Australia can be slow to take on new trends, but the popularity of food trucks that cater to gourmet tastes is fast becoming a phenomenon. From Smokin’ Grill Barbeque in Sydney’s west to Istanbul Eats in Brisbane and Donald & Tuck in Melbourne, opening a food truck that offers good quality food can quickly set you up for success.

If you are a budding entrepreneur and have thought of opening your own food truck, but don’t know where to start, here are eight tips that should get you up and running fast.

  1. Create a business plan

    The best way to understand the business and what it takes to be successful is to talk to other food truck vendors. They can help you decide whether or not it’s a good business model for your needs and let you know the problems that might have tripped them up along the way when they first started. If you still want to move forward with a food truck, write a business plan and run the numbers, before making your final decision.

  2. Buy a food truck

    You can either purchase a fully fitted food truck or purchase something smaller that you can renovate yourself. Which option you choose will depend on your budget and your capabilities, but it’s often best to start small and test the waters with a small food truck, before upgrading to something larger down the line.

  3. Buy your equipment

    If you decide to start small and fit out a small truck yourself, then you will need to source your own equipment. Talking to other vendors can point you in the right direction, but it might be sensible to consider second-hand equipment initially, so you don’t blow your budget before you start making any profits!

  4. Organise your menu

    With a small food truck, you might want to keep your menu small as well, as this will save on the supplies you need to buy and you won’t need to race around trying to cook 50 different menu items. Consider a select menu of signature dishes that reflect your passion for food and then cook them to perfection. It’s much better to present a small range of wonderful food to the public, rather than a crazy menu that requires a huge stock of food and runs you ragged in the process.

  5. Payments

    Will you take only cash or do you need to set up mobile payments for your food truck? Since just about everyone uses their debit cards and hardly anyone carries cash anymore, it’s a sensible idea to organise EFTPOS payments for your business. You can always ask the advice of other food vendors, just to be sure that you make the right decision at the start, but also consider that some EFTPOS systems automatically sync with MYOB. So it might pay to research these systems because if you set it up right at the beginning, you can streamline your accounting before you start revving your engine!

  6. Permits

    Don’t forget that you will also need a permit to operate a food truck and possibly, a permit to set up in certain locations. You will need to decide if you want to drive around and cater to fairs, fetes, festivals, rodeos and even private parties and events or operate from one location. Each local council across Australia will have locations where food trucks can legally set up and operate, so you will need to check their website for your options and apply for the appropriate permits in advance. Sort all this out and include it in your business plan in step one.

  7. Marketing

    With a limited budget, the best way to market your new food truck is by word of mouth and social media. With a gourmet menu that is cooked to perfection, you can quickly build a loyal following of customers who can rapidly promote your business to their network. Success never tasted so good!

  8. Start-up costs

    Unless you have a stack of cash tucked away somewhere, your best option is to take out a low rate truck loan. Your loan can also include the costs of fitting out your food truck so that any capital you do have can be kept for emergencies. With very reasonable repayments, you can be busily growing your food truck business while some of your profits are used to pay down your truck loan. Don’t forget that when you submit your tax returns each quarter, you can usually deduct the interest paid on any business loans (talk to a tax consultant about these deductions).

For highly competitive low rate truck and business loans, get a quote online today.