Starting a food truck business can be a rewarding way to work for yourself and give people amazing culinary experiences on the go. It’s much more cost effective than becoming a restaurant owner and you’ll have more control over your end product. That said, you’ll need a variety of specialist equipment to get you started. Read on to find out more.
Creating the truck
Once you’ve established your vision, you can look to create your food truck in reality. You may want to buy a new van or get one secondhand. You’ll be able to find better value in the used market, but you may need to do some renovations before you can call it home.
Decide what aesthetic you want your van to have, including exterior branding and design elements. The inside is important too but more people will focus on what they can see from the outside. You could go bold and bright or simple and sophisticated, depending on your target market.
If you’re serving a particular cuisine, a themed truck can be a great way to enhance your customer experience and it should help to attract more attention.
Equipment you may need
Every food truck needs a few equipment essentials. These can be broken down into a few key categories:
- Power equipment – A power supply is crucial to ensure you can use your equipment when needed. Some sites may have fixed power supplies for you to use, but others may require you to use generators for operations. Consider where the power will enter your truck and how it can be accessed from the inside with sockets and outlets.
- Cooking equipment – Fresh food needs to be cooked and delivered from the truck itself. Ovens, grills, fryers or any other appliances you need will be key in allowing you to serve the best food.
- Food preparation equipment – If you’re going to be doing food prep onsite as well, you’ll need the right tools to do that. Space and worktops for preparation, knives, chopping boards, pots and pans, thermometers and other items will help to ensure you can get ready for busier times ahead.
- Serving equipment and supplies – Your front-of-house service needs to be adequate to make sure customers enjoy a good experience. POS systems, payment devices, cutlery, napkins, sauce bottles, holding and warming stations, trays – the list may well be endless. Consider what you need to serve and complete transactions, and what your customers might appreciate.
- Refrigeration equipment – Food safety is important, so you’ll need the appropriate appliances to ensure ingredients are chilled. Consider whether you need fridges or freezers to store your produce in.
- Cleaning and safety equipment – Likewise, general cleanliness and safety are important for food hygiene and trading standards. Any issues could see your business shut down. Ensure you have the right fire safety measures, as well as cleaning products and procedures to avoid any contamination.
Getting operations underway
Once all the planning and preparation is complete, there’s not much else you can do besides giving it a go. Implementing all your plans is easier said than done. In fact, it’s much harder than coming up with the ideas and strategy in the first place. Everything needs to fall into place to help you succeed.
You’ll need the right people for support, your equipment and facilities ready to go, and direct access to your target customers. These should have all been outlined in the business plan, but you’ll need to be vigilant to ensure these elements are sorted before your doors (or windows) open.
As you start to serve customers, you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t. And you’ll be able to optimise your processes and operations as you go along in line with these insights. There’s no better method of learning than hands-on experience. Good luck!