A female African American food truck operator hands a young man food.

Starting a food truck business is exciting! You’re about to take your love of food and community out on the open road, setting up at a variety of locations, chatting with the locals and sharing those incredible recipes your friends and family can’t stop raving about. 

But first things first: how are you going to make your food truck dreams a reality? 

We hate to break it to you but 60% of food trucks fail within the first 3 years. Why? While there are many factors that contribute to this stat, the major reason is simply poor planning.

Get ahead of the most common obstacles and set yourself up for the long haul with a food truck business plan that will help inform, guide and drive your business to success. 

Do I need a food truck business plan?

Yes! A business plan is essential to running a successful food truck business because it provides a roadmap for getting started, tracking finances and growth milestones and reaching what success looks like to you. Plus, most professional services (like accountants, insurance providers, lawyers, banks and so on) will require a business plan to work with you. 

What’s included in a business plan? 

A food truck business plan includes everything from financial plans and essential personnel to marketing and competitor research to menus and service details to a growth strategy (hello second truck!) and more.  

How do I create a food truck business plan?

Make space both time-wise and mentally to work on your business plan. It takes a lot of work but is well worth it to beat that 60% fail rate. Below is a quick-reference outline to help you create a successful food truck business plan. 

Food Truck Business Plan Outline

Executive Summary

The executive summary is a quick overview of your food truck business and provides an introduction to the reader. It should be short, only 1-2 pages long, and is typically written last after the rest of your business plan is completed. Your executive summary should include: 

  • Concept and type of food you’ll be selling
  • Hours of operation and location(s)
  • Target market and explanation of why this business fills a need
  • Projected costs and profits 
  • Business goal and what looks like success to you

Company Description

This section will include all the details about your food truck as a company – have fun with this! Describe your business and what makes it special, who’s involved and why it’s going to be successful. 

  • Mission statement and core concept
  • Management and team details such as owners, partners and employees
  • Professional and advisory support (think insurance, bank, business associations, etc.)
  • Goals and objectives

Products & Services

Ready to talk menu?! The Product and Services section of your food truck business plan will showcase your ideal menu and explain how you’re going to prepare and serve everything. 

  • Menu items and what makes your offers unique
  • Pricing for each menu item
  • Food prep details like if you’re using a commissary kitchen and how to source ingredients
  • Transaction plan such as accepting payments with a comprehensive POS, offering online ordering, and handling cash payments.

Marketing Plan

Every successful business needs a great marketing plan to get the word out about your amazing food and where you’ll be located. But before that, you need to understand the food truck business industry in your specific area, research your competitors and evaluate your customer base. 

  • Branding that includes logo, color schemes and general vibe
  • Target audience that describes who you’ll be selling to as well as ideal locations and events. 
  • Competitor overview of other food trucks and even quick-service restaurants that sell similar types of food (take a close look at where you can stand out!) a SWOT analysis is handy here)
  • Marketing plan to reach your customers (social media is essential!)

Strategy & Implementation

Now it’s time to dig into HOW you’re going to make this all happen with a solid strategy and method to implement and stay on track. 

Financial Plan and Projections

If this is your first food truck business, creating financial plans and projections might feel like shooting in the dark. Be sure to keep in mind that you’ll have a mix of perfectly ideal sales days and days where sales are interrupted for a variety of reasons (seasonal, location availability, competitors, or a sick day here and there).

  • Initial expenses and assets
  • Sales forecast & projections
  • Profit & Loss projections
  • Business budget

Keep your food truck on the road to success using technology that supports your business

You already know that you’ll need a POS to accept credit card payments but there’s so much more that a great POS can do for your food truck business. The Table Needs POS is designed to support core areas of your business – from managing menus to accepting payments to reporting that keeps you in the know. 

The Table Needs POS for Food Trucks will help you: 

  • Know what menu items are selling like crazy
  • Understand which routes or events are most profitable
  • Reveal customer preferences 
  • Track weekly, monthly, and yearly sales by item
  • And a whole lot more!

Running a food truck is hard work, but Table Needs can help make it easier! We’re happy to answer your questions, give you a pressure-free demo, and start building your free digital menu.

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