Food Truck Start Up Basics

Food Truck Start Up Basics

Food Trucks, Mobile Kitchen or "Roach Coach" are popping up all over Orlando, FL. We now have daily and weekly Food Truck Gatherings and Foodies are loving it. The Food truck craze is exciting chefs and people who are passionate about food to now realizing that maybe instead of saving up for the restaurant of their dreams, they can invest in a food truck that requires less capital and less employees.

Keep in mind although you can save money with the start up, a mobile kitchen can still face many of the same difficulties of a restaurant if not more. For starters your mobile kitchen can fall victim to mother natures wrath, unlike restaurants where your customer can come inside and shield themselves from heat, rain or snow with mobile kitchens they are open to the elements. There are long hours, employee turnover, slow seasons and depending on your truck you may have very little business during certain seasons (example: An ice cream truck in the cold months.)

Tips to think about before starting your Food Truck journey.

What is your food passion?
What type of food do you want to serve?
What's missing in your area food truck community?
Is there any existing trucks with that same concept? If so, how will yours be different?

Once you have your concept down start contacting your city and county to see if they are giving out mobile food permits in your area. There are many cities like NY and LA that have put mobile kitchen permits on hold. Contact Orlando City Hall (407) 246-2204 - Orlando Website for Permitting services

Now it is time to find some wheels for your meals. Trucks/Trailers can be as low as $1500 (used truck that needs lots of work) and upwards around $75,000 plus depending on how extravagant you would like it.
I would check local websites like CraigslistEbay for used trucks/trailers but if you would like a custom made trailer contact us here at

You have your concept down, now lets think of a truck name. Ideally your food truck name should reflect the concept and theme of your food. Example: KBBQ Box - Korean BBQ Taco Box - CK Jerk Shack Island BBQ however Catchy names can still work example: Cluster Funk - Eclectic Kitchen. Start organizing your menu, what food are you going to serve? What are you going to charge? What is your profit margin? What supplies will you need, should you buy in bulk? Should you brand everything or use generic supplies?

The initial cost is much lower than starting a restaurant but depending on your concept/brand it can run you thousands. You can look into family, friends, private investors even financing from a bank. There are sites that ask your community for help like KickstarterIndiegogoRocket Hub and Others. You can check with the company you are getting your truck from about owner-financing. With every business when asking for financing from a bank you will need a business plan, if you need help, check out Richard Myrick from Mobile Cuisine (I would suggest also reading through Mobile Cuisine for more incite) article Writing A Food Truck Business Plan.

When looking into your Financing needs ideally it would help if you included enough money to extend three to six months into the start of your food truck.

Financing Includes but not limited to:

Truck Cost
     (Cost of buying a new or used truck)
Branding Cost
     (Truck Wrap/Paint, flyers, business cards, stickers, serving items if custom, uniforms)
    (This can include yourself, if you are quitting your job and doing this you need to have money to take care
     of your finances while building your business.)
Equipment Cost
     (Sinks, ovens, fryers, racks, refrigerators... etc. Pots, pans, utensils, bowls, Generators, Propane tanks)
     (Make sure you have enough money to cover your first few openings)
Safety Measures
     (Any fire equipment that the city will require... etc Monthly Insurance for your truck)
POS systems, Credit card Systems
     Square up is a free credit card system for your phone with cheap fees, you may need to upgrade your  
     phone so you can use Square up.

These are the Basics, if you still need advice or have question please email us at

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