How to start a food truck business

If you want to start a buisiness food truck but you have not enought resorces, here the businessman Felipe Antonio Bosch Gutiérrez shares some tips on how to start a food truck with no money.

1. Start with a food stall instead of a food truck

Buying a food truck can set up back anything from £10,000 all the way up to £100,000 for the big concession food trailers you see at festivals.

On the other hand, you can start selling from a food stall, for under £1000. Most street food vendors use gazebos to sell their food from which you can get a decent brand for a few hundred pounds or dollars.

Remember at this stage of the game your product is not tried and tested so you really want to keep your costs to a minimum.

2. Buy second hand

I can’t emphasise this tip enough when starting out. You don’t need all the gadgets and shiny equipment when starting a food truck with no money. You can get perfectly good catering equipment for your needs second hand.

Sites such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Preloved, for example, have a range of second-hand catering equipment.

3. Rent equipment

If what you are thinking of selling takes more specialised and costly equipment to produce you may want to think about renting the equipment instead of trying to come up with the full amount upfront.

Equipment such as coffee machines, churros machines and high-end juicers can cost thousands, which you may want to avoid starting out. It’s also a good way to taste if the product sales without taking on all the risk.

4. Hire a van

If you are initially going with a street food stall as opposed to a food truck, then you will need transport for your equipment – preferably a van.

You will need something that is reliable, as the last thing you want to do is break down on the way to an event (something I have done a few times).

At the same time getting your hands on a brand new van will set you back a pretty penny (you might as well just start with the food truck if that is the case).

The solution to this, therefore, is to rent a van. The longer you rent, the cheaper it becomes (in some cases about £25-30 per day).

This way you get to drive a nice shiny van, without forking out for the privilege to do so. And you can test if your product idea works without all the risk involved.

5. Get a zero per cent interest credit card

It’s not ideal when starting any type of business to fund it with debt, but if you really don’t have any money to start your food truck or street food business I recommend a zero per cent interest credit card.

If your credit rating is fair-good, It has never been so cheap to get credit these days. Make sure you go for a zero per cent interest credit card on purchases for as long as possible. I usually try to find cards with zero-interest for over 20 months.

But remember to borrow responsibly and only take on what you can afford to pay back.

6. Join Mobile Catering Facebook groups

Not only do you get a wealth of knowledge, contacts and leads in these groups from people who have been in the game for years, you can also come across food truck catering equipment at a discount.

If you are a bit cheeky you also might be able to get a caterer to lend you some equipment. It’s actually quite surprising how helpful some people can be when they know you are starting out.

7. Start with a minimum viable product (MVP)

This is a term know in business whereby you produce a product with the minimum amount of resources, that the consumer will pay for.

It would be nice to sell that tasty free-range, organic fried chicken burger locally sourced from the golden highlands. But the reality is it will eat into your profit significantly.

You can improve the product, as you progress and make sales, and then reinvest the profit into a more superior product.

I am not saying compromise on taste or quality, but try to go for the best quality at the best price.

9. Get a business partner

As the old saying goes, “a problem shared is a problem halved”. The point is with any new venture there is always an element of risk and for new start-ups, the risk is even higher.

With this in mind, it may be wise to have another person on board to help with the funding and running of the operation and share the risk. Its also good to have two minds working on things.

10. Get family and friends involved

Following on in the same vein, try and get family and friends involved. If they can’t help with start-up costs you can at least try and get them to volunteer some of their time in the running of things.

Staffing costs is one of the biggest outgoings for any business so any way you can reduce this will help you will cash flow and on your way to a successful street food venture.

11. Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding seems to be pretty popular for people wanting to start a business with no money.

If you are unfamiliar with the concept, basically these are digital platforms where you pitch an idea to the public for investment in exchange for a stake in the business or a free product.

If you have a unique ideal you may just get the funding you need- hence the ability to start a food truck business with no money (or none of your own at least).

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