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Wondering how to start a food truck business in India? Keep reading because we have included everything about your food truck business plan in India that will not only inspire you but keep you informed well ahead for success.

Food truck business ideas have been gaining traction in recent years in India after gaining popularity through popular TV channels like TLC, which features food trucks across the U.S. In this blog, we give all the information you need to know about starting a food truck in India.

The first step in the process is to create a food truck business plan. It will be your perfect roadmap to getting your food truck completely operational. We understand that it is normal to have many questions as you begin to move forward with the idea of a food truck business. That is why creating a clear business plan for your food truck is important.

You don’t have to feel intimidated to start a food truck business in India; the following steps will guide you every step of the way to open a food truck business in India:

  1. Choose the right food truck
  2. Choose the right location for your food truck
  3. Source raw materials and kitchen equipment
  4. Apply for licenses and permits for a food truck business in India
  5. Manpower required for your food truck
  6. Install POS software for your food truck
  7. Staff uniform for your food truck employees
  8. Market your business
  9. Calculate The Cost Of Opening A Food Truck Business In India
  10. Other miscellaneous things required to keep your food truck business in India on the mark

Now, let’s delve into the individual steps of the process and how to accomplish each of them to help you start a food truck business in India.

Before anything else, choose the right truck for your food business. Choose a vehicle based on the type of food you will be serving. For instance, you will need a commercial vehicle at least 18 feet long for Italian and Continental cuisine. A brand new vehicle would cost around Rs 7–8 lakhs. Various trucks are available in the market from Tata, Mahindra & Mahindra, and Ashok Leyland.

Choose The Right Food Truck For Food Truck Business In India

You can save costs by purchasing an old truck, which would cost you only half the price of a new one. But, as you buy an old commercial vehicle, check for a proper fitness certificate, registration, road tax receipt, and insurance. More importantly, it should not be more than five years old. Due to pollution problems, various state governments are considering banning 10-year-old commercial vehicles.

The old vehicle can be modified per the needs with an additional cost of Rs 1 lakh. So, the total cost of the last truck without the equipment would cost Rs 5 lakhs. Though it seems quite high compared to a restaurant with a monthly rent of Rs 40,000, the food truck cost would be negligible in the long run as it is free of rent or a very low rent, depending on where you park.

Choose The Right Location For Your Food Truck

The location you choose is a major factor for your food truck business. So keep these factors in mind:

  1. Vehicle Parking: Your food truck would need considerable open space. And you must ensure that you have ample space to park your truck where it is allowed.
  2. Visibility: You must choose an area that people frequently visit. Some good areas might be outside parks, movie theaters, and universities.
  3. Competitor mapping: Do a mindful competitor analysis, find where your competitors are stationed, and plan accordingly.

Another factor to consider is health and hygiene.

A food truck business design must be developed with health and hygiene in focus. Food trucks usually operate in densely crowded areas with limited spaces to function. You must be careful in maintaining good hygiene, controlling air pollution levels, and managing food waste.

Environmental pollution has harmed various businesses, including the food truck business. For example, food trucks in Gurgaon have seen a 40% dip in business to high smog levels.

Follow this checklist of health and hygiene pointers to make sure you are well within the safety zone:

  1. Make use of chimneys to control air pollution.
  2. Check the food waste twice a day and keep the cooking area clean.
  3. Ensure that your staff maintains good sanitation.
  4. Keep a few dustbins near the food truck.

Source Raw Materials And Kitchen Equipment

The essential kitchen equipment includes Microwave, juicer mixer, freezer, refrigerators, griller, steamer, working tables, one burner, exhaust equipment, generator or big batteries with an inverter. And the total cost could come around Rs 3 lakhs. We recommend that you purchase newequipment as they are mostly electronic items. The warranty will help you be free of daily maintenance costs. However, if you choose pre-owned equipment, it can save you a lot of money. Apart from the kitchen equipment, the raw material for the first week would cost around Rs 30,000.

Apply For Licenses & Permits Required To Start A Food Truck Business In India

A food truck needs a valid license, like a restaurant, to be operational. In India, the government has already banned illegal food trucks.

Since there are no clear-cut laws about food truck business plans in India, it is essential to procure the following set of licenses for your food truck in India, which will permit you to carry on with your restaurant business legally in this territory:

FSSAI License: If your food truck gets a gross revenue of more than Rs 12 lakh, you will have to get an FSSAI license.

FSSAI License Cost

The applicant must pay the fees while submitting the FSSAI registration form. The FSSAI registration fee for various categories are as follows:

  • Registration Fee — Rs.100
  • State License Fee — Rs.2,500 to Rs.5,000
  • Central License Fee — Rs.7,500

NOC from the Chief Fire Officer: Your food truck must have a NOC certificate from the Chief Fire Officer because the operations involve a lot of gas appliances.

Permission letter from the local municipal body: After you finalize a location for your business, you must get a permission letter from your local municipal body to start setting up.

Vehicle license: As your food truck is a commercial vehicle, it will need a license issued by the RTO of commercial vehicles.

Manpower Required For Your Food Truck

For your food truck, a maximum of two chefs and one helper would be sufficient to take care of the entire operations of the truck. The average salary of chefs would cost you around Rs 13k-15k. And the helper’s salary would be Rs 8000. If you prefer a delivery model, you can hire two delivery boys or tie up with third-party companies that could charge around Rs 40–50 per delivery.

We recommend hiring at least one delivery boy who will also help you procure raw materials in the case of emergencies rather than depending upon third-party logistics.

Install POS Software For Your Food Truck

Use good POS software that can keep your data safe and give detailed information about your inventory and sales. Keeping your customers’ data safe and secure is extremely important. So choose a good POS software that offers a secure way of handling data while enhancing your daily activities. A fully optimized POS software can cost around Rs 24,000 per annum.

Staff Uniform For Your Food Truck Employees

The staff uniform accentuates your brand appeal, which makes you a trusted brand among your customers. A standard collar t-shirt costs around Rs 120, and a chef coat at Rs 300. The delivery agent can have a t-shirt and a cap. Altogether, it will cost you around Rs 6000.

Market Your Business

Marketing is essential to any business, and the food truck business is no exception. Good marketing and promotions strategies will contribute to the success of your business big time.

  • Build a Strong brand

The ability of a restaurant to become people’s favorite is in the ability of your brand to tell a unique story that people can associate with.

How do you build a strong brand?

  1. Finalize a target audience: As a first step to building a strong brand, find who your target audience is, whether it is a young crowd, corporate crowd or families. It will help you with your content marketing and social media strategy.
  2. Do competitor research: It is essential to stay up to date with your competitors’ improvements. Follow their promotion channels, and learn from their unique selling proposition. Anything and everything that you gather about your competitors will be vital in building your brand.
  3. Build differentiators: Differentiating your brand is key to standing out from the crowd. What makes your brand unique? Why should people have to buy from you? You must have a compelling answer or rather an approach to these questions.
  4. Finalize a name: Choose a name that sticks to the memory of your target audience. It must be relatable to them in some way. And it must represent the service that you offer. For instance, Meet and Eat, Dance and Dine.
  5. Finalize a logo and a theme: Your brand is incomplete without a logo. Build a strong logo, as it is the tool that will represent your business brand in every way. It will show up on all the banners and promotional material that you will ever need. It will be the tool that speaks for your brand, so make it bold and beautiful.

Here are some ways you could promote your food truck, both online and offline.

Online Promotion Ideas

Digital promotion is one of the easiest ways of promoting your brand. We have listed a few key points here:

  • Have your website and app. Build your brand and tell your story on your website. Make use of attractive images and discounts.
  • Tie up with popular food ordering aggregators like Swiggy and Zomato.
  • Build your Social Media presence on Instagram and Facebook to build your brand.
  • Perform Search Engine Optimization by shortlisting keywords around your niche and building all your content around it. Check the page load times of your website, optimize meta-tagging and directory listing so that you can be easily found on Google.
  • Run online ads on search engines and social media to increase visibility, brand awareness, and sales.
  • Run CRM campaigns, punch in customer details using POS and use customer data to run your restaurant CRM campaigns via SMS and Email

Offline Promotion Ideas

Try out these offline promotional ideas:

  • Distribute pamphlets, and print ads
  • Collaborate with local sellers and event planners
  • Conduct contests, and reward a few lucky customers
  • Provide free WiFi
  • Tie-up with food reviewers and bloggers
  • Join food events and fests.

Food Truck Festivals are frequently conducted in India’s prominent cities, and many players around India gather and are visited by foodies from all around. Check out these festivals hosted in the cities — of Delhi and Mumbai.

Many food vendors share that focusing on events, catering, and regular vending opportunities from the beginning creates more visibility than they could normally experience on the streets.

The food truck business model is a profitable business model where you can serve lip-smacking food and earn good profits at the same time. We hope the above article will open the doors for you to this new enterprise.

Now that you have all the information on how to get started with your food truck. We’ve listed down some Indian food truck business plan examples from which you can take inspiration. They have been in business for a long time and have certainly mastered their craft.

Calculate The Cost Of Opening A Food Truck Business In India

In India, a food truck can cost anywhere between INR 8–10 lakhs. A fully furnished food truck can go up to 20 lakhs.

Here is a complete breakdown of all the costs how to start a food truck business in India:

  • Vehicle: You need a food truck to start things off. You can use a second-hand one or buy a new truck, which might cost a minimum of INR 4 lakhs.
  • Equipment: You will have to make a one-time investment in buying the essential kitchen equipment. It will include a stove, utensils, cooking vessels, and cutlery. You must also invest in a few tables and chairs for people to sit in if they prefer. All the equipment put together would cost you around Rs 2 lakhs.
  • Raw Material: A stock of inventory or raw materials to prepare the meals would cost you about RS 20–30K.
  • POS: A POS is much more than a single technology that takes care of your billing. It is linked to other key business functions, including CRM, analytics, and inventory. A good food truck POS will cost you around RS 25–30K (6-month pack).
  • Staff: You must hire sufficient human resources to handle the operations in India. It will cost you around 13–15K per month per person.
  • Marketing: You will have to invest in online and offline marketing, costing you up to 20K monthly.

Other Things Required To Start A Food Truck Business In India

Apart from the aforementioned essentials, you will need two mobile phones, a calculator, an attendance register, a daily book for to-do lists, 2 large dustbins etc.

Unlike other food business models, a food truck business in India has pros and cons. For instance, the location is a problem, but as the owner of your food truck, you get to decide the location. You can make the best choice based on the market research, and you will be able to cut costs as you don’t have to pay rent, no electricity bills, less capital required and low operational costs.

However, the food truck business is quite uncertain as there are no proper guidelines. But if you do things correctly, a food truck business is the best food business with great returns. Your investment in a food truck business is higher than in the QSR format. But the overall operational cost is much less than a QSR or a small restaurant.

Apart from the daily business, which has a minimum of Rs 9000 sales per day, a food truck can also make money from various events and catering. A single event can garner up to Rs 30,000 per day.

Keep these tips in mind and do accordingly for more profits for your food truck and keep the customers returning.

Benefits of opening a Food Truck

  1. Low investment, low risk: Smart planning will help you purchase a food truck for less than Rs 10 lakhs.
  2. Fewer resources required: You don’t need too many resources to run a food truck. You can make it operational with less than two resources at Rs 8K per person.
  3. Learning experience: If you are starting with the food business, a food truck is a great starting point to learn how to analyze data, learn customer tastes and operational activities, and manage marketing and promotions.
  4. Catering at events: You can easily tie-up with catering companies and increase your sales drastically by catering to business events.

Here are some of the popular food truck businesses in India:

Many food trucks are operating in India following successful food truck business plan examples, which makes each one unique for its services.

Bombay Food Truck

Bombay Food Truck is a food truck business in Mumbai, which rolled in September 2015 as Mumbai’s first and finest food truck, offering an authentic fusion of Mumbai flavors with a gourmet street food twist. Its vision is to be a global food truck brand known for its gourmet street food. They deliver great-tasting, quality gourmet meals to customers at an affordable price with a world-class food truck experience that makes them feel welcomed and valued.

Poona Food truck

Pune food truck is the place to get your Italian and continental food cravings satisfied. They serve. They won the What’s Hot Owler’s 2020 award in Best Food Truck, Pune.

Dosa Inc

With their food truck business in Delhi, Jyoti and Satya are not only working to retain customers but are also expanding exponentially. The food truck serves delicious home-cooked items like Rava dosa, tomato onion uttapam, medu vada, filter coffee and specials like bandakai vepudu, Malabar paratha and tengozal ladoo barfi. Dosa Inc was established with an initial investment of Rs 10,00,000, and today it clocks revenue up to Rs 1.5 crores.

Truckin’ Foodie

From Yapral to Banjara Hills and even Financial District, food goes out of a food truck, ‘Truckin’ Foodie specializes in continental with a twist. In December 2020, Apoorva Marur and Deeksha Marur, as a tribute to their late father Vijay Marur, came up with a food truck business plan in Hyderabad. And they started this food truck located on General Road in Yapral.

Wicked Chef Gourmet On The Go

Take inspiration from this food truck business plan in Bangalore. The red and black tempo truck serves great food like Goan shack on wheels, Banana and Maple Pancakes, French fries, Beer Battered Fish and Chips. They park at Indiranagar 6th Main, Bangalore.

Noronha’s Corner

Started by three brothers who learned cooking from their father, this quaint food truck at Assagao, Goa, is a meat lover’s delight. Sip some chilled beer while they dish out classic Goan snacks and fare.

We don’t want to wrap up without answering your desperate questions. So here we go:

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

When you hope to start a food truck business, we know that you are challenged by the question, ‘is the food truck business profitable in India?
A food truck can easily earn INR 35,000–40,000 per day. Food truck owners typically choose to set up shop at such events where there is a vast volume of people. A food truck can easily make between 2–3 lakhs in a month, and if you include events like college festivals, the revenue may be increased by another 2–3 lakhs.

Do food trucks need permits in India?


Yes, you need a valid permit in India. You must obtain a license to operate a food truck in India.

Is the food truck business legal in India?

It is legal in some states in India. However, it has its own strict rules and regulations based on where you run. Check out this article that talks more about the current rules and regulations for a food truck business in Mumbai.

A food truck business in Goa also has to comply with similar rules and regulations that pertain to that area. However, check with the corresponding authorities to know exactly what you should follow in order to run a successful business.

What will be a second-hand food truck cost in India?

A second-hand food truck will cost you a minimum of Rs 4 lakhs.

How much is a food truck license cost in Mumbai?

Vendors must pay a Rs 5,000 license fee annually and Trade Refuse Charge (TRC), two times the health license.

Why do food trucks fail?

Most food trucks fail because they don’t get the cost of operation under control. Some owners enter the industry expecting food, labor, and the vehicle to be their initial costs. However, other expenses can slowly add up, especially if you do not have an established budget.

How much do food trucks make in India?

A food truck can earn anywhere between 7,000–10,000 INR. Food trucks are also a staple of events and college fests. In a day, a food truck can earn up to INR 35,000–40,000 easily. Food truck owners usually prefer to station themselves at such events where the footfall of people is high.

Is a food truck a good investment?

A food truck is one of the low-investment and low-risk options in the food business industry. A good food truck will cost you less than Rs 10 lakhs. And it requires minimal resources. You can get your food truck fully operational with as few resources to carry out the day-to-day activities.

What is the best vehicle for a food truck business in India?

Here are some of the best vehicles for a food truck in India:

Tata Ace Van

School Buses

Caravans

Tuk Tuk Taxi

Is there any food truck franchise in India?

Momo Food Truck

Momo is a roadside hit among foodies. People love momo for its taste and price-effectiveness. Local vendors, small kiosks and food trucks serve momo at every nook and corner. Many eateries offer hundreds of varieties of these mouthwatering delights, most of which take the franchise route to get bigger in less time.

The Momo franchise is one of the greatest business opportunities in today’s time. Talking specifically about a momo food truck, it can be a very lucrative business option as the biggest concerns of consumers, like hygiene and quality of momos, can be resolved with a food truck franchise of momos.

Momo Food Truck could be a big hit because it requires an easy investment range of Rs 5–10 lakh.

Kathi Roll Food Truck

Kathi roll is a street food originating from Kolkata. Its inception can be traced to Nizam’s Restaurant of Kolkata in 1932. With the growing trend for eating out, especially among the youth, school- and college-goers, and working professionals, the on-the-go ease of consuming rolls has played a vital role in expanding its reach among consumers.

Frozen Yogurt Food Truck

Frozen yogurt is low on fat, sweet and calories. It refers to a mixture of yogurt, milk, and cream enjoyed as a snack or dessert by people of all ages. Unlike traditional desserts, frozen yogurt encapsulates good nutritional value, which can be a good alternative to a complete meal.

In India, frozen yogurt has emerged as a popular alternative to ice cream and other milk-based desserts due to the presence of various nutrients and lower calorie content. Increasing western influences on consumers have further boosted the demand for frozen yogurt.

Cashing on this growing trend for frozen yogurt, starting a frozen yogurt food truck is viable as it will require low investment with low risk.

The investment range of a frozen yogurt food truck starts from Rs 10 lakh and can range up to Rs 20 lakh for an area of 150–400 sq ft.

How to come up with food truck business names?

The name you choose for your food truck is very important as it is the brand identity of your business. It must be able to make that connection with the crowd instantly. Follow these tips to come up with the perfect name for your food truck:

1.Be clear about what food you sell
2.Make it memorable
3.Make sure people can easily pronounce it
4.Be specific
5.Be general if doing different types of food
6.Think ahead
7.Keep it short and catchy
8.Avoid controversy
9.Check the name isn’t trademarked or registered
10.Name of food + Co.
11.Involve family and friends
12.Use familiar words
13.Make a shortlist
14.Do a survey
15.Avoid geographical names
16.Choose a name that stands out
17.Think it through

We hope our exhaustive list has not left you exhausted but excited! What are you waiting for? Hit the road with your food truck! If you have more questions, let us know in the comments.