Food for thought — tips when starting a food truck

February 16, 2015 - Tags: Startup Marketing

Food trucks are popping up all over to offer hungry lunchtime customers a variety of cuisines. Are you thinking of donning your apron and getting your piece of the pie? Explore what you need to know in order to start your own food truck start-up checklist.

Once you've decided to lease or buy a vehicle and whether to choose new or used, you will need to turn it into a food truck. Consider some of the associated costs of operating your new business.

On-board costs:

  • Generator(s)
  • Kitchen equipment — electrical
  • Cooking equipment — pots and pans and utensils
  • The truck's exterior — an awning and artwork

Related costs:

  • Rental of preparation or kitchen space — if your municipality does not allow food preparation to be done in a mobile business.
  • Fresh ingredients — daily cost
  • Stocking pantry — weekly cost
  • Fuel — daily cost

Finding the right location

Your municipal government will determine areas where you will be permitted to park your truck. Choose a location that offers a guaranteed, hungry client base — one near a grouping of office towers, or an industrial park would be ideal.

You may also want to enquire about the availability of special licences for outdoor events in the warmer months.

Think about forming a partnership with a strip mall or private business to permanently set up your food truck on its premises. This type of arrangement could reduce your fuel costs.


You will need to set yourself and your menu apart from other trucks in your desired area. Create a brand that your customers will enjoy and want to come back to. You'll need a hook! You may offer a different daily menu based on the freshest ingredients available or a set menu with a creative twist on the ordinary.

Keep it simple. Food trucks require a quick turnaround time as your prime serving period lasts only a couple of hours. You want to build your reputation on the quality of your food, not your wait times and long line ups.

Promote yourself

Get your name out there! Use social media to set up a page announcing your location, your daily menu and your hours. Allow your customers to post pictures and tweets about your delicious food – word of mouth never tasted so good!

Consult our restaurant and catering start-up checklist and our {inline-4} for more information on joining the food services industry.


Posted by on February 19, 2015
Hi Ahmad,

It sounds like you have an innovative idea in the works! If you already have a food truck or have access to one, you could test out your idea with existing customers. However, if you are contemplating a start-up, we suggest that you research whether there is a market large enough for your business to be viable. It is wise to conduct this research before you invest your time and money into a business.

- Conducting market research

For more information on starting or growing a business in Canada, contact your local service centre or call us at 1-888-576-4444 (TTY 1-800-457-8466).
Posted by Ahmad on February 19, 2015
I loved the article and it is useful for all who want to start food truck business.

I am wondering if kunafah (Levantine cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup) could attract the customers after having their heavy meal.

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