How to Write a Food Truck Business Plan
If you’re thinking of starting a food truck business (we know you are—you did click on this article, after all) you’re probably aware of all the perks a portable restaurant has compared to the traditional brick and mortar business. The food truck concept allows you to:
- Travel to the customers, not vice versa. Food trucks allow you to set up shop close to large businesses or campuses during the week so employees can grab a quick bite during lunch. On the weekends, you can move your whole business close to the local nightlife and be ready with delicious comfort food when the bars close.
- Make catering options a breeze. Food trucks can provide freshly made food on demand at a chosen venue, as opposed to preparing offsite and reheating. This has made food trucks a popular option when it comes to parties, company meetings, and weddings.
- Invest less. You don’t have to worry about rent, decor, or paying wait staff. All you’ll need to worry about is securing funding for the truck, equipment, ingredients, gas, and any food truck permits required by law.
Food trucks can really rake in the cash. However, you’ll most likely need startup money and a detailed business plan to get things cooking. Websites like Law District offer free business plan templates to help you get organized—for both yourself and potential investors and lenders. But what should a great business plan include? Check out the following six steps and learn what your food truck business plan template should entail.
Woo Investors with Your Business Plan Summary
Think of the summary of your business plan as the blurb on the back of the novel. If it’s confusing or lackluster, you’ll most likely put that book right back on the shelf—and your investors will do the same with your business plan.
Lay out exactly how your food truck will be beneficial to the community and how investing or providing a loan will be profitable to lenders and investors. You should also keep it short and easy to read and include a logo and add it to the summary to really catch their attention. Make sure you are confident in your approach, but not overly confident. We’ve provided a business plan summary example to help you distinguish between the two tones.
Share Your Passion & Define Your Impact
While it’s important to not get too flowery or verbose in your business plan, you do want your passion to come through. Make sure your company overview explains why and how your food truck will make a positive impact. Create a clear outline of your branding, mission, and the personality of your business.Here is a sample of how passion and impact can be expressed concisely as part of your company overview.
Explain Why You & Your Partners Are a Perfect Fit
Simply being passionate about your business plan is not enough to entice lenders and investors. It’s important that you explain exactly what makes you, and your partners, uniquely qualified to successfully run this business. Make sure to list your accomplishments and any prior experiences, connections within the community, or relevant resources that will demonstrate why you and your partners are perfect for the job.
Include Hours of Operation & Potential Location Ideas
The success of your food truck business will be dependent on a number of factors, and one of those is how often you are open and where you plan to be located. If you aren’t planning a route, but rather a pop-up arrangement based on social media trends, then make sure that is clear. Be extremely detailed about why you have chosen these specific hours and the location plan. You can also list your competition in these locations, and what would make your business have an advantage over the others.
Provide an Enticing Sample Menu
Put an example of the actual menu in your business plan. That will make it more real for the reader. Make sure to include any plans you have regarding seasonal dish changes or drink selections.
Websites like Canva can help you create the perfect template. You can also include pictures of the dishes, or even bring in samples if you’re meeting the investors in person.
Break Down Your Financial Needs
Now that you have laid out your business plan, it’s time to state your investment request. Instead of simply stating the dollar amount you are seeking, create a summary that outlines the cost sources.
An investment request summary requires you to be extremely thorough, for both you and your potential investor. So how much does it cost to start a food truck? When determining how much to ask for, make sure to:
- List Startup Expenses: List every startup expense you predict down to the penny, leaving room for unexpected occurrences and cost increases. Add recurring expenses like ingredient costs, marketing services like EZ Texting pricing plans, the cost of permits, gas, and maintenance on both the truck and the equipment.
- Forecast Sales: Create a detailed, small business sales forecast. This gives both you and your investor a more accurate look at potential revenue and helps you set prices.
- Include Growth Plans: Add in any plans for expansion or growth for the future if you meet profit goals. This shows foresight and initiative to take your food truck concept to greater heights down the road.
- Disclose Your Personal Investment: Include how much you’re personally investing, so lenders and investors know exactly how much you’re willing to risk on this idea.
Now that you have an idea of the steps involved in creating a food truck business plan, it should be easier to start chipping away at each step. Even if you are not seeking investors, it’s critical to have a business plan in place to help guide your businesses growth and keep you moving on the right track. For more tips, check out our article How to Start a Food Truck Business.