Food truck start-up checklist
If you want to bring an exciting new culinary experience directly to your clients’ doorsteps, a food truck might be the best way to showcase your menu. Whether you serve crowd-pleasing favourites or your secret family recipes, find out how the Food truck start-up checklist can get your business on the right track.
This checklist is meant to provide detailed information on starting a food truck business. For general information on business start-up, consult our Business start-up checklist.
- Business start-up checklist
When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.
Another option is buying an existing business — find out more.
- Buying a business
Find out what you need to know before buying a business: where to look, how to evaluate potential acquisitions, and what a fair price would be.
Learn more about buying a franchise as an option for starting a business.
Knowing the food truck industry
Finding the type of clients you want to attract is essential for the success of your food truck business. Set yourself apart from your competition by offering a variety of nutritious menu items, fair menu pricing, and excellent customer service. Use these resources to help develop your knowledge base and become an expert.
- Marketing and sales
How well you market your business and interact with your customers can vastly influence your success.
Get data that sheds light on population characteristics such as location, age, income, education level, and more.
- Research — Restaurants Canada
Read about current trends and statistics in the food service industry.
- Mobile Food Services — (NAICS 72233)
Find information on the number of establishments and performance for special food services.
Setting up your food truck business
Promoting your business through social media is extremely important for your success. Through social media you can announce your menu, promotions, where you will be on certain days, when you arrive and when you leave. Your food truck is similar to a brick-and-mortar business. You will find that you still need time away from your food truck to respond to clients and suppliers, and develop new menu ideas.
- Finding and managing suppliers
Find suppliers who are ready to meet the many needs of your business.
- RestoBiz.ca — Information for food service professionals
From menu planning to restaurant design and more, find information that can help you prepare for the operation and marketing of your food establishment.
- Stock control and inventory
Explore various stock control techniques and learn how to develop a suitable inventory system for your business.
- Social media eBook for entrepreneurs
This free eBook can help you develop a social media strategy for your business to attract, engage, and retain customers.
You will need to protect your food truck business against liability and damage. You may need more than one type of insurance; investigate what the best type of insurance would be to suit the needs of your business.
Explore business-specific insurance coverage that is available to protect you.
- Protecting your business
Your company is your greatest investment. Discover safeguard options that will help keep your business secure.
When starting a food truck business, you may choose to either purchase a new or used vehicle. Use this tool to help explore what the right choice may be for your situation.
- Vehicle lease or buy calculator
Use this calculator to compare costs of financing or leasing your vehicle.
Complying with food truck regulations
Most provinces and territories have regulations or guidelines for mobile food services. Be sure that you are in compliance with all provincial or territorial regulations.
You will need to check first to see if you can obtain a food truck licence in your town or city. Most municipalities have a limited amount of food truck licences available each year.
Find out more.
- Taxes, GST/HST
Learn about the forms of taxation that may apply to your business, and how you can manage them.
- Permits and licences
Find the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal permits and licences that you may need to start or manage your business.
- Reporting gratuities: Employment income not reported on a T4 slip
Find out how to report tips and gratuities for income tax purposes.
- Food safety
Access information on food safety, including product recalls, allergies and how-to guides on handling specific safety issues.
- Information for restauranteurs and food service operators
If you own or operate a restaurant, you need to ensure that any claim you make about the food you are selling is accurate. Find out more.
Hiring and training your employees
Is your business booming? Do you need more employees? Red Seal Trade certification is available for certain occupations in the food service industry and may be beneficial for your business. Use these resources to help you with the hiring process.
- National Food Safety Training Program
Learn about Food Safety Market's food safety training courses offered across the country.
- Red Seal trades
Find out more about trades that are designated under the Red Seal Program. This program is recognized as an interprovincial standard of excellence.
Whether you are just starting out or are an experienced entrepreneur who's been in business for years, you can never be too informed when it comes to your business.
- Starting a business
Want to be your own boss? Find out how to start a business.
- Business support organizations
Seeking the advice of peers, professional business counsellors and coaches can help you transition from new business owner to experienced entrepreneur.
- Contact the Canada Business Network
The Canada Business Network has centres across the country that offer guidance, information and resources to help make your journey in business a success.
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