15 Jun 2021

How to start your food truck business?


In order to start your own food truck business there are many steps involved that cannot be omitted. If you dream of starting your first mobile catering venture this guide will help you get started and familiarize yourself with the process.

Food Safety Authority Ireland Checklist

  1. First and foremost your food business must be registered with the HSE
  2. You will need to familiarize yourself with food hygiene legislation
  3. You have to develop a food safety management system based on HACCP 
  4. You must have a traceability system in case there’s something wrong with your batch of food
  5. Be prepared to undertake food safety training 
  6. Consider other aspects for your food truck
  7. Have a look at other Food Safety Authority Ireland publications

Business Plan

The next step of your catering journey is to develop a detailed business plan. A coherent business plan will consist of the following.

  1. An executive summary which is usually the last part to be written. The summary should describe your mission, a brief company introduction, your main products and services, your customer base, summary of your competition and your competitive advantage, financial projections for upcoming years as well as your start up financial requirements.
  2. Mobile catering industry/business overview which will explain how your business will stand out in the market. In general what is the nature of the mobile catering sector, what are the statistics and sales?
  3. Products/services section will provide an in-depth description of your produce and talk about how they are unique and better-value from competitors’ products.
  4. Market analysis and competition section should include statistics and financial models to justify your competitive factor. You need to execute a thorough target market analysis, competition assessment that concludes there is enough demand for your products.
  5. Sales and marketing plan should have a detailed strategy of how you will attract customers via use of promotion, pricing, and sales. Think about what’s your UNIQUE SELLING POINT and how it benefits your customers. Set your price low enough to attract customers while making sure you will cover all costs. 

Consider how you will market your food trailer.

Will you need to make a website? 

What about photography of your products?  

Which social media channels will you choose?

Will you give out free samples?

More in ‘Ways to promote your food truck’

  1. Ownership and management plan describes your legal structure, eg Limited company or sole trader, managerial and employee roles, employee compensation, external professionals such as accountants or lawyers and more. 
  2. Operating plan should include physical necessities such as office space, warehouse, equipment, supplies or labor. If you’re a one person company you might only need to include operating essentials in this section.
  3. The financial plan section is the most crucial for investors or if you’re trying to get a loan. You want to demonstrate in this section that your business will be profitable. A good rule of thumb is to underestimate your income and overestimate your expenses. Income statements, cash-flow forecasts and balance sheets are a few elements in this section. 
  4. Exhibits and appendices section should include information that will help to impress your potential lenders or investors. Data like credit histories of business owners, business website links, resumes, references etc.

ECWVTA Certificate

Another really important part of getting your food trailer running is to get the European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval. Our food trailers and trucks are already approved by the EU upon purchase but we want to make you aware that a lot of trucks on the market do not have this approval. 

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