food preparation to bills and other tasks, you need to be a person who knows how to balance it all without dropping anything.

  • Experience in the Food Industry

    – Even a small amount of experience and exposure to the food industry will help you succeed in the business of mobile food trucks. Having at least a short background in what it takes to run a restaurant or some other food service will allow you to have an understanding of the multifaceted world of managing a food operation. Continue reading

Finding a Mobile Food Truck Niche

Your Mobile Food Truck Niche

As with any small business, you need to make sure that you find a niche in your market. Though some people think that being everything to everyone is the way to build and maintain a customer base, it’s really how you stand out, that makes you special in the food service market.

Moble Food Trucks

At this point you need to ask yourself some basic questions about the area in which you anticipate working:

  • What food is already available?
  • What are people willing to spend on a meal, a drink or a handmade treat?
  • What sorts of foods are missing?  Where could I add value?
  • What ethnicities are present?
  • What is the competition doing right (or wrong)?
  • What are customers looking for from mobile food vendors?

You can find out the answers to these questions by becoming a sleuth in the local market. Look at the other mobile food trucks and mobile food establishments to see what they offer, how they’re pricing their food, how they’re serving their food, etc. This process will help you see where you might fit into the market without directly competing with anyone.

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