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How to Get a Food Truck to Cater Your Event

Food trucks are growing in popularity for catering events. The trucks are like mobile catering kitchens that drive to your location. These food catering trucks serve food for wedding receptions, business affairs, parties and special events. Check out these five ideas for finding the right truck to cater your event.

Plan what your budget allows before considering the food trucks. Food trucks are typically much more reasonable than traditional event and catering companies. A ballpark range for food trucks is around $10 to $20 per person. Traditional caterers charge $60 to $70 or more per person. Once you have your budget, compare prices between food trucks. Casual fare of sandwiches and pizzas will usually be less than high-end lobster or steak.

An important consideration is how many customers the food truck can handle. If it can serve 50 comfortably and your event plans for 100, you might need two food trucks. Also, check to see how quickly it gets the food out to keep up with customer demands. Food trucks often have long waiting lines with made-to-order menus. You won’t want your guests getting frustrated waiting on service.

Customized Menu

Get creative with a customized menu. Choose a few selections from the menu to limit ordering, prep and cooking times. This is one reason food trucks are so popular as guests get to choose what they want instead of a predetermined meal. Next, find one or two signature dishes representing your event. If it’s a wedding reception or after party, label the bride and groom’s favorites. If it’s a corporate event, have a CEO signature dish or a company name on one of the foods.

Figure out the best location for the food truck to park. The truck has to be able to drive to the spot and there needs to be room for the guests to stand. Research local restrictions on where the food trucks can park. See if permits or insurance are required for food trucks to cater an event.

Determine what the food truck includes and what it doesn’t. Are plates, utensils and napkins included or are they your responsibility? Some food trucks play music, so they come with built-in entertainment. If you need to provide extra food or drinks, set up a buffet table and bar cart to accommodate your guests. Add dining tables, chairs and tablecloths so your guests can eat comfortably without having to juggle holding a plate while standing. Don’t forget trash cans if the food truck doesn’t provide them.


food truck business plan

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Food Truck Business Plan Template

Food truck business plan.

You’ve come to the right place to create your food truck business plan.

We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their food trucks.

Food Truck Business Plan Example & Template

Below is a template to help you create each section of your food truck business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is a new food truck located in Portland owned by local critically acclaimed chef, Zane Benedict. The menu will consist of popular food options that consist of burgers, sandwiches, gyros, and tacos uniquely made with the creativity and uniqueness that Chef Zane can offer. Chef Zane’s eclectic style and consistency make him a favorite among Portland foodies and his food truck will garner a loyal following amongst young professionals and college students.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be located in the immensely popular food truck pod known as Cartopia. Chef Zane will receive lots of exposure by being a part of this community as there are plenty of neighboring food trucks, bars, nightlife, and entertainment options nearby. With the popular location of Cartopia and an impressive Instagram social media following, Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is destined to become a local go-to dining destination for anyone craving delicious, interesting fare at an affordable price.

Products Served

The following are the products to be offered by Zesty Zane’s Food Truck:

  • Sandwiches & paninis
  • Assorted non-alcoholic beverages

Customer Focus

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will target customers in Portland who live, work, or socialize near Cartopia. This area is frequented by numerous young professionals, college students, and the late-night crowd who regularly eat at food trucks. Anyone seeking trendy dining options are the target customers of Zesty Zane’s Food Truck.

Management Team

Chef Zane has worked in the culinary industry for over ten years and is accustomed to the long, demanding hours of operating a kitchen. He attended culinary school in San Francisco and returned home to Portland to be a part of the world-renowned food scene that Portland has built for itself. After working under three award-winning chefs, Chef Zane is ready to venture out on his own and start his own business as a food truck.

Chef Zane Benedict will be the owner and operator of his food truck. He will operate the food truck Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 am until 1:00 am. Chef Zane will also employ two part-time cooks to assist him during peak hours of operation.

Success Factors

The following success factors will set Zesty Zane’s Food Truck apart from the competition:

  • Exceptional cuisine made fresh with locally sourced ingredients.
  • An eclectic menu that is unlike any other in the Portland food scene.
  • Convenient location: Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be located in a highly-trafficked food truck pod that is frequented by college students, young professionals, and night-life regulars.
  • Delicious food at a good price. Zesty Zane’s food items will be cheaper than other food truck dishes without sacrificing quality.

Financial Highlights

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is seeking $40,000 in debt financing to open its food truck. The funding will be dedicated for the purchase of the food truck, cooking supplies and equipment, working capital, three months worth of payroll expenses and opening inventory. The breakout of the funding is below:

  • Purchase of food truck – $20,000
  • Food truck kitchen supplies and equipment – $10,000
  • Opening inventory – $2,000
  • Working capital (to include 3 months of overhead expenses) – $3,000
  • Marketing (website design and management) – $5,000

The following graph outlines the pro forma financial projections for Zesty Zane’s Food Truck:

food truck financials

Company Overview

Who is zesty zane’s food truck.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is a startup food truck business located in Portland, Oregon. The menu offerings are eclectic, made-to-order, bistro-type dishes served fresh and fast in the entertainment district of Portland. The ingredients are locally-sourced from independent food growers and artisans in and around the Portland region. The dishes are incorporated with an ingenious twist to commonly known popular food menu items. The menu options are simple dishes commonly seen at food trucks, but Chef Zane adds his own spin to the typical fare – sandwiches, gyros, burgers, and tacos all made his way unlike any other food establishment.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is owned and operated by Zane Benedict, a local Chef classically trained in culinary school and under the most prestigious chefs in Portland. Chef Zane is known for his creativity, consistency, and quickness in the kitchen and his dishes receive multiple positive reviews in the restaurants Zane has been employed. Chef Zane specializes in fine French, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine with a creative twist not typically found in other restaurant establishments.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck History

After graduating from culinary school in 2008, Chef Zane Benedict worked as a sous chef in three different restaurants in Portland. All of the chefs Zane worked under were award-winning, locally-acclaimed chefs that frequently trained their apprentices to prepare dishes up to their expectation and standards.

Chef Zane learned a great deal from these chefs and garnered a reputation himself for his creativity and consistency. Now that Zane feels he has learned as much as he can from the senior chefs, he would like to venture out on his own and start his own business. Due to the large amount of capital required to open a full-scale restaurant, Chef Zane decided a food truck business was the most cost-effective option for his operation.

Since incorporation, Zesty Zane’s Food Truck has achieved the following milestones:

  • Developed the food truck’s branding image, social media, and website.
  • Has a soft hold on a used food truck that recently went out of business.
  • Developed and finalized the menu of the dishes Chef Zane will serve.
  • Obtained a food permit license to be able to prepare and sell food and drinks in Portland County.
  • Obtained a sales and use tax permit for use in Portland County.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck Products

The following are the types of menu items Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will produce:

Industry Analysis

Food truck vendors will continue to perform well over the next five years, benefiting from consumers with deeper pockets who are able to spend on pricier gourmet food options. Revenues are expected to increase to $1.4 billion during this time period.

Industry operators are expected to continue to experience growth, as generally positive economic conditions and momentum from the gourmet food movement propel growth.

Consumers nowadays demand higher-quality food, a wider variety of styles and tastes, better presentation and, most importantly, more healthy menu options. Therefore, operators that include healthy options on their menus will be best situated for success over the next five years. Vendors that continue to offer unique food options will also be in a strong position by carving out a niche and developing a loyal customer base.

The industry will also benefit from an increase in the urban population, which is expected to comprise the majority of the US population in five years. The industry benefits from agglomeration because it relies on high foot traffic. Additionally, urban dwellers are also more likely to purchase meals rather than cooking at home due to their above-average incomes and limited spare time.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will target the population of Portland that frequently dines in the entertainment district. There is a large food truck area of Portland known as Cartopia, where Chef Zane will set up his business. This area is home to numerous dining establishments, nightlife, bars, clubs, and food trucks. The target market of this area are usually young professionals and college students who have disposable income.

The precise demographics for Portland, Oregon are:

Customer Segmentation

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will primarily target the following customer profile:

  • Local residents of Portland who partake in late-night activities such as socializing with friends or bar-hopping
  • Business professionals that work and reside in the Portland Cartopia area – law offices, hospitals, clinics, insurance agencies, retail, and schools
  • College students who are in search of fast, cheap, and trendy eats

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be competing with other local food trucks in the Portland community. A profile of each competitor is below.

Potato Champion

Potato Champion is a local favorite of Portland foodies that is also located in Cartopia. Started in 2008, Potato Champion quickly established itself as a fan favorite for late night food. Potato Champion serves a limited menu of hand cut, twice fried Belgian style fries, a variety of dipping sauces, and their own version of the Canadian classic Poutine, as well as other fry related dishes. They pride themselves in using the highest quality ingredients and focus on an inventive menu that combines tastes from all over the world with one of the most popular foods found on the globe, the french fry.

Potato Champion is open for lunch, dinner, and late-night. They are available for catering and delivery through Postmates. Followers of Potato Champion are also able to purchase swag from their store that includes music, bags, pins, and hoodies.

Started by John Eads in 2009, Pyro Pizza was built out of a 8’x16’ food cart that he custom-built with a cast iron wood fire oven. Aside from wood fired pizza, John also makes his own sodas using all real ingredients and natural cane sugar. John’s belief is that good ingredients make good food. His crew makes many components in-house and sources regional flour, pepperoni, sausage, blue cheese, soda ingredients, and seasonal produce all from Portland businesses and farms. In 2015, Pyro’s expanded to a new sandwich cart, Pyro’s Wicked Wiches – a scratch-made sandwich, soup, chips and cookie food cart.

Pyro’s serves an assortment of wood fire pizzas made from scratch. Their choices are margherita, marinara, arugula and mushroom, pepperoni, quattro formaggi, fennel sausage, veggie bianca, breadsticks, salads, and sodas.

Chicken and Guns

Chicken and Guns is another local favorite among Portland foodies. Also found in Cartopia, Chicken and Guns serves up Latin American chicken, wings, tacos, salad, soup, and their “guns” are crispy seasoned potatoes. The chicken is served by the quarter, half, or whole bird. Another item they are acclaimed for is their peruvian aji sauce, habanero carrot sauce and chimichurri sauce. They have been named the best fried chicken in Portland by the PDX Eater.

Chicken and Guns is open everyday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm for takeout and delivery options. With a large Instagram and social media following, there is always destined to be a line at the Chicken and Guns food truck.

Competitive Advantage

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck offers several advantages over its competition. Those advantages are:

Marketing Plan

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will offer a unique value proposition to its clientele:

  • Delicious food made fresh with locally sourced ingredients using exquisite techniques.
  • Located in the ultra-hip food truck area known as Cartopia.
  • Great food at a great price. The menu offerings of Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be accessible to customers of all walks of life.

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Zesty Zane’s Food Truck are as follows:

Social Media

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck’s main source of marketing will be through social media, primarily their Instagram page. Chef Zane has become adept at taking appealing photographs of his dishes. He will post pictures of his menu and add details on the location and hours of operation. His food truck account already has over 3,000 followers and he posts daily “Coming Soon” teaser photos.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be parked in the immensely popular food truck hub known as Cartopia of Portland. There are dozens of food trucks located in this pod and there is always a crowd of people. Cartopia hosts bands, art shows, shopping events, and other social gatherings to enhance the entertainment vibe of the pod. By being part of Cartopia, Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will receive lots of exposure and traffic.

SEO Website Marketing

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck plans to invest funds into maintaining a strong SEO presence on search engines like Google and Bing. When a person types in “local food truck” or “top food trucks in Portland”, Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will appear in the top three choices. Zesty Zane’s will also invest in their website also to ensure that it is user friendly, always up to date, and displays professional photographs of its menu items and location.

Third Party Delivery Sites

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will maintain a presence on sites like GrubHub, Uber Eats, Doordash, and Postmates so that people looking for local food with the option of delivery will see Zesty Zane’s listed.

The pricing of Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing their menu items.

Operations Plan

The operations plan for Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is relatively simple as its overhead and cost is small. The functional roles for its employees are as follows:

Operation Functions:

  • Chef Zane will run the food truck operation. He will be in charge of inventory, menu creation, marketing, customer service, and bookkeeping. Chef Zane will work every day that he chooses to open the food truck. Chef Zane plans on operating the food truck Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am to 1:00 am.
  • Two part-time cooks that will alternate helping Chef Zane during the hours of operation. As business picks up, there will be two cooks at the same time assisting Chef Zane during peak hours.


Zesty Zane’s Food Truck aims to open in the next 3 months. The following are the milestones needed in order to obtain this goal.

4/15/202X – Purchase food truck

5/1/202X – Finalize menu

5/15/202X – Social media and advertising campaign begins

6/1/202X – Finish cleaning up the food truck and prepare it for operation

6/10/202X – Purchase food and drink inventory, stock truck, and park it at Cartopia

6/11/202X – Grand Opening of Zesty Zane’s Food Truck

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be owned and operated by Chef Zane Benedict.

Chef Zane Benedict, Owner

Chef Zane Benedict is a Portland native who attended culinary school in San Francisco and returned to Portland to become a part of the world-renowned food scene Portland is uniquely known for. Zane was trained under three different chefs at fine dining establishments in downtown Portland and was awarded Best Sous Chef of Portland in 2017. Chef Zane has won two local culinary competitions, placed runner-up in a statewide competition, and participated in a cooking competition show on the Food Network.

Chef Zane has received numerous awards for his creativity and consistency of his food while being able to prepare dishes in a short amount of time. His ability to prepare food under pressure allows him the unique skill of serving numerous customers without having them undergo long wait times. This will keep customers happy and coming back for more.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will come from the menu items being offered daily.

The cost drivers will be the ingredients and products needed to make the menu items (oil, bread, meat, chicken, produce, drinks) as well as the cooking materials (pots, pans, bowls, plates, utensils, etc.). Other cost drivers will be the overhead expenses of payroll for the part-time employees and propane for the food truck.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following table outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the business loan.

Initial Number of Customers Per Day: 50

Average Menu Item Cost: $9.00

Average Order per Customer: $15.00

Annual Cost for Maintenance of Truck: $10,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, food truck business plan faqs, what is a food truck business plan.

A food truck business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your food truck business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your food truck business plan using our Food Truck Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Food Truck Companies?

There are a variety of types of food trucks, each specializing in a specific type of cuisine or food item. There are food trucks that sell burgers, cookies, ice cream, tacos, pizza, sandwiches, salads and more.  

What Are the Main Sources of Revenues and Expenses for a Food Truck Business?

The primary source of revenue for food truck businesses is its food and beverage sales. 

The key expenses for a food truck business are the food production cost, salaries, and transportation expenses. 

How Do You Get Funding for Your Food Truck Business?

Food truck businesses are typically funded through small business loans, personal savings, crowdfunding and credit card financing.

What are the Steps To Start a Food Truck Business?

Starting a food truck business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Food Truck Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed business plan for your food truck that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your food truck business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your food truck business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Food Truck Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your food truck business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your food truck business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Food Truck Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your food truck business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your food truck business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful food truck business:

  • How to Start a Food Truck Business

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How to Write a Food Truck Business Plan (2023 + Template)

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Noah Parsons

12 min. read

Updated June 17, 2023

Three customers standing in line outside of a food truck. Owner is serving food from the window.

Starting a food truck business is an attractive alternative to opening a restaurant . The initial costs are significantly lower than opening a traditional restaurant and the popularity of food trucks only continues to grow. This doesn’t mean that food trucks are cheap, though. It can cost anywhere from $5,000 to over $100,000 to open a new truck, so you’ll want to make sure you understand the risks. Want some extra guidance as you read through this article? Download our free food truck business plan template .

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What makes a good food truck business plan?

Food truck business plan template, 1. executive summary, 3. menu & costs, 4. target market, 5. location(s), 6. branding, marketing, and pr, 7. company and management, 8. financial plan.

A business plan is a critical part of opening a food truck. A good plan is like having a recipe for your business and gives you the best chance of success. It will guide you through the process of getting up and running and make sure that you plan for all of the expenses and risks that will be involved. It’s worth the time and will greatly increase your chances of success.

After all, if you’re going to invest tens of thousands of dollars in a food truck, kitchen equipment, labor, and permits, why not spend a little time creating a solid business plan that will be your guide to launching a successful food truck business.

A well thought out business plan can be the difference between success and failure. For example, you might create an initial financial plan and discover that your idea simply isn’t profitable. 

It’s so much better to make this discovery when all you’ve invested is a few hours of your time in front of the computer. Instead of scrambling to figure things out when you’re already up and running and you’ve got no money in the bank, you can take the time during the planning phase to go back to the drawing board and rework your concept until you have a business that is profitable. You can use the time before you invest your (or other people’s) money to figure out where you can cut costs so that your business can be a success out of the gate rather than a struggle.

As you write your food truck business plan, remember that you’re doing this for you, not for anyone else. You aren’t going to get graded on what the plan looks like so don’t worry about that. Make your plan work for you so you and your business can be successful.To start on yours, download our free food truck business plan template.

One caveat: If you are going to be raising money from investors or going to the bank for a loan, you may need to dress up your business plan a little. But, to get going, focus on the content, not how it looks.

A food truck business plan follows the same general format as a traditional business plan but has a few differences that you’ll want to pay close attention to. Here are the sections that you’ll want to include in your business plan for your food truck:

Your executive summary is a very brief overview of your business. Try and keep it to just one or two pages. Anything more than that just isn’t useful.

Food Truck Business Executive Summary Tips

This is an overview of your business that you’ll share with your business partners and your family. It’s a summary that describes, very briefly, the concept for your food truck, your core hours of operation, your locations, a summary of your marketing plan, and the amount of money you’ll need to get up and running.

Write your executive summary last after you’ve written your complete plan. Because the executive summary is an overview of all the work that you’ve put into your plan, spend the time on the rest of the plan first and then come back and summarize everything on one page.

A good rule of thumb is that someone should be able to just read your executive summary and get a solid overview of your business.

This is the fun part of your business plan. Use this section to describe the general concept or company description for your food truck. What kind of food will you serve? What makes you stand out?

Food Truck Business Concept Tips

It’s important to think about your key differentiators and write those down here. If you’re opening a taco truck, what makes your tacos special? Why will people choose your taco truck instead of going to all the other taco trucks? Or, perhaps there are no taco trucks in your area. That’s a “gap in the market” that your food truck concept will fill.

It’s also worth discussing why you want to open a food truck instead of a traditional restaurant. Does your food lend itself to a food-truck experience?

Following up on your concept, you need to think through your menu. What items will you sell and how much will you sell them for? How much will it cost you to produce each item? How much time will it take you to prep and cook each item? You can look through some food truck menu examples to get an idea of how you might want to structure yours.

Food Truck Menu and Costs Tips

Thinking through these questions and writing down the answers is a critical step in the planning process. You’ll want to make sure that the food you plan on serving can be served quickly enough and that your prices are set so that you cover food costs. Of course, you’ll have to cover other costs as well, but you’ll explore that more when you do your financial plan.

Once you have explored what your menu and pricing looks like, it’s worth sharing your menu with friends and family to get input. Ideally, you should also try and share your menu with strangers as well to get their input. What do they think about your prices? Do your item descriptions make sense?

Your target market section of your business plan describes who your key customers will be. What age group are they part of? What are their demographics? Where do they live and work

Food Truck Business Target Market Tips

You’ll use this information to determine the size of your target market. This is the total number of potential customers that you could have.

You’ll also use this information to inform your branding and marketing strategy. If your target market is millennials, then your branding and marketing may lean towards the values of healthy eating, for example.

Just because your business is mobile doesn’t mean that every day will be a new adventure to find “the best spot”. You’ll want to have a plan ahead of time so you don’t waste time every day finding the right location .

Food Truck Business Location Tips

First, you’ll want to consider locations where your target market is going to be. If you’re going after the “working lunch” crowd who’s looking for a quick lunch near their offices, you’ll want to have a location that’s convenient for them.

Customers also value consistency. They’ll want to know where you’re going to be and when you’re going to be there. If you’re in one location one day and gone the next, you might lose out on repeat customers who think that you’re inconsistent.

If you’re going to be part of a more established food cart “pod”, what does it take to get a spot? What is the cost and what permits are required? Figure this out now so you can factor parking and permitting costs into your overall expense plan.

If you’re planning and serving from multiple locations during any given day, think through and write down your schedule. How often will you move? How long does it take you to break down one location and set up at a new location?

With the explosion of food trucks, figuring out how you’re going to attract an audience is critical. Thankfully, you’ll be driving a mobile billboard, so you can leverage that to your advantage and use that for marketing and advertising.

Food Truck Business Branding, Marketing, and PR Tips

It’s important to ensure that your social media handles are part of your branding and marketing strategy so that people can easily find you online and know where you are. Equally important is that you religiously update your social media profiles. There’s nothing worse than a profile that hasn’t been updated in days or weeks. Many customers will think that you’re closed if you don’t appear to be active online.

Beyond social media, you’ll want to make sure that you’re listed in Yelp and any other local food truck directories and apps. Getting a presence in these apps and getting positive reviews is critical, especially in the early days.

If you can get local press, that’s worth chasing down as well. Often, the weekly arts and culture papers will review food trucks, so it’s worth announcing your presence to them. When you do, think about your story – what makes you unique? What’s special about your food? What pushed you to start a food truck business in the first place? Everyone has a story to tell, so tell yours and try and get some coverage that will drive customers to your truck.

Food truck businesses are usually structured fairly simply. There’s usually just one or two owners and the business is usually an LLC. 

Food Truck Business Company and Management Tips

Even if things are fairly simple, it’s always worth writing things down, especially if you have business partners. You’ll want to have agreements about who owns what, what stake in the business each person has, and what happens if one of the partners wants to walk away.

While everything is always optimistic and positive in the beginning, the hard work of running a food truck business can put a strain on any relationship and you’ll want to have a plan in place in case things don’t go exactly the way you think they will. Even the best of friends sometimes have to deal with difficult business situations and it’s always much easier if everything is written down and agreed upon before the business is actually up and running.

The financial plan is potentially the most important part of your business plan. Here’s where you’ll figure out exactly what it will take to make your business work so that you can make a living.

Forecasting Sales for Your Food Truck Business

First, you’ll want to forecast your sales . How many meals do you think you can serve on an average day? On average how much will each customer spend? What about seasonality? When the weather is bad, will you sell as much as when it’s warm and sunny?

Next, you’ll want to look at your “cost of goods”. This is how much it costs you in food and supplies to serve the food that you are serving. Subtract your Cost of Goods from your Sales and you’ll get what’s called your Gross Margin. Of course, you’ll want this to be a positive number, but that’s just the beginning.

Food Truck Business Expenses

Next, you’ll need to look at your expenses. In addition to food costs, you’ll have labor costs including your own salary as well as any additional help you need. You’ll also need to consider insurance, licensing from the city and county, as well as fuel and commissions to event hosts. It’s fairly common for food trucks to pay a flat fee plus a percentage of revenue to event hosts, so if you’re going to consider taking your truck to events you’ll need to factor those costs in as well.

Other expenses can include access to a shared kitchen space. As a food business, you won’t be legally allowed to prep food in your home, so food prep will have to be done either in your truck or in rented kitchen space.

With your sales forecast and expense budget, you’ll be able to calculate your profitability. If your business isn’t looking profitable to start, you can make adjustments to expenses, potentially increase the price of your food, or explore how you can serve more meals.

Food Truck Business Startup Costs

Of course, you’ll also have to consider your startup costs. It’s not at all unusual for a food truck and equipment to cost north of $50,000 and can easily extend beyond $100,000 depending on how custom of a setup you need. Of course, there’s a healthy market for used food trucks, so that’s worth exploring as well.

In terms of startup costs, $100,000 is relatively modest compared to many other businesses and certainly substantially less expensive than opening a restaurant. Many food truck entrepreneurs may find that they can fund their startup with savings and loans from friends and family. Bank business loans for food trucks are also a possibility since most of your startup costs are going towards a physical asset that the bank can reclaim if things go horribly south.

Food Truck Business Cash Flow and Profit and Loss Forecasts

With all of these numbers, you’ll be able to assemble a Profit and Loss forecast and Cash Flow forecast . These two financial forecasts will help you determine exactly what your funding needs will be to get your business off the ground.

If you’re struggling with the financials, it’s worth investing a small amount in a business planning tool to help you get your plan done without having to worry about learning the details of financial forecasting in Excel.

With your food truck business plan in hand and a financial forecast that shows that you can indeed run a profitable business, the next step is to actually get started building your business.

For further reading, check out these articles:

  • How to start a food truck business
  • 10 strategies to increase your food truck revenue
  • Keeping your food truck business rolling

Content Author: Noah Parsons

Noah is currently the COO at Palo Alto Software, makers of the online business plan app LivePlan.

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Sample Business Plan For a Food Truck Business

sample business plan for food truck businesses

Writing a business plan is an essential part of starting a successful food truck business. It acts as the guiding document that outlines the goals and objectives, informs decisions, and helps to secure the financing needed to launch the venture, whether it be from lenders or investors. For new food truck business owners, having access to a sample business plan can provide invaluable direction and insights on how to create their own food truck business plan .

Download our Ultimate Food Truck Business Plan Template

Having a comprehensive business plan in place is vital for any successful food truck venture. It will serve as the foundation for your operations, setting out the goals and objectives that will help guide your decisions and actions. A well-written business plan can also give you clarity on realistic financial projections and help secure financing from lenders or investors. An example of a food truck business plan is a great resource to draw upon when creating your own business plan to ensure that all the key elements are included in your document.

Below is an example food truck business plan to help you see what one should look like. It can provide a good starting point for writing a business plan for your food truck. However, it is not nearly as comprehensive and successful in raising capital for your food truck as Growthink’s Ultimate Food Truck Business Plan Template . But it can help you write a food truck business plan for your business.

Food Truck Business Plan Example – Barbecue Brothers On Wheels

Table of contents, executive summary.

  • Company Overview

Industry Analysis

Customer analysis.

  • Competitive Analysis

Marketing Plan

Operations plan, management team, financial plan.

  Download the Food Truck Business Plan Sample PDF here.

Barbecue Brothers On Wheels is a family-owned and operated BBQ food truck business founded by brothers John and David. After successfully operating their flagship mobile kitchen for the last five years, they are now looking to expand their operations and open up a second location. To do this, the Barbecue Brothers have crafted a comprehensive business plan that outlines their goals and objectives, as well as the steps they will take to achieve them.

The Barbecue Brothers plan to open their second food truck in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. With over one million people living within a five-mile radius, the brothers intend to capitalize on this large population by providing delicious and affordable BBQ cuisine that is prepared on-site with high-quality ingredients. To stand out from their competition, the Barbecue Brothers will offer unique menu items such as pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket tacos, and smoked turkey wraps.

To fund this expansion effort, the Barbecue Brothers are seeking $250,000 in startup capital from Angel investors. This money will be used for purchasing a new truck and equipment as well as setting up the necessary kitchen space. With a successful track record of satisfied customers, the Barbecue Brothers believe they have what it takes to succeed in this highly competitive industry and are eager to get started on their next venture.

By following this business plan, the Barbecue Brothers will be able to reach their goal of becoming one of the top BBQ food truck businesses in Los Angeles. With your support, we can make our dream a reality and bring delicious BBQ cuisine to even more people.

Company Description

Barbecue Brothers On Wheels is a family-owned and operated BBQ food truck business that has been serving customers in Los Angeles for the past five years. Founded by brothers John and David, the business has quickly become one of the most popular mobile BBQ kitchens in town. With an emphasis on using only high-quality ingredients, they specialize in mouthwatering pulled pork sandwiches, beef brisket tacos, smoked turkey wraps, and other savory favorites.

The Barbecue Brothers have forged successful partnerships with many local businesses as well as organizations such as schools and corporate events which helps to expand their reach beyond just downtown Los Angeles. Their flagship food truck has been consistently recognized for its excellent customer service rating across all online sites helping them build a loyal following throughout their community.

John and David recognize the importance of giving back to those who are less fortunate than them so all profits generated from catering jobs are donated to local charities such as soup kitchens around Los Angeles county. Through these efforts combined with delicious recipes unique to this business, Barbecue Brothers On Wheels has achieved great success in developing its brand identity over the last five years but now they look towards further expansion into more locations within the Los Angeles area.

The food industry in the Los Angeles area is growing rapidly and becoming increasingly competitive. Food trucks offer an exciting alternative to traditional restaurant dining, allowing customers to enjoy high-quality, fresh, and affordable meals without having to commit to a single location. Over the past decade, food trucks have become increasingly popular in major cities across the US, with cities such as Los Angeles boasting over 2,000 licensed food trucks.

The main competition for Barbecue Brothers On Wheels is other food trucks in the area offering similar menu items. This competition forces businesses to stay ahead of their competitors by constantly innovating and reinventing their recipes and menu offerings. In addition, they must create a strong customer loyalty program that will encourage repeat customers and remain competitive on pricing due to a large number of options available to consumers.

Finally, Barbecue Brothers On Wheels must be prepared to scale quickly in order to keep up with the growing demand for mobile dining options in LA county. With careful planning and strategic investments, Barbecue Brothers On Wheels can succeed in this highly competitive market by setting itself apart from the competition.

The customer analysis for Barbecue Brothers On Wheels should focus on two main target markets: mobile diners, and BBQ aficionados.

Mobile Diners : Mobile diners are those individuals who prefer to dine outside of a traditional restaurant setting, either at food trucks or other outdoor locations like events or festivals. These customers tend to be younger, single professionals or families with young children who are looking for convenience, affordability, and delicious meals. They also care about being able to support local businesses and the community.

Psychographics of this target demographic includes people on the go; tech-savvy consumers who are comfortable using online platforms for research and ordering; adventurous eaters who enjoy trying new foods; and those looking for a unique dining experience.

To reach these individuals, Barbecue Brothers On Wheels should invest in an effective digital marketing strategy that includes social media channels as well as online advertising.

BBQ Aficionados : The second target demographic for Barbecue Brothers On Wheels is barbecue aficionados – customers who have an affinity for barbecue cuisine and a preference for authentic flavors. These customers often look beyond just the taste of the food but also seek out restaurants that can offer something special in terms of atmosphere, customer service, quality ingredients, and presentation.

Psychographic characteristics of this group include adventurous foodies seeking out the best barbecue in town; those with a strong appreciation for craftsmanship in their meals; fans of small businesses looking to support local entrepreneurs; and those with a passion for cooking will appreciate the emphasis on high-quality ingredients used by Barbecue Brothers On Wheels.

To reach this audience effectively, Barbecue Brothers should consider investing in traditional print marketing materials such as flyers or brochures that can be distributed at popular BBQ joints around Los Angeles County. Additionally, they could participate in local festivals that draw large numbers of barbecue enthusiasts from all over California making sure to bring enough samples so everyone can get a taste of their signature dishes.

Competitor Analysis

For a BBQ food truck business like Barbecue Brothers On Wheels, competitor analysis is essential for success. In the highly competitive Los Angeles food truck industry, it is important to identify the main competitors and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Doing so will allow Barbecue Brothers to set themselves apart from the competition by offering something unique that will draw in customers.

The main competitors of Barbecue Brothers On Wheels are other BBQ-focused food trucks in Los Angeles County. These include notable names such as The Rib Whip, Pig Out Delights, Smoke N’ Grillers, and Hog Heaven BBQ.

The Rib Whip is known for its specialty sandwiches featuring slow-cooked meats paired with signature sauces and fresh vegetables on a hoagie roll. They cater to both lunchtime and evening crowds alike, serving up large portions at a reasonable price. Strengths of The Rib Whip include quality ingredients, generous portion sizes, affordability, convenience, and excellent customer service. However, one area where they could improve is the level of creativity in their menu offerings which may not be appealing to more adventurous or experimental eaters looking for something new every time they visit The Rib Whip.

Pig Out Delights serves classic BBQ favorites such as ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, macaroni and cheese topped with bacon bits, and sweet potato fries. Their signature dishes are made using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and come in generous portions that can easily be shared among two or three people. Strengths of Pig Out Delights includes freshly prepared meals made with high-quality ingredients at very fair prices as well as attentive customer service that many customers have come to expect from this establishment. Unfortunately due to its location away from popular downtown areas like Hollywood or Downtown LA, some customers are unable to try out this delicious cuisine unless they make a special trip out there- something many LA locals might not be willing to do just for some good BBQ!

Smoke N’ Grillers offer classic American BBQ fare such as brisket sandwiches slathered in house-made barbecue sauce along with sides like cornbread muffins or coleslaw salad. They focus on providing generous portions at an affordable price point while allowing customers to customize their own meals with various toppings and condiments. Strengths of Smoke N’ Grillers include their location in a busy part of town, competitive prices, and their ability to accommodate special dietary requests. On the other hand, Smoke N’ Grillers could improve its menu by offering more creative and unique dishes that can differentiate them from the competition.

Finally, Hog Heaven BBQ is a gourmet BBQ food truck that serves up only the finest cuts of meat prepared with signature rubs and sauces. They focus on delivering high-end dining experiences at an affordable price, setting them apart from other BBQ establishments in the area. Strengths of Hog Heaven include their commitment to using only the freshest ingredients, their quality service, and their delicious dishes that consistently wow customers. However, they could improve by diversifying their menu with more budget-friendly options or dishes that cater to different dietary needs.

By understanding their competition, Barbecue Brothers On Wheels can identify areas of improvement as well as opportunities to stand out and attract more customers. They can focus on providing unique dishes that are only available at their food truck and focus on delivering excellent customer service. Additionally, they can look into utilizing local ingredients whenever possible in order to appeal to customers who are conscious of where their food is coming from. By doing these things, Barbecue Brothers On Wheels can become a leader in LA’s BBQ scene.

Barbecue Brothers On Wheels is the newest BBQ food truck to hit Los Angeles. Our mission is to provide customers with an unforgettable dining experience that combines quality ingredients, generous portions, and unique flavors for a price that can’t be beaten.

Our Product : We offer classic American BBQ fare such as brisket sandwiches slathered in house-made barbecue sauce enhanced by our signature rubs and sauces. All of our dishes are freshly prepared using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and come in generous portion sizes that can easily be shared among two or three people.

Price : At Barbecue Brothers On Wheels, we understand that value matters just as much as flavor so we strive to keep our prices competitive without sacrificing quality or taste. You won’t find better deals anywhere else!

Promotion : We will promote through digital channels such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter along with local advertising campaigns like print ads in newspapers and magazines. Additionally, word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied customers are key to helping us spread the word about Barbecue Brothers On Wheels!

Place : Our food truck is conveniently located on busy city streets where commuters have easy access during their lunchtime break or while they’re running errands. We also offer catering services for events such as office parties and family gatherings.

At Barbecue Brothers On Wheels, our goal is to provide customers with an unforgettable and unique dining experience. Our daily operations focus on delivering quality food that is freshly prepared using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible. Every day we will start by preparing the sauces and rubs for our signature dishes as well as preparing the sides. Once all of the ingredients are prepped and ready, we will begin cooking on-site to ensure that every order is served hot and fresh.

Staff Requirements:

For the successful day-to-day operations of Barbecue Brothers On Wheels, we need a team of dedicated individuals.

  • Chef – To prepare the signature dishes using fresh ingredients and signature sauces.
  • Cashier – To take orders and process payments in a timely manner.
  • Food Runner – To deliver orders to customers quickly and accurately.
  • Cleaner – To make sure the food truck is clean and presentable for customers.

We need a variety of supplies in order to run our business effectively. This includes ingredients, paper products, cleaning supplies, and small wares. We will focus on sourcing all of our supplies from local vendors to ensure that we are using quality ingredients while supporting the local economy.

Our menu consists of classic American BBQ fare such as brisket sandwiches, pulled pork, and ribs. We also offer sides like slaw, potato salad, and baked beans. In addition to our regular menu, we will offer daily specials that can range from tacos to nachos.

Customer Service:

At Barbecue Brothers On Wheels, we strive to provide our customers with the best possible experience. Our goal is to make sure every customer is satisfied by delivering excellent customer service that is prompt and friendly. Additionally, we will listen to feedback and make changes as necessary to ensure that customers are always happy with their experience.

The safety of our customers and staff is paramount. We will adhere to all regulatory standards and best practices when it comes to food handling and sanitation. Additionally, anyone working in the food truck must wear protective gear such as gloves, masks, and hats.

John and David are the co-founders of the Barbecue Brothers On Wheels. John, who has a background in culinary arts, is the head chef and primary visionary of the business. He oversees operations and ensures that all dishes are made with the finest ingredients. His passion for barbecue stems from his childhood in Texas where he fell in love with the art of making authentic, mouth-watering barbecue.

David is an experienced business professional and handles the administrative side of the operation. He focuses on marketing, financials, and customer relations. His goal is to make Barbecue Brothers On Wheels a household name by providing unbeatable quality and service.

With their founding Members John and David teaming up, Barbecue Brothers On Wheels is set to be the go-to BBQ food truck for city dwellers.

At Barbecue Brothers On Wheels, we understand that the financial aspect of running a business is integral to its success. We have formulated a financial plan that will help us achieve our goals and ensure the longevity of our business.

Startup Costs:

To get our business up and running, we need to cover a variety of startup costs such as purchasing equipment, leasing a truck, and acquiring ingredients.

Operating Costs:

Once we are open for business, our operating costs will include labor and overhead expenses. We plan to keep these costs in check by implementing cost-saving methods and leveraging technology to streamline processes.

Revenue Model:

Our revenue model relies on selling our signature products and daily specials at a fair price. We will also pursue additional revenue streams such as catering and delivery services.


Our goal is to achieve profitability within two years of launching the business. We plan to do this by increasing revenue through catering services and expanding our customer base, as well as reducing expenses by maximizing efficiency and maintaining ongoing cost-saving practices. Additionally, any profits will be reinvested into the business to further expand our services and capabilities.

Commitment to Excellence:

At Barbecue Brothers On Wheels, we are committed to delivering the highest quality product and service possible. We strive to use only the freshest ingredients and prepare our dishes with care. Our staff is highly trained in customer service, food safety, and proper food handling techniques.

We understand that quality is paramount and that is why we will never sacrifice our standards. We want to build a long-lasting business that customers can trust and rely on for delicious, mouth-watering barbecue cuisine.

Sample Menu

  • Fried Catfish
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich
  • Smoked Sausage Platter
  • Hand-cut French Fries
  • Baked Beans
  • Collard Greens
  • Corn Bread Muffins
  • Cobbler Pie

Financial Projections

Balance sheet.

[insert financial statement]

Income Statement

Cash flow statement, how to finish your food truck business plan in 1 day.

Don’t you wish there was a faster, easier way to finish your food truck business plan?

With Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template you can finish your plan in just 8 hours or less!

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food truck business plan

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How to start a food truck business plan.

food truck business plan

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Every business needs a plan — including food trucks. If you want to run your own food truck but don’t know where to start, here’s a guide that explains how to write a business plan in this industry.

What is a Food Truck Business Plan?

Business plans outline what a company does and how it makes money. It includes everything from a summary of your business to your marketing plan. When creating a food truck or restaurant business plan , you may use it to pitch investors or refer to it when making future business decisions.

food truck business plan

Why You Should Write a Food Truck Business Plan

A food truck business combines culinary creativity with entrepreneurial spirit. However, diving into this business without a solid plan can lead to a host of challenges. Like any business, the road to success is often filled with unexpected twists and turns. This uncertainty is where the importance of a food truck business plan comes into play.

A Guiding Light

A business plan is more than just a document filled with numbers and marketing jargon. It serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path that you intend to follow. With it, you know where you are headed, why you are going there, and how you intend to reach your destination. Without it, you might find yourself lost in the complex world of entrepreneurship.

Understanding Your Business Inside and Out

The process of writing a business plan forces you to delve into every aspect of your food truck business. From understanding your target audience to financial forecasting, you get a 360-degree view of what it takes to run your venture. This insight ensures that no stone is left unturned, preparing you to face challenges with confidence.

Demonstrating Commitment and Professionalism

Investors, bankers, partners, or even key employees may want evidence of your business’s viability and your commitment to the project. A well-crafted business plan is that evidence. It shows that you are serious about your food truck business and that you have considered the necessary elements to make it a success.

Risk Mitigation

Every business encounters risks, and having a plan enables you to identify and mitigate them. A business plan provides you with a structure to analyze potential pitfalls and develop strategies to avoid or overcome them. This foresight can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

Financial Health Check

Money is the lifeblood of any business, and a business plan helps you manage it effectively. Understanding your financial needs, projections, and how cash will flow through your business ensures that you keep your financial health in check. It enables you to make informed financial decisions that align with your business goals.

Continuous Evaluation and Adaptation

The business environment is always changing, and what works today may not work tomorrow. A business plan gives you a baseline that allows you to evaluate your performance continually. It enables you to make necessary adjustments, ensuring that your business stays relevant and competitive.

food truck business plan

An Exit Strategy

Every entrepreneur needs to think about the future, including what will happen to the business down the line. Your business plan will allow you to consider and plan for various exit strategies, whether that involves selling the business, passing it on, or winding it down. Thinking about this in advance ensures that you are prepared for all eventualities.

A food truck business plan is not an option; it’s a necessity. It’s the backbone of your business that provides direction, insight, risk management, and continuous alignment with the ever-changing business environment. Writing a business plan reflects a deep understanding and commitment to your business idea. It’s an essential tool that can set your food truck venture on the path to success, helping you navigate the thrilling yet challenging journey of entrepreneurship.

What to Include in Your Food Truck Business Plan

A plan for a mobile food business includes many of the same elements as other business plans. But there are also some unique elements. Here’s a food truck business plan template to guide your own journey.

A plan for a mobile food business includes many of the same elements as other business plans, but there are also some unique elements that are specific to the food truck industry. To start, the cover page is crucial, as it provides potential investors, team members, and readers with a glimpse of what to expect from your food truck business plan. A professionally designed cover page can make a positive first impression and enhance the credibility of your venture.

Table of Contents

A table of contents is another essential component of your food truck business plan. It serves as a roadmap for readers, allowing them to quickly locate specific information they might be interested in. Since food truck business plans can be quite extensive, a well-organized table of contents is invaluable for easy navigation.

Executive Summary

The executive summary is a concise and compelling overview of your food truck business. It should not only provide a clear explanation of what your business does but also highlight its unique selling points and competitive advantages. Briefly mentioning key elements such as market analysis and operational challenges can give readers a glimpse into the comprehensive nature of your business plan.

Company Overview

Your food truck’s company overview should succinctly describe its purpose and the goals you hope to achieve. This section sets the stage for the entire plan and should reflect your passion and dedication to your food truck venture. Consider including a brief history of your food truck concept and how you came up with the idea to add a personal touch to this section.

Food Truck Mission Statement

Your mission statement should explain your reason for existence.  A well-crafted mission statement is a powerful tool that conveys the purpose and values of your food truck business. Your mission statement should go beyond merely stating what you do; it should also reflect your passion for serving your community and bringing joy to people through your food. For instance, your mission might focus on providing high-quality and innovative dishes that cater to diverse tastes while promoting sustainability and supporting local farmers.

food truck business plan

Target Markets and Market Analysis

Identifying your target market is essential for the success of your food truck business. By narrowing down your audience based on location and demographics, you can tailor your offerings and marketing efforts more effectively. Conduct a comprehensive market analysis to understand the preferences and needs of your potential customers better. For example, if your food truck is primarily focused on offering gourmet desserts, target areas with a high concentration of dessert lovers or near popular event venues.

Food Truck Industry Summary

In the food truck industry, finding your niche is crucial for standing out from the competition. Research the existing food truck market in your area to identify gaps and opportunities. Determine how your food truck concept fits into the overall landscape, ensuring there is a demand for your unique offerings. Understanding the broader trends and challenges in the food truck industry can also help you make informed decisions and adapt your business strategies accordingly.

Read More: how to start a food truck business

Analysis of Local or Similar Niche Food Trucks

Studying your competition is an essential aspect of shaping your food truck’s unique identity. Analyze other food truck businesses in your area, especially those that offer similar cuisine or target similar demographics. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses, you can identify areas where you can differentiate yourself and create a competitive advantage. This analysis can also inspire you to innovate and bring a fresh perspective to your offerings, making your food truck stand out from the rest.

Food Offered

Create a basic menu. Consider your niche, demand from your target audience, and costs of ingredients and cooking equipment . The food you serve is the heart of your food truck business, so creating a well-thought-out menu is crucial. Consider your niche and target audience while designing your offerings. Conduct market research to identify popular dishes and food trends that align with your concept. Additionally, analyze the cost of ingredients and cooking equipment to determine the pricing and profitability of each item on your menu.

Planned Food Truck Locations

Planning your locations in advance can help you stay up-to-date with inventory and streamline marketing. Find local food truck festivals, special events, and areas with lots of foot traffic that are popular with your target market.

food truck business plan

Food Truck Marketing and Delivery Plan

Your business plan’s marketing and sales portion should detail how you’ll communicate with potential customers to sell food. Your marketing plan may include listing on food truck finders, local advertising, and social media or search marketing.

Financial Plan and Funding

This section should include realistic financial projections based on how much food you can sell at various locations. Factor in startup, equipment, and food costs as well.

Legal Structure

Food truck businesses can have various legal structures. For example, a solo venture may be a sole proprietorship. However, most food businesses are LLCs or corporations to limit personal liability. Work with a business lawyer and/or tax professional to find the best structure for your needs.

Organization and Management

Outline your team and hierarchy to determine how everyone will be managed. For example, you may be the primary decision-maker. Or you may specify a few shift managers to answer questions when you’re unavailable.

Growth Summary

Successful food trucks plan how they intend to grow through the years. You may explore franchising or hire more team members to increase hours or purchase another truck.

food truck business plan

A business planning appendix may include any supporting documents for the various parts of your plan. For example, financial statements or market research reports may complement your projections or competitive advantage.

Tips for Food Truck Owners to Write an Amazing Business Plan

Food truck businesses can follow these tips to create a concise yet effective business plan:

  • Get acquainted with your local food truck scene: Many elements of a food truck business plan rely on your local market and competitors. So spend time patronizing other businesses and attending events where food trucks may park.
  • Create a clear vision: Determine the type of food truck business you want to start and how you want it to stand out and operate to ensure all the sections match your vision.
  • Read other food industry business plans: If you’re not sure where to start, looking at examples from other food businesses may help.
  • Back up your claims: Don’t just guess about things like finances and legal structure. Get expert help and/or documentation if needed.
  • Remember your why: Keep in mind why you’re writing a business plan. This can help you speak in verbiage that will serve you in the future.

The Pros and Cons of Writing a Business Plan for a Food Truck Business

This table provides an at-a-glance view of the benefits and potential drawbacks of creating a food truck business plan, which can be helpful for aspiring entrepreneurs in the food truck industry.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to create a food truck business plan is a personal one. However, there are many potential benefits to having a well-written and comprehensive business plan.

food truck business plan

What are the first steps to start a food truck business?

The first steps include conducting market research, defining your target audience, planning your menu, finding a suitable food truck, securing necessary licenses and permits, and creating a comprehensive business plan.

How much does it cost to start a food truck business?

Costs can vary widely based on the location, equipment, and the type of cuisine, but you can expect to invest anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000, including the cost of the truck, equipment, licenses, insurance, and initial inventory.

What are the legal requirements for operating a food truck?

Legal requirements vary by location but may include business licenses, health permits, food handler permits, vehicle licenses, fire certificates, and local zoning compliance.

How can I finance my food truck business?

You can finance your food truck business through personal savings, bank loans, investor funding, crowdfunding, or small business grants.

How do I create a menu for my food truck?

Your menu should reflect your brand and target audience. Consider researching popular food trends, using quality ingredients, and offering unique dishes that set you apart. Price your items accordingly to cover costs and generate profit.

How do I choose the right location for my food truck?

The location should be determined by the target audience, local regulations, competition, foot traffic, and accessibility. It’s essential to find a legal spot with good visibility and foot traffic.

How can I market my food truck business?

Marketing strategies might include social media advertising, local event participation, partnerships with local businesses, loyalty programs, and traditional advertising methods.

Read More: food truck ideas

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5 Steps to creating a perfect food truck business plan

“Food trucks make an average of $42,000 monthly .” That’s your cue to jump into the business right now. But not without the perfect strategy. The global food truck business is expected to reach $6.63 billion by 2028 .

Yet, 60% of food truck businesses will fail within the first three years of opening.

Whether you want to serve piping hot pizzas at the city center or flavourful ice creams around the town, having the right food truck business plan can be the difference between success and failure.

Establishing a food truck business is less expensive than starting many small companies, but it is not a surefire path to reaching financial independence. To get into the food truck industry, you must put in a lot of effort, have a sound financial strategy, and be extra diligent.

Don’t worry, we have got you covered.

In this article, we will discuss the five must-haves you need in your food truck business plan to get a headstart:

food truck business plan

5 Must-Haves of a Food Truck Business Plan

Set a budget.

Setting the budget must be your first priority. You cannot shoot arrows in the dark and expect a booming business. Your financial strategy in a food truck business plan must include the initial setup cost as well as the future costs of the business.

The food truck will evidently be the most expensive thing on your list. It will include the cost of the truck and the cost of setting up the mobile kitchen in the truck expense.

Next, the daily expenses will include the cost of goods as well as the operational costs. These may include fuel, maintenance, food wastage, and staff salary.

You’ll also want to decide on the marketing budget. Promoting a few posts on popular social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram will help you gain more traction. It will get people excited about your food truck and you can become the talk of the town even before you start rolling.

Also include the cost of technology you’ll need to run a successful food truck business. These may include a POS system or a pre-ordering system to ensure that you keep up with the digital generation.

Conduct market research

“35,512!” That is the number of food truck businesses in the US in 2022. Evidently, the competition is huge. Therefore, it is important that you conduct market research before you jump into your truck and start selling.

Accurate and comprehensive information is the cornerstone of any successful food truck. It will arm you with a wealth of data about the consumers, competitors, and the industry in general. It will also enable you to assess the viability of your concept before investing time or money.

Just like most businesses, food businesses too, are centered around customers. Select a few great locations that you want to serve at and observe the demographics in that area. See what the customer demands are and whether your chosen menu will appeal to them.

You must also observe the time of the day when people in the area generally go looking for food. If you select a corporate area, lunches will be the busiest so it will be better to park your truck at that time to attract customers. The evenings will be appropriate to cater to recreation areas like a public park.

Get the permits

The licenses and permissions required to operate your food truck will be primarily determined by the state in which you live. However, you will need a company license and a food service permit at the very least. Your best option is to contact your local health board and determine exactly what you'll require.

And since food trucks cannot park everywhere, you should investigate any potential parking limitations. You can consult the local authorities to learn the local rules.

Invest in a good food truck

Getting a good food truck with all the cooking as well as serving amenities should be the next thing on your checklist. It must be versatile enough to help you work efficiently during rush hours.

Remember, your business will constantly depend on the mechanical integrity of your vehicle. So, make sure that you purchase an efficient vehicle that can withstand your rigorous routine. Some of the equipment that you can consider adding to your food truck are a countertop food warmer, refrigerator, and janitorial equipment.

Take good care of it and do regular maintenance to prevent mishaps. It will not only save you repair costs from regular breakdowns, but it will also ensure that your business keeps running without any hurdles.

Consider getting an online ordering system

Restricting your food truck business to physical orders, especially during an age when people rely heavily on online orders and delivery systems, might prove detrimental for you.

On the flip side, if you start taking online orders, it will double your sales. So, consider investing in a robust, feature-rich food truck ordering system so that customers don’t have to wait too long to get their food.

Restolabs is a versatile restaurant online ordering coupled QR code ordering system that will make your food truck a ‘customer magnet.’ People can easily place orders using their mobile phones or your website and get their food in just a few minutes without waiting in long queues.

The best part about it is that it comes with an integrated POS system so you can manage all your orders on a single software.

Why Contactless Ordering is a must for your Food Truck Business

Wrapping Up

Food trucks are a terrific opportunity to test a restaurant concept, create a client base before opening a new restaurant, or even just make a stable, consistent income while being your own boss.

Although the food truck business takes a lot of work, it is bound to give you high returns in the long haul. The trick, however, is to create a good strategy through market research and stay dedicated to making things more convenient for your customers.

So, what are you waiting for?

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></center></p><h2>How To Write A Food Truck Business Plan (with Examples)</h2><ul><li>By Usama Malik</li></ul><p><center><img style=

Table of Contents

Embarking on a new food truck business is an exciting venture in the world of street food. Unlike a traditional restaurant, a food truck offers the flexibility to reach a variety of locations and serve many potential customers.

However, similar to any other profitable business, it requires careful planning and strategizing. A solid business plan can be your roadmap to success, enabling you to navigate the complexities of the market.

A well-crafted business plan outlines your business goals, target audience, and operational strategies, and can also be a compelling tool for securing funding. This article will guide you through the process of writing a comprehensive food truck business plan, complete with templates and examples to help launch your culinary venture on wheels.

What is A Food Truck Business Plan?

A food truck business plan is a comprehensive document that outlines the objectives, strategies, and operational aspects of your mobile food business. It serves as a blueprint, detailing all the elements you’ll need to consider and address to ensure your venture’s success.

Unlike a traditional restaurant, a food truck offers a unique opportunity to reach many potential customers in various locations, making it essential to have a solid plan in place.

A well-structured food truck business plan template will cover aspects such as market analysis, menu offerings, financial projections, and marketing strategies. It helps you get organized and anticipate challenges, paving the way for a successful food truck business . By following a business plan, you can ensure that every food truck business aspect is thoroughly considered, minimizing risks and maximizing profits. More on how much do food trucks normally make in this article. 

Why A Business Plan Is Important For A Successful Food Truck Business?

A business plan is crucial for a successful food truck business for several reasons:

1. Clear Vision and Objectives

A business plan helps you establish clear objectives for your food truck, ensuring that you have a well-defined vision for your venture. It enables you to set realistic goals and provides a roadmap to achieve them.

2. Financial Planning

All successful food trucks have a business plan with detailed financial analysis, which is essential for securing loans or investment.

Investors and lenders will require a solid plan to assess the viability of your venture and decide if it’s worth their investment.

3. Operational Efficiency

A ready business plan guides you through the operational aspects of your food truck, such as sourcing ingredients, hiring staff, and implementing food safety measures. This ensures that you have a well-organized and efficient system in place, minimizing costs and maximizing profitability.

Step-by-step Guide To Write A Food Truck Business Plan

1. executive summary.

The executive summary is a brief overview of your food truck business plan. It presents a snapshot of your business, including summary of the budget, business’s purpose and values, and what your brand is about. This section is typically 1-2 pages long.

What should you cover in an Executive Summary?

Introduce your food truck business: Describe your business concept, the kind of food you’ll serve, and what makes your food truck unique. Highlight how your venture fits into the local food truck market and why it’s likely to succeed.

State your mission and vision: What are the core values driving your food truck dreams? What long-term goals do you have for your mobile food business?

Outline your objectives: What are your goals for your food truck business? Define what you plan to achieve in the short term, such as opening a food truck in 2023 or expanding to multiple locations within five years.

Provide a financial overview: how much will it cost to open your food truck and how much do you expect to make? This will help potential investors understand the financial viability of your venture.

2. Restaurant Description

The restaurant description provides detailed information about your food truck. It gives readers a clear understanding of what your business is, what it does, how it operates, and how it will benefit the existing market. Check out this article for 35 food truck ideas for your business venture. 

What should you cover in the Restaurant Description section?

Talk about your food truck concept: Describe the ambiance and customer experience you’re aiming for. 

  • Which specific group of customers will you serve?
  • Are you planning a funky, colorful truck, or a sleek and modern design?

Explain your unique selling proposition (USP):

How will the food items you provide compete with the menu items of existing food trucks or restaurants in your target area?

What is your competitive advantage?

  • Why did you choose a food truck instead of a physical restaurant location?
  • Where do you plan to park your food truck?
  • What type of food truck will you use (truck, trailer, or food cart)?
  • Will you prepare your food inside the truck or at a commissary kitchen?

3. Market Analysis

The most important factors to consider when writing a food truck business plan are: target market, location and competition

What should you cover in your Market Analysis?

Define your target market: Who are your potential customers? Consider demographic factors like age, income level, and food preferences. Also define the size of growth potential of your target market. 

Analyze your location: Where do you plan to park your food truck? Consider the foot traffic of the location. 

Analyze your competition: Who are the other food trucks or restaurants in your area? What kind of food do they serve, and how can you differentiate your offerings?

This comprehensive market analysis will not only help you get a good understanding of your business environment, but it will also demonstrate to potential investors that you have a solid understanding of the food truck industry.

4. Organization and Management

The organization and management section of your business plan describes your food truck business structure and team behind your food truck business. 

Your management section should highlight the people behind your business, their roles, and their experiences relevant to running a successful food truck business. 

Remember, potential investors and lenders are not just investing in a business concept; they’re also investing in a team. So, use this section to showcase the strong leadership and expertise that will drive the success of your food truck business.

What should you cover in the Organization and Management Plan?

Food Truck Ownership Information:

  • Describe the legal structure of your business. Are you the sole owner, or are there partners? Is it an LLC or a corporation?
  • Full names of the owners
  • Percentage of company each owner holds

Profiles of Your Food Truck Management Team: Detail the experience and expertise of your team. This should include the food truck owners and any key employees. A solid food truck management team can significantly improve your chances of success. Include:

  • Manager’s full name
  • Position and primary responsibilities
  • Educational background
  • Past track record with hard numbers to back it up
  • Food industry recognition
  • Important experience and skills that will help your business be successful

5. Sample Menu

Your sample menu is an essential part of your food truck business plan. It’s where you get to showcase the delicious food you plan to serve and how it aligns with your business concept.

What should you consider when creating a sample menu?

When creating your food menu , consider:

Menu Items:

  • What kind of great food will you serve? 
  • Why will you customers choose to eat your food?
  • Why do you choose to offer this type of food?

Unique Selling Proposition:

What makes your menu different from others? 

  • How much do you plan on selling your food?

6. Marketing and Sales

The marketing and sales portion of your food truck business plan outlines how you plan to attract and retain customers. This section is critical as it shows how you plan to grow and sustain your business.

Marketing for food truck might be more challenging comparing with traditional restaurants as food truck change location more often. 

What should you cover in the Marketing Strategy for Your Food Truck Business?

Define Your Brand: What’s the personality of your food truck? How will you communicate this to your customers?

Outline Your Marketing Strategies:

How will you attract customers? This could include social media advertising, local events, loyalty programs, or partnerships with local businesses.

  • Considering using an online food ordering system in your food truck
  • Create a digital menu with QR code to make your menu easy for your customers to access online

Sales Strategy: How will you keep customers coming back? Excellent customer service, consistent quality, and a rotating menu are some strategies to consider.

Remember, whether you plan to start small or aim for rapid growth, a thoughtful marketing and sales strategy is key to driving your business forward.

7. Business Operations

The business operations section provides a detailed look at the day-to-day operations of your food truck business. This includes your operating hours, supply chain, staffing, and equipment.

What Operational Issues Should You Address in Your Business Plan?

  • Parking: Where can you park the truck?

Operating Hours: What days and hours will you operate? Consider peak meal times and special events.

Supply Chain: Where will you source your ingredients? How often will you need deliveries?

Staffing: How many employees will you need? What will their roles be?

Equipment: What equipment will you need to operate your food truck? This includes the truck itself, cooking equipment, point-of-sale systems, and more.

8. Financial and Loans

How much does it cost to start a food truck.

Starting a food truck business can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $120,000 . Costs can vary greatly depending on the type of food truck , the equipment needed, and permit fees, among other things. It’s also a good idea to factor in ongoing costs such as food items, fuel, maintenance, and insurance.

To get a good idea of the total startup cost, you’ll need to research and compile all these costs. Keep in mind that since food trucks are mobile, they generally cost less to start compared to the cost of traditional restaurant business .

How Many Ways to Fund Your Food Truck?

There are many ways an entrepreneur can fund a new food truck business. Personal savings, business loans, and investments from friends or family are common options. If these are not enough, you may also consider crowdfunding, attracting an investor, or even applying for government grants designed for small businesses.

Important Questions to Consider When You Create Your Funding Request

If you’re seeking funding, there are several questions you’ll need to answer in your business plan:

  • How much money do you need to start and maintain your food truck business until it becomes profitable?
  • What will the funds be used for specifically?
  • How do you plan to repay any loans or provide a return on investment?

The answers to these questions will help potential lenders or investors understand your financial goals and the level of risk involved.

9. Financial Projections

Break-even analysis.

The break-even analysis is a critical part of your financial plan. It’s the point at which your revenue equals your costs – neither profit nor loss. Knowing this helps business owners set realistic financial expectations and determine pricing for food items.

How to calculate the break even point?

To calculate your break-even point, you’ll need to gather your fixed costs (e.g., truck payments, insurance), variable costs (e.g., food costs, fuel), and your expected selling price per item.

Use this formula: Fixed Costs / (Price – Variable Costs) = Break Even Point

Projected Profit and Loss Statement

You’ll also need to provide the profit and loss statement. This statement provides an overview of your expected revenues, costs, and profit over a specified period. This is crucial for understanding when your business will become profitable.

Cash Flow Analysis

Finally, you need to include a cash flow analysis to show investors how you plan to allocate funds for operations. Cash flow analysis involves tracking when and where your business receives and spends money. It’s crucial because it shows how well your business can pay its bills and fund its operations.

We’ll continue with an example of a food truck business plan in the next section, providing a practical illustration of all the points covered.

Food Truck Business Plan Example

The following is a concise yet comprehensive example of a food truck business plan. It’s a great tool to guide you in writing your business plan, especially if you’re opening a food truck business for the first time.

Mission: To serve high-quality, fresh, and delicious street food to our local community.

Vision: To become a popular and profitable food truck business that contributes to our community’s vibrant street food culture.

Restaurant Description: “ Tasty Traveler “, a food truck serving globally-inspired tacos, each representing a different cuisine.

Costs: Initial investment of $96,000 

Profits: Anticipated net profit of 20% within the first year, with a steady increase in subsequent years.

2. Description of the Restaurant

Our food truck, the Tasty Traveler , is a mobile restaurant providing a unique dining experience. We operate in various locations in the city, capitalizing on areas with high foot traffic during peak dining hours.

Restaurant Concept:

  • Food Truck Name : Tasty Traveler
  • Restaurant Type: Food Truck offering tacos made with fresh ingredients
  • Location: 500 Travis St, Houston,
  • Dining: Casual outdoor tables dining
  • Order Fulfillment: Walk-up orders and online orders for pickup and delivery
  • Working Hours: 11 AM – 8 PM, Tuesday – Sunday

3. Menu Offer

Our food truck offers a creative food fusion of global flavors packed into a traditional taco shell. We serve vegan, vegetarian, and meat options to cater to a broad range of dietary preferences.

  • Type of Cuisine: Global Fusion
  • Offer: Variety of tacos inspired by different cuisines
  • Unique Selling Point: Our menu items are inspired by many food cultures, providing an exciting culinary journey for our customers.

4. Market and Competition Analysis

Market Analysis:

  • Target Customer: Foodies aged 18-35, who are open to trying new flavors.
  • Size of the Target Customer: Approximately 100,000 individuals in our city fall within our target demographic.

Competition Analysis:

  • Size of the Competition: We have identified 10 food trucks and 5 traditional restaurants offering similar products within our operating radius.
  • Competitors’ Offer: Our competitors mainly offer standard American or Mexican style tacos.
  • Competitors’ Prices: other food trucks offer tacos similar to ours, but their menus are limited, and they do not offer delivery.

5. Investment Plan (Detailed Cost Analysis)

  • Food Truck: $40,000
  • Kitchen Equipment: $10,000
  • Permits and Licenses: $5,000
  • Initial Food Inventory: $5,000
  • Food Inventory: $2,500
  • Maintenance: $500
  • Insurance: $500
  • Marketing: $1,000
  • Miscellaneous: $1,000
  • Total Cost: Initial investment plus the first six months of operating expenses amount to $96,000.

6. Financial Forecast

Our financial data predicts that the Tasty Traveler will become profitable within the first year of operation. We expect an annual growth rate of 10% in sales for the first three years.

Our team consists of three professionals with combined expertise in culinary arts, business management, and marketing. We plan to hire two more staff to help with prep work and service during peak hours. Our team’s passion for food and commitment to quality service are key drivers of our business.

8. Marketing Plan

Our marketing strategy involves a mix of online and offline tactics to maximize our reach. We’ll leverage social media platforms to engage with our customers, post updates about our location and menu, and run promotions. Offline, we’ll participate in local food festivals and community events to create buzz and attract a wider audience.

Online Marketing:

  • Social Media: Daily updates on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to showcase our menu items and interact with our followers.
  • Website: An informative and easy-to-navigate website with our menu, location updates, and a blog featuring stories behind our globally inspired tacos.

Offline Marketing:

  • Food Festivals: Participating in local food festivals to gain exposure.
  • Community Events: Sponsoring local community events to increase brand visibility.
  • Flyers and Posters: Distributing flyers and putting up posters in high foot traffic areas.

We believe that our marketing plan is an integral part of the food truck business plan as it helps in getting the word out and attracting potential customers. A solid marketing strategy will also give us an edge over our competitors in the food truck and traditional restaurant market.

Tips For Creating A Successful Food Truck Business Plan

Creating a business plan is a significant step towards launching a successful food truck business. Here are some expert tips to help you get started:

1. Start with Your Business Concept Description

Before you dive into the details, you need to clearly define your food truck business concept. Describe the type of food you plan to serve, the design of the truck, and the experience you want to provide to your customers. Explain how you’ll stand out in the many food truck market and why customers would choose you over others.

2. Highlight Your Competitive Advantage

Your business plan should clearly articulate your unique selling proposition (USP). What is it that makes your food truck unique? Maybe you’re offering a unique fusion of cuisines, or perhaps your menu is entirely organic or locally sourced. Highlighting your food truck’s competitive advantage can make your business more appealing to both customers and potential investors.

3. Give Importance to Financial Projections

Your financial projections are a critical part of your business plan. They give potential investors an idea of the profitability of your business. Make sure to include detailed financial data, including startup costs, operating expenses, projected sales, and profitability analysis. Remember, food trucks cost less to start and operate compared to opening a traditional restaurant, which can be a significant advantage.

4. Use Visual Aids

Graphs, charts, and tables can make your business plan more engaging and easier to understand. Use these tools to present financial data, market analysis, and sales projections. Visual aids can help readers quickly grasp complex information.

5. Regularly Update Your Business Plan

A business plan isn’t a static document. As your business grows and evolves, your plan should, too. Regular updates can help you track your progress and make adjustments as needed. Remember, getting into the food business is a great adventure, and a dynamic business plan can help you navigate the journey successfully.

6. Seek Professional Help If Needed

If you’re having trouble with your business plan or just want a second opinion, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Many entrepreneurs find it beneficial to consult with business advisors or use business plan software.

Despite the popularity of food trucks, success in this industry isn’t guaranteed. A robust and comprehensive food truck business plan can help set you on the path to success. Happy planning, and may your food truck business be a hit!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. what are the objectives of a food truck business plan.

A food truck business plan serves multiple objectives. It provides a roadmap for how the business will operate, offers a platform to articulate the business concept, and details financial projections. The plan also helps to identify potential challenges and strategies to overcome them. Furthermore, if you’re seeking investors or a business loan, this plan can demonstrate the viability and profitability of your business.

2. How to Write a Business Plan for a Food Truck?

Writing a food truck business plan involves several steps. Start by defining your business concept, describe your food truck menu, and analyze your target market. Then, detail your marketing and sales strategies, operational plan, and financial projections. Using a sample food truck business plan or a free business plan template can be very helpful in this process. Don’t forget to review and update your plan regularly, in case things don’t go as expected.

3. What are Some Effective Marketing Strategies for a Food Truck Business?

Effective marketing strategies for a food truck business may include leveraging social media to engage with customers, participating in local events and food festivals, offering promotions or loyalty programs, and collaborating with other local businesses. Also, consider how your menu items compete with other food trucks or restaurants in your area, and use this information to your advantage.

4. What are the Initial Costs to Start a Food Truck Business?

The initial costs to start a food truck business can vary widely, but typically include the cost of the truck itself, kitchen equipment, initial inventory, permits and licenses, insurance, and marketing costs. It’s essential to include all these factors in your financial plan to get a good idea of how much capital you’ll need.

5. How Can I Differentiate My Food Truck Business in a Saturated Market?

Differentiating your food truck in a saturated market can be challenging but it’s not impossible. Unique food offerings, superior customer service, distinctive branding, strategic location selection, and effective marketing can all help your food truck stand out.

6. What is the Most Profitable Food to Make on a Food Truck?

The profitability of food items can depend on various factors including ingredient costs, preparation time, price point, and customer demand. Typically, items with low ingredient cost, quick preparation time, and high demand tend to be more profitable. However, it’s crucial to balance profitability with providing a menu that aligns with your brand and attracts your target customers.

Embarking on a food truck business is a great adventure filled with potential and excitement. However, it’s not without its challenges. A well-structured business plan is your compass, guiding your decisions and giving you the tools to navigate the complexities of the industry. It helps you to establish a solid foundation for your venture and prepares you to face any obstacles that come your way. Remember, the journey of creating your food truck business is just as important as the destination. So, roll up your sleeves, fire up the grill, and set the course for your food truck’s success!

As you look for ways to increase revenue for your food truck, an online ordering system is a must. Partner with Menubly to reach a variety of customers and introduce more diners to your food.

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