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    8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2010 6:26 PM by KathleenF

    How to start a food truck business

    Howard Adventurer
      My son is talking about starting a food truck business - selling "gourmet meals on wheels" is how he describes it. We live in San Diego, CA. He has experience in the food industry, waiting tables and working as a grill cook for a local hospital. So yes he does have food industry experience. But not so confident about him stepping out on his own to start a food truck. Does anybody in the Community have experience with starting a food truck business? Tips would be great.
        • Re: How to start a food truck business
          Marcellius03x Wayfarer

           

          Hello Howard

          Nice to see you in support of your sons desire to start his business. There is a bit more information that is needed in order to make a suggestion. The main draw-back that I am feeling about the business pitch is that he'll be selling "gourmet" meals. Doing something like that in a mobile environment might pose a challenge onto itself as you obviously have space restrictions.

           


          1) Of course the main things one would need is insurance, and permits, i.e. food permits, use and sales tax permits, ect.

           


          2) Second, you would need to secure a food truck. They have these ready-made, so that shouldn't be a problem, but it does bring me back to my above statement about the challenge of a mobile "gourmet" food service.

           

          3) He should try to be able to set-up in atleast a few perfect locations.

          4) Stick to a small menu, and be GREAT at it.

          5) With a business like that you need to pay VERY close attention to patterns, this tells you when to stay, where to move, and when to move.

           

          I'm sure it would be a great business and with the weather that you guys have in SD, I don't see why people wouldn't want to sit outside and have a meal lol.

          I would love to give any tips I can, and wouldn't mind speaking with out about it.

          Thank you, good luck and that's some good parenting your doing there.
          • Re: How to start a food truck business
            mayerou Adventurer
            The person before me has given you all excellent pieces of advice.

            I am myself starting a new clothing line as a new entrepreneur. I was advised to contact my local chamber of commerce to meet with the community businessmen in the area who volunteer once a week to meet with new entrepreneurs, at the Chamber, to provide guidance. These entrepreneurs come from all walks of life and are trying to give back to the community, in this case their expertise and advice. It's free and it will be a great asset in guiding your first steps.

            Also when you're all set up with the business, become a member of the chamber for a nominal fee of less than $500/year; that will register your business with the chamber, will give you access to membership groups of your choosing, attend monthly group meetings or send your staff (very entertaining, informative and collegial meetings), will give you access to affiliates who may help with other aspects of your business, you may find to partner with others. keep lots of business cards & business brochures/flyers with them which they will display at their entrance door(s). Your company will get invited to all their events where you'll get to network with a great number of people, of politicians who schedule community meetings through the chamber, you'll be able to participate in their trade shows, you'll get high visibility with the community and fellow members of the chamber, they will give referrals for your business to get you clients. For that nominal membership fee you'll get more advertisement than you pay for. There are so many more opportunities that will be offered to you and I can't list them all here.

            I would suggest to try, at least, a yearly membership at the start of your business. if it doesn't work out or you find not needing that marketing outlet, you don't pay membership the second year. But I assure you that it will be a win-win situation for your son's business and it's worth trying.

            It is equally important that you also consider seeking advice from business people associated with the chamber on starting the new venture. They are from the community and know well the market and climate of the business community. It's totally FREE. All you do is contact the chamber, tell them a little about your venture and they will set p a meeting to hook you up with the right business affiliates.

            Good luck to you & your son and keep us abreast of your progress!

            Mayerou
            • Re: How to start a food truck business
              Newbie
              Hi. I'm in Boston, and we have a food truck here called Clover (you can check them out online at www.cloverfoodlab.com), and they are hugely popular. They mainly have a healthy (wouldn't call it gourmet) menu that is vegetarian. It's basically the same, short-ish menu each day, and they mix it up a little each week. They started out very small and thought it'd be a flash-in-the-pan, and people flocked to it. There are two now -- one in the financial district and one on the other side of the river near MIT. They're even opening a small permanent place in Cambridge, MA, I believe. Anyway, it works really well because all of the financial district people are here, it's right outside the South Station train station (large walk-by volume), and it's relatively healthy food for a low cost. I don't think anything is over $6. Just a few things to think about. Good luck to your son!