Your own food truck business in five steps.

Selling tasty treats from one’s own food truck is something many people dream of: Brett Lindenberg of FoodTruckEmpire explains how you can start your own food truck.

Restaurant on four wheels.

Driving through the streets in a colourful van, thrilling customers with delicious street food while being totally free and location-independent: Food trucks have long stopped being a mere trend, instead, for many people they have also become their life’s dream. But how can you make this dream come true? Especially in the beginning, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the open questions: Where should I start with planning my business? How do I set myself apart from the competition? And which financing options are available for me? In short: Which steps are necessary to start my own food truck business?

Holger Hutzenlaub at the BBQ of the food truck with the menu in the background.

Everything sausage: Sausages but as well vegetarian dishes are served at the BBQ food truck owned by Holger Hutzenlaub.

Tips and tricks provided by food truck expert Brett Lindenberg.

At this point, Brett Lindenberg, the founder of the van platform “FoodTruckEmpire“ comes into play. Since 2013, Brett has focussed on the subject of food trucks and since then, he has given valuable expert tips in videos, articles and podcasts. When it comes to food trucks, Brett is nobody’s fool. In this video, Brett is going to show you how to start your own mobile business in five steps. And for all those who would like to get some inspiration beforehand: Click here for the most beautiful Mercedes-Benz food trucks.

Customers queue up in front of the "Daily Deli's" Mercedes-Benz 608 D.

Customers queque up in front of the “Daily Deli’s” Mercedes-Benz 608 D.

How to make the dream of having your own food truck come true.

  • Step 1: Choose a food concept

What would you like? – Hot dogs, burgers, or do you prefer Indian delicacies? Even in a food truck you can whip up practically every dish you want. But sometimes less is more – this also goes for the menu. So please consider carefully which delicacies you want to focus on, and try to set yourselves apart from the competition by creating unique tastes and unusual recipies rather than by providing a comprehensive, but boring menu. Always bear in mind, too, that you will need to fit vour van with specific pieces of equipment depending on what you want to cook or prepare.

  • Step 2: Write a business plan

An essential step on your way to professional independence is the following: It is essential to consider which tasks need to be tackled – and, more importantly, which costs will be incurred in conjunction with them. But how do you set up a sound business plan? Brett provides a template and the relevant guidelines for you on his website. Step 3: Take care of the legal aspects Different countries, different tastes – but also different laws: Internationally, legal regulations for food trucks are as diverse as the various national cuisines. Regulations may vary from one city to another and from one Federal State to another. No matter how boring the paperwork may appear to be: Do study the relevant provisions carefully and, if possible, get in touch with your local contacts at an early stage to obtain information about your business licence, fees, and the like.

  • Step 4: Immediately explore possible options to ensure funding

Of course, initially a food truck will also occasion high costs which must not be neglected. In this situation, rationality and solid planning are required. So make up your minds: Am I going to choose the traditional version or the creative one to come up with the necessary seed capital? For the first version, it is highly recommendable to use your own savings or optionally revert to a conventional bank loan. In some cases, networking with people on the internet may also contribute to giving a good idea the necessary financial thrust; more recent methods include crowdfunding, inter alia.

  • Step 5: Make your food truck famous

The big day has arrived: Sit down in your food truck, drive off and start cooking! What is important ,now is to go to the right events and make your mobile restaurant known publicly. In any case, make sure that you spread the news in the social media, such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You will see: In this way, your food truck will become a minor star in next to no time.

The yellow food truck “La Rika””, a Mercedes-Benz N 1300, at an event

Josep (in the driver’s seat) and his crew from “La Rika” are a hit at every food event with their own specially prepared street food.

Food is being prepared in La Rika Foodtruck.

Erika and Josep converted the Mercedes-Benz N 1300 from 1979 into a food truck themselves and with help from family and friends. They also installed a lighting system.

Photos: Kai Knörzer, Daily Deli, La Rika

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