This article is part of our Food Cart Business Startup Guide—a curated list of articles to help you plan, start, and grow your food cart business!
Starting a food truck business isn’t as simple as writing up your menu and renting a food truck. But, it’s also not as complicated as starting a restaurant. Providing you take the time to get to know the industry and what’s involved in turning a profit, you’ll set yourself on a path to success.
To help you out, I’ve taken the time to find the best resources, including the sites you should be reading regularly as well as where to buy or lease a food truck, and how to get hands-on experience.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I’ll direct you to the appropriate resource.
National Food Truck Association
Whether you own your own food truck business or are looking to start one, the National Food Truck Association is a good place to find regional food truck associations. You’ll be able to join, network, and find others who can help you in your area.
If you don’t see a local association in the directory of associations, the National Food Truck Association website has guidance on how to start a food truck association in your own area. They offer hands-on help, including assistance with your 501(c)6 paperwork, and with advocacy and fundraising strategies.
Everything food truck
If you listen to learn, the Food Truckr podcast is what you’ve been looking for all along. From learning to forge a food truck empire with Jim from Bacon Bacon SF to changing the world one taco at a time with Cayla of Taco Bike, this is an indispensable resource of food truck entrepreneur success stories.
Food Truck Fatty
Do you prefer to read your success stories? No problem, Food Truck Fatty is where it’s at. Every couple of weeks, this company highlights a new food truck, including the menu, the staff, and the truck itself. You should be able to pick up a lot of valuable information by examining the tried-and-tested. And, if you think your truck should be featured, get in touch—they’re open to hearing more!
Mobile Cuisine bills itself as the ultimate food truck trade magazine, reporting on stories from all over the web. Topics this site covers include food truck startups, growing your existing food truck business, handling food truck finances, marketing your truck, culinary tactics, and much more.
How to Start a Successful Food Truck Business
Do you want a real, visual look at the food truck industry? DIY Ready has compiled a YouTube playlist of 38 videos that cover everything from how much food truck owners earn (it’s more than you think) to wrapping your food truck with a custom vehicle wrap.
Follow a curriculum
Street Food Institute
A culinary degree is great if you want to become a master chef, but what if you know you want to become a master chef of the streets? The SFI CNM Program has a rigorous curriculum split into two main parts: hands-on training, and business training. In the second part of the program, students will get practice running their own food truck at the Street Food Hub, and implement their own menus. Successful completion of the course will result in a certificate!
Start Your Own Food Truck—Leave the Corporate World Behind
If you love food, love food trucks, and love the idea of being your own boss, taking a course to learn more could be just the thing to do. Not only is this Udemy course affordable—just $35—it will also give you a good overview of the industry so that you have a better idea of what you need to know. You’ll learn where to begin, how to plan a menu, what to include in a business plan, how to get funding, where to find the best ingredients, how to market your truck, when and how to hire employees, and a whole lot more.
Prestige Food Trucks
If you’re all about cooking in style and have the cash to splurge, a custom food truck might be right up your alley. Prestige food trucks has a proven track record of turning out really professional-looking custom food trucks. Of course, you’ll need to be willing to spend over $70,000.
You can’t start a food truck business without a food truck. If you know you’d like to buy your own food truck, Roaming Hunger is a good place to start looking for something in your location and your price range. You can find some pretty sweet deals, and when you’re ready to upgrade your food truck, you can also list it on the site.
Ready to start strategizing?
If you’ve fallen in love with the idea of owning your own food truck, but want a bit more help figuring out how you’re going to make money and how you’re going to get funding, look no further. We have a great article on ways to maximize revenue in the food truck industry specifically, and a selection of free sample business plans so that when you’re ready to apply for funding, you feel confident you’ll get what you need.