Finding a Location for your Mobile Food Business

You first need to carefully evaluate different possible locations for setting up your mobile food business.

Begin by checking out what you’d consider the best locations in your area and check to see if they are available. You may have to pay rent to private or commercial owners for the best locations such as in a mall or busy parking lot. If so, you will need to consider whether the cost of the rent will be worth it. That is, will the location pay for itself. As a rule of thumb, the monthly rent should not exceed 10 percent of your monthly sales.

You may also need to acquire a location license in addition to your business license if you want to park your cart on a public property like a park, side walk or street. Check with your municipality for details regarding locations and permit requirements.

The best locations for a food vending cart have a lot of pedestrian traffic. They should be located near a large population of workers, visitors or shoppers. The location should enable your cart, trailer or vehicle to be highly visible to this flow of foot traffic. It should also be easy to access for you to loadyour daily supplies or position the cart. It is also better if there are no other competing food businesses nearby.

Here are some examples of possible locations for a mobile vending business:

•Parking lot of large retail store, factory, plaza, or mall.

•Industrial park or commercial complex.

•Park, beach, pier, zoo, golf course.

•Downtown street corner or parking lot.

•University, college, high school.

•Court house, military base, government complex.

•Office building, hospital, call center.

•Transportation hub such as bus, train, subway, airport, marina, truck stop, service station,
car wash.

Note that some of these types of locations may be considered a permanent location in the southern states but would really be a seasonal or temporary location in the colder northern states and Canada. In addition to having a regular daily permanent location many mobile food vendors also set up to catch extra business after regular hours. These locations can be very profitable. Here are some examples of these that you should investigate:

•Sporting events such as soccer, baseball, football, etc., tournaments, little league and amateur through to professional.

•Car shows and rallies, farm shows, boat shows, air shows, industrial shows, home shows, county fairs, cultural events, carnivals, fishing derbies, auctions, parades, flea markets, music festivals, antique and craft shows, tourist attractions.

•Grand openings, open houses, large sales events, business anniversaries, company picnics & banquets, conventions.

•Charity events, church /club /school functions.

•Large construction sites.

•Catering parties and anniversaries.

While these special event locations will generate a large one time income if they are large enough, it is important to have a regular permanent location to provide you with a steady income. Do not sacrifice your consistent dependable presence at your permanent location in order to serve a one time temporary location. Your regular customers will come to depend upon your daily service. You need to maintain that loyal customer base. It will prove more reliable and profitable to you in the long term.

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