How To Start A Food Truck Business In India

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Starting a food truck may look daunting at first, and it requires proper guidance to take the right first step. Here is our guide on how to start a food truck business in India to help you figure out the basics.

This article explains why launching a food truck business of your own, rather than owning a solitary restaurant, is a wiser option.

It is a complete walk-through of every stage involved, so let’s jump straight to it.

Benefits Of Running A Food Truck In India?

There are a lot of advantages in opening a food truck business in India, sometimes even more than an average business related to the food industry. Some of them are:

  • Limited resources needed: One of the major advantages of a food truck is its minimal reliance on materials. One could even begin with just a couple of things (costing you around Rs 4000-8000 per person).
  • Can gain a lot of experience: This is an excellent place to begin if you want to quickly learn about the different activities associated with establishing a food business. You can review data analysis procedures, have a deeper understanding of client likes and inclinations, perform critical operational tasks, administer promotion and advertising, and so on.
  • Catering at events: In addition to your regular services, you can try developing a couple of partnerships and serving at occasions such as corporate festivals. 

How To Start A Food Truck Business?

First and foremost, you must prepare a food truck business plan that will serve as a blueprint for your food truck’s potential development.

It’s reasonable to have concerns when launching a business, regardless of the size of it, hence why you should understand how to draft a business plan for your business.

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While having a food business in India may sound intimidating, the below steps will cover the basics of starting a Food Truck Business in India.

  • Choosing the right vehicle 
  • Investing in kitchen supplies and other raw materials
  • Obtaining necessary licenses and permits 
  • Hiring a competent workforce (if necessary)
  • Identifying and installing a suitable POS software for your food truck
  • Choosing a uniform for your employees
  • Investing in marketing and advertising
  • Calculating the start-up capital required 
  • Miscellaneous

1. Choosing The Right Vehicle

The very first task would be to pick the appropriate truck or commercial automobile. You will have a commercial truck that is at least 18 feet in length, and a newer model could probably cost Rs 7-8 lakhs, depending on the suggested catalog, which is Italian and Continental.

However, if you want to minimize the expense of buying a vehicle, then you can start off with a second-hand truck, which would cost half as much as a brand new model. 

When purchasing an older commercial truck, however, make sure it has a valid fitness certificate, company registration papers, road tax receipt, and insurance coverage. 

It also should not be older than 5 years, since several state governments, local authorities land environmental organizations are contemplating banning 10-year-old commercial automobiles in multiple cities because of pollution and other environmental risks.

With an extra investment of around Rs 1 lakh, you can get your old second-hand truck modified and customized from various bodybuilder shops as per your requirements and to make it more fun.

So, minus the cost of cookware and other supplies, the overall cost of the finished vehicle (old) is Rs 5 lakhs.

This cost looks to be exorbitant when compared to the 450 sq ft QSR business, which rents for roughly Rs 40,000, but again the food truck expense would just be immaterial in the long term since there is little to no rent or any other type of charges to pay, depending on the location.

How To Choose The Right Location?

Always pick the street or neighborhood where there are not many identical food sellers. It should have a strong stream of traffic to bring a lot of people and should have institutions with a bunch of young students and professionals in the vicinity.

Truck parking must also be structured such that it is not bothersome for commuters while yet being noticeable.

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Furthermore, it is preferable to purchase a modest commercial vehicle instead of a large heavy one because large trucks are not permitted in some places, notably Delhi, before 9:00 p.m.

Also Read: Some Small Business Ideas For Indians

2. Investing In Kitchen Supplies And Other Raw Materials

Microwave, juicer mixer, freezer, griller, steamer, working tables, stove, exhaust equipment, generator, or giant batteries along with an inverter are all included in the overall price of kitchen hardware, which is roughly Rs 3 lakhs.

It is preferable to get new equipment because much of it is electrical. You would be spared of the regular servicing price of the machinery because new items arrive with a one-year warranty.

Furthermore, if you pick your equipment wisely and evaluate which items may be purchased secondhand, you can save a good amount of money that you can spend on other important tasks.

Other than cookware, raw materials can be stored for a week at a price of nearly Rs 30,000.

Furthermore, it is recommended to store minimal raw material during the first few weeks in order to preserve the freshness of the inventory and to observe the sales trend before procuring more.

3. Obtaining Necessary Licenses And Permits

The stated set of papers necessary is not available anywhere precisely because there are no definite laws governing food trucks/restaurant business plans in India.

Nevertheless, you must obtain the below-mentioned permits for your food truck in order to operate lawfully as a restaurant:

  • Fire Safety Certificate
  • Shop and Establishment License
  • NOC from RTO
  • NOC from Municipal Corporation
  • FSSAI Mobile Vendor’s License
  • Kitchen Insurance
  • GST Registration

The total expense of the document and licensing procedure might be around Rs 50,000. There are several consulting firms that can assist you with regard to licenses and other permits.

4. Hiring A Competent Workforce

In a food truck arrangement, a maximum of two chefs and one assistant are needed to maintain the full food truck’s activities.

Chefs might earn anywhere between Rs 13k and Rs 15k on average, while assistants can earn up to Rs 8000 on average.

You may engage two delivery people or collaborate with third-party transport and logistics that charge roughly Rs 40-50 per delivery if you wish to establish a delivery strategy for the vehicle.

Nevertheless, if you want to ensure a high standard of quality and leave a footprint in the foodservice industry, we recommend that you employ at least one delivery person who could also help you in procuring raw materials in the event of an emergency instead of relying on third-party logistics.

5. POS Software

Implementing reliable point of sale software that can preserve the safety of your data and provide accurate details regarding your inventory and sales is always a smart idea.

In today’s highly competitive environment, a solid POS could drastically affect your food business, like many establishments, including QSRs and other food enterprises, leverage consumer data to encourage repeat sales and obtain feedback.

An effective point of sale system might cost nearly Rs 24,000 per year or Rs 2000 per month.

6. Staff Uniform

A uniform lends an enterprise an overall brand feeling, that could enable you to earn higher levels of trust from your clientele.

A regular collar t-shirt will cost you at least roughly Rs 120, and because you only need five workers in this arrangement, two chefs jackets would set you back by approximately Rs 300, while the rest of the crew may get by with a t-shirt and a cap.

The overall price of all uniforms will be around Rs 6000 or Rs 7000.

Related: Other Business Ideas For People In Tamil Nadu

7. Marketing Of The Business

Food trucks, unlike QSRs, need fewer menus for circulation because their core operation is predicated on foot traffic rather than delivery.

To get the buzz up and going, the business owner can buy 15000 flyers at a price of nearly Rs 20000 and get a few billboards and posters put up in the adjacent target zone at a cost somewhere around Rs 10000.

But nevertheless, in today’s information age, generating offline hype is no longer sufficient.

Maintaining a presence online is essential, as it will retain your customers and followers and keep your audience up to date on the whereabouts of a food truck every single day. It would allow you to develop a consistent inflow of consumers and develop your brand.

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It can also be leveraged current followers to help distribute information about the food truck, such as by offering benefits or picking unique menu options. 

Besides that, keep records of local events and community functions and station the food truck near them.

Partnerships with event organizers, direct interactions with consumers, and giveaways such as t-shirts and flasks with the food truck logo may all help circulate the word about the mobile eatery.

8. Cost Of Starting A Food Truck

In India, the usual cost of setting up a food truck business is roughly ten lakhs. It varies significantly depending on the sort of automobile you choose and the kitchenware you own. The following is a cost breakdown for a food truck business in India:

Required itemsPrice
Commercial VehicleRs 4-5 lakh
Kitchen suppliesRs 3 lakh
Licenses and PermitsRs 50,000
POS SoftwareRs 24,000
Raw materialsRs 30,000
Staff uniformRs 6,000
EmployeesRs 35,000
MarketingRs 30,000
Miscellaneous Rs 25,000

9. Miscellaneous

With the exception of the materials described earlier, you will need two cell phones, a calculator, an attendance record, a daily book, and 2-3 large trash cans to maintain cleanliness and hygiene if you are thinking of launching a food truck business.

This type of business, unlike all the other food business modes, has its advantages and disadvantages, such as location, which is a challenge for those other food business types.

In a food truck business, the entrepreneur can choose the location depending on the market details and analysis, with no rent or lease to pay, no electricity charges, less investment needed, and minimal operating expenses.

On the other hand, this business is relatively risky due to the absence of a clear structure or operating rules, but if handled effectively and professionally, this format may be regarded as the ideal food format in respect of investment returns.

The original investment in a food truck is substantially greater than in a QSR, but the best part is that the total running cost is drastically lower in the long haul than in a QSR or fast food cafe.

Besides normal business, which requires at least Rs 8000-9000 sales figures on a daily basis, a food truck may also profit from other gatherings and catering. A simple event or catering assignment might bring in up to Rs 30,000 in a day.

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The capacity to quickly access data helps businesses to make more educated decisions. It is quite flexible. It enables users to retrieve data from a range of devices, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Entrepreneurs can organize and categorize accessible data, allowing multiple authorized users to access the same information from various locations and in a number of ways to achieve various goals.

Lio is definitely for the win and using it for your business is only going to make your journey smooth and easy to track.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which licenses are required to start a food truck business in India?

These licenses are necessary to obtain before starting a food truck business in India:

– FSSAI License
– Shop and establishment license
– Approval from the municipality
– Fire Saftey License
– Vehicle License
– GST Registration

How profitable is the food truck business in India?

Earnings per day might go as high as Rs 14,000 on a good day. The monthly income can be somewhere around Rs 4,20,000. So yeah, a food truck business is a highly profitable business for people in India.

Maintenance salaries and other expenses might drag the income down to Rs 3,00,000 per month.

Are food trucks legal in India?

Food trucks in India do not require a specific permit. Places where sellers provide meals to the public need authorization from the local municipal corporation. 

Is there a license required to sell homemade food in India?

Yes, you need to have a food license from the FSSAI to serve homemade food, but if you are operating on a small scale, you simply need to register.

Each FBO is needed to get an FSSAI Food License under the Food Safety and Security Act of 2006.

Why do some food trucks fail?

Food trucks fail for the exact reasons as restaurants do: an absence of strategy and financial support.

People have no understanding of how much effort is required and how little income is available.

They are prone to simply seeing the surface of a falsely attractive and lucrative lifestyle.

Conclusion

In India, the idea of a food truck business, or an eatery on wheels, is gathering steam among businessmen and customers.

The popularity of food trucks can be attributed to the fact that it is a less expensive option to establish a full restaurant.

Hopefully, this guide helped you in understanding how to plan a food truck business in India as well as an estimate of the investment required.

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About the author

Surabhi Guleria

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By Surabhi Guleria