The food truck concept has been around for centuries, right from when street vendors in ancient Rome made and sold delicacies to the public using wooden street carts. Today, that concept and the accompanying menus have evolved from just simple street food to different, complicated cuisines.
If you are looking to start a food truck business, you need a well-researched and detailed business plan. Aside from helping you cover all your bases, it makes available vital information about your new endeavor to potential investors. Since putting together a food truck business plan is such a vital step, it is advisable you write it before you even purchase a food truck.
Steps on How to Write a Food Truck Business Plan
Beta Life Chops will be located in a large food cart pod near Portland’s Jade district known as Eastport Food Center. Our menu will include popular food options made with the creativity and uniqueness that our truck represents. Our eclectic style and consistency will make us a favorite among Portland foodies and ensure that our food maintains a loyal following amongst young professionals and college students.
With Eastport Food Centre nestled in one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods and with an impressive social media following, Beta Life Chops is well-positioned to become a local go-to dining destination for anyone eager for a good, delicious, interesting fare at an affordable price.
a. Our Products and Services
- Hot Products: Burritos, tacos, flautas, Hunan Vegetables, Shanghai chicken, grilled chicken, Grilled cheese, pretzels, the chef specialty of the day
- Cold products: Seafood, sandwiches, rolls, wraps, and salads
- Drinks: Soda, freshly squeezed juices, hot chocolate, wine, beer, coffee
- Create your own: We will make available raw materials for our clients to combine anyway they want
b. Nature of the Business
- Specifically for food-conscious modern buyers
- Attending to all age groups
- Healthy choices
- Top menu customization
- Website and mobile app
- Festive truck event catering
- Customer feedback is an utmost priority
- Consulting chefs developing recipes
- Create your own recipe
c. The Industry
Our business will operate in the food truck industry. This industry is made up of businesses that are engaged in preparing and serving meals from a mobile truck.
d. Mission Statement
Our mission at Beta Life Chops is to create and serve a product line that fits nicely with health trends nationwide.
e. Vision Statement
Our vision at Beta Life Chops is to offer our customers out-of-this-world meals inspired by our eclectic style and consistency. We will always maintain a simple philosophy – serve only the highest quality product, prepare it in a clean and sparkling environment, and serve it in a warm and friendly manner.
f. Tagline or Slogan
Beta Life Chops – Trendy with Happiness
g. Legal Structure of the Business (LLC, C Corp, S Corp, LLP)
Beta Life Chops will be a member-managed Limited Liability Company, formed in the state of Oregon and operating out of a custom-built food truck in Jade District Portland. We believe that the LLC provides us adequate cover and protection to grow and diversify our revenue streams.
h. Organizational Structure
- Food Truck Manager
- Assistant Food Truck Manager
- Window Attendant
- Truck Cooks
- Prep Cooks
i. Ownership/Shareholder Structure and Board Members
Beta Life Chops will be a member-managed Limited Liability Company, formed in the state of Oregon and operating out of a custom-built food truck in Jade District Portland. Our Head Chef and Truck Manager Lillian Birch and Michelle William the Assistant Food Truck Manager remain the owner-operators and will share the responsibilities of day-to-day operations.
Aside from the hands-on experience of our founders and chef, our strength lies in our financial capacity and eagerness to succeed in the business.
We have purchased a brand new mobile food preparation vehicle (MFPV) that can meet the needs of over 500 customers per day. We have also developed relationships with brand experts who will help to build our brand to a level where we can start selling franchises.
Our intention of running our mobile truck business alongside other similar business offerings like training, consultancy services, and sale of the franchise can distract us from focusing our energy in one direction. We totally understand this and are striving to block any area that will sap our energy and make us underperform in our core business area – the sale of foods and drinks.
Our business location presents a massive opportunity for us at Beta Life Chops. Eastport Food Center is a large food cart pod near Portland’s Jade District, well situated in one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods, and the 25 carts that reside here reflect that.
i. How big is the Industry?
According to industry reports, the market size of the US food truck industry measured by revenue is $1.2bn in 2023.
ii. Is the Industry Growing or Declining?
The US food truck industry is growing rapidly and has outpaced the broader foodservice sector. Reports have it that it experienced a boom over the five years to 2022 owing to the surge in gastronomy in the United States. It is still expected to grow at an annualized rate of 6.6% in the coming years.
iii. What are the Future Trends in the Industry
Here are the top trends in the industry according to experts.
- Rising demand for environmentally friendly food
- Growing vegan options and meat-plant blends
- More event partnerships and promotions
- More commercial restaurants experimenting with food trucks
- Increased technology and social media
- More peanut butter alternatives
- Flour alternatives
- West African cuisine
- Refined sugar alternatives
iv. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?
When looking to start a food truck business, here are some niche ideas to look into;
- Preparing and serving food from a mobile truck
- Preparing and serving beverages from a mobile truck
- Preparing and serving dessert from a mobile truck
- Serving prepackaged food and beverages from a mobile truck
v. Can You Sell a Franchise of your Business in the Future?
Yes, our plan at Beta Life Chop is to build our brand to a level where we can start selling franchises and offer training and consultancy services in the mobile food truck industry.
At Beta Life Chops, one of the threats that we may likely face is vehicular traffic in key cities. Traffic can delay not just our clients but our truck from getting to our business location before lunch break is over. In addition, government policies could also pose a great threat to the mobile food truck industry.
i. Who are the Major Competitors?
- LGM Delicacies
- Eastport Beer Garden
- Grubtopia Comfort Soul Food(BBQ)
- Los Parceros (Colombian Food)
- Indian Hunger Point
- Lei’d Back Hawaiian Cuisine
- Samurai Sushi
- Off the Leash (Chicago Hot Dog)
- Japanese Express
- Northwest Gyros(Gyro &Shawarma)
- Bobablastic (Drinks & meals)
- Esan Thai (Thai Food)
- Mas Sabor ( Mexican Food)
- Turkish Agha (Turkish Cuisine)
ii. Is There a Franchise for Food Truck Business?
- Repicci’s real italian ice & gelato: $152,150 – $176,400
- Wayback burgers: $209,000 – $524,500
- Little caesars mobile pizza kitchen: $221,000 – $654,000
- Kona ice: $150,400 – $174,150
- Dairy queen: $1,101,135 – $1,856,655
- Cousins maine lobster: $187,150 – $815,450
- Johnny rockets: $597,100 – $1,189,000
- Toppers pizza: $292,146 – $530,652
- Gigi’s cupcakes: $226,700 – $425,500
- Captain d’s seafood: $709,300 – $1,231,400
- Cafe2u: $109,146 – $154,621
- Cheezious: $499,000 – $1,158,000
- Ice cream emergency: $129,700 – $179,650
- Sweet pea homemade ice cream: $40,250 – $110,500
- Mister softee: $158,500 – $181,000
- Tikiz shaved ice & ice cream: $132,000 – $144,000
iii. Are There Policies, Regulations, or Zoning Laws Affecting Food Truck Business?
Yes, the requirements to start a food truck business in the United States varies from state to state and even city to city. Food truck regulations most often fall into three major categories: health, zoning, and vehicle requirements. Health regulations handle the sort of equipment your truck must have, what permits you and your employees need, and whether you need a commissary kitchen.
Zoning regulations note the places you are permitted to park your truck for service, what types of neighborhoods are not allowed, and where you can park your truck overnight. There will also be laws on what type of vehicle you can use, what emissions regulations your truck must meet, where you need to register your vehicle, and if your truck driver needs to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
a. Who is your target audience?
i. Age range
At Beta Life Chops, we believe our target audience will fall within the age range of 14 to 45 years.
ii. Level of Educational
The level of education of our target audience will vary exponentially. There is a middle school and high school in our town. We expect students from these schools to frequent our business location.
iii. Income Level
The income level of our target market will be individuals that earn from $2,400 annually and above.
Our target market at Beta Life Chops will include anyone who is looking to taste local cuisine without having to pause what they’re doing and take time to go to a restaurant.
There are no language restrictions at Beta Life Chops.
vi. Geographical Location
Our aim at Beta Life Chop is to serve the residents of Portland, Oregon, and surrounding areas as well as those who work in the Jade District.
- Families and Couples
- Local office workers
- Soccer/stay-at-home moms
b. Advertising and Promotion Strategies
- Interact with the local establishments like unions and service organizations and inform them about our business. In addition, offer them catering service for their events.
- Align with the right people that can be advantageous to our food business like event coordinators, tour guides, hotel personnel, etc.
- Speak to local companies’ management and offer to cater their events.
- Attend all the local events, like a farmers market, arts festivals, and carnivals.
- Always be easygoing and friendly with our prospective customers and never try to be too insistent.
- Always get involved in the local community’s activities
- Distribute our promotional business flyers and paper menus. We believe that the more we advertise the more advantage we will have over competitors.
i. Traditional Marketing Strategies
- Ensure that our food truck exterior is extra appealing to attract passing customers
- Distribute food samples outside our food truck
- Advertise in local papers and magazines
- Sponsored listings on Yelp or other websites
- Participation in delivery services such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, etc
ii. Digital Marketing Strategies
- Reaching out to local bloggers and websites
- Social media advertising
- Partnerships with local organizations (e.g., gym members get a free fruit cup with each wrap they purchase)
- Local radio advertising
- Develop a customer loyalty program
iii. Social Media Marketing Plan
- Pay Per Click
- Use Facebook Advertising.
- Show Your Truck and Coils At Work On Instagram
- Encourage Engagement
- Post Consistently
- Make Posts Visual and Add Relevant Hashtag
- Engage with Customers and Followers
- Post About Food and Food Trucks
c. Pricing Strategy
At Beta Life Chops, our pricing will be moderate so customers will feel that they are getting great value when patronizing our trucks. We will also ensure that our pricing stays moderate and at par with competitors.
Sales and Distribution Plan
a. Sales Channels
At Best Life Chops, our website and mobile app will bring our products to the eyes of the public. In addition, our presence at Eastport Food Centre will not go unnoticed as we will have nicely decorated trucks, food tasting events, and mini-contests. We will participate in fairs and local events and we will cater to weddings and parties.
b. Inventory Strategy
After extensive research, we intend to achieve a level of order accuracy and make everything easier by leveraging mobile POS software.
We believe that the Tablet-based ordering screens will offer our customer-facing person an easy way to input orders. This will ensure that sending orders to the cook, or remembering the nuances of each order becomes easier.
c. Payment Options for Customers
- Payment with cash
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via mobile money transfer
d. Return Policy, Incentives, and Guarantees
At Best Life Chop, we will have an easy refund policy, with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. Since we are great at what we do, we will always take care of every customer complaint, including a full refund if that’s what it takes. Our other refund options include offering customers a replacement meal or coupons that give free meals for their use in the future. If they choose a refund for their meal, we will only refund in the same form of currency used for the purchase.
e. Customer Support Strategy
- Always make delicious food made fresh with locally sourced ingredients using exquisite techniques.
- Ensure that foods maintain their quality and taste.
- Having multiple foods for customers to choose from.
- Being flexible enough to cater to special requests by customers.
- Ensuring to get customers’ feedback and being open to suggestions.
- Leveraging social media and other tools to increase business reach.
- Using CRM to manage the database of clients.
- Considering customers’ opinions before making any major decision
a. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Food Truck Business?
In this line of business, this is how a normal day goes;
- You have to begin early by picking up the truck and heading to the commercial kitchen space where you’ll prepare your menu items.
- After preparation, you have to move your truck to your parking location as soon as possible.
- See to the culinary needs of your customers as swiftly and efficiently as possible, especially if you have a weekday lunchtime location.
- Drive your truck back to the commissary or storage location where you can legally dispose of grease, wastewater, and other cooking waste, and thoroughly clean your vehicle.
- When not cooking or serving clients, you will have to reach out to your market via social media or the production of flyers, and other means of marketing your business.
- Gas up your vehicle and inspect it for repairs.
- Shop for your food ingredients daily or every few days. Your storage space will be limited, so you’ll shop often.
b. Production Process
At Beta Life Chop, one of our USPs (unique, selling, point) is that our foods will be cooked fresh in front of our customers. We understand that people want fresh food and not something that has been cooked a day or so before. Owing to that, our production process involves preparing and cooking their food in front of them.
c. Service Procedure
At Beta Life, we need to prepare the truck and pick up daily fresh food supply, after which we will proceed to our commissary kitchen to prepare some of the meals. We then have to load up the truck and head to our sales location where we will now finish the meal preparation as each customer demands.
We will consult with specialized chefs to develop our base of proprietary food recipes and sauces. Also note that we will offer desserts, drinks, and also cater special events. For such occasions, we will use our festive truck specially painted and decorated for the event.
d. The Supply Chain
Our aim is to only make use of fresh products sourced from locally grown organic crops. Have it in mind that our prices will be almost the same as those of any fast food, which will encourage the vast majority of customers to want to try our food.
e. Sources of Income
Our primary source of revenue includes;
- Food and beverage sales
- Food truck consultation
a. Amount Needed to Start your Food Truck Business?
We need around $40,000 to $200,000 to start up Beta Life Chops.
b. What are the Cost Involved?
- Purchasing a Food Truck: $5,000
- Vehicle Inspection: $500
- Retrofitting and Bringing Our Truck to Code: $25,000
- Generator: $2,500
- POS Software System and Hardware: $1,500
- Paint: $1,000
- Truck Wrap: $2,500
- Initial Food Purchases $2,000
- Utensils, Papers, and Goods: $2,000
- Permits and licensing: $2,300
- Website Design: $500
- Initial Office Equipment and Supplies: $1,000
- Advertising and Public Relations: $2,000
- Professional, Legal, and Consulting Fees: $2,000
c. Do You Need to Build a Facility?
No, Beta Life Chops will be started in Eastport Food Centre and operated out of a custom-built food truck in Jade District Portland.
d. What are the Ongoing Expenses for Running a Food Truck Business?
- Commercial Kitchen and Commissary Rent
- Monthly Credit Card Processing Fees
- Truck maintenance
e. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
- Food Truck Manager: $48, 072
- Assistant Food Truck Manager: $35,734
- Window Attendant: $31,330
- Truck Cooks: $28,442
- Prep Cooks: $21,780
f. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Food Truck Business
- Equipment loan/financing program
- Rollover for business startups (ROBS)
- Business credit cards
- Personal loan
- A microloan from Small Business Administration (SBA)
a. How Much Should You Charge for your product/Service?
To find out a good price point for your products and offerings, you should observe other food trucks in your location. Find out how many meals they serve on a typical lunch hour and how much they charge. However, remember to be conservative in your estimation, and figure out how much you need to make to be profitable daily. Divide the number of meals you expect to serve by this number and this is what each meal should cost to hit that number.
b. Sales Forecast?
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $120,000
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $270,000
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $490,000
c. Estimated Profit You Will Make a Year?
At Beta Life Chops, we expect to make;
- First Fiscal Year (FY1): $36,000 (30% of revenue generated)
- Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $121,500 (45% of revenue generated)
- Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $269,500 (55% of revenue generated)
d. Profit Margin of a Food Truck Business
In this line of business, a 30 percent profit margin is encouraging, but it will depend on your location, competition, efficiency, among other factors.
a. How do you intend to grow and expand?
Our plan at Beta Life Chop is to build our brand to a level where we can start selling franchises and offer training and consultancy services in the mobile food truck industry.
b. Where do you intend to expand to and why?
- Bethany, Portland, OR
- Cedar Mill, Portland, OR.
- Oak Hills, Portland, OR
- West Linn, Portland, OR.
- Lake Oswego, Portland, OR
- Camas, Washington
- Stafford, Portland
Our reason for choosing these locations is because trucks flourish in their culinary scene, though in Portland they are called food carts.
At Beta Life Chops, we envisage family succession as our business exit strategy. We strongly believe that this business exit strategy, unlike others, does not require that much involvement of external parties. In addition, it is also one of the easiest and most straightforward options when done right, and we hope to put together a well-detailed plan to ensure success.