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Margesh Rai
| Updated: 04 Jul, 2020 | Category: FSSAI License

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Commence a Food Truck Business in India

- Food truck business in India
Reading Time: 8 minutes

Food Truck Business in India has gained admiration among small entrepreneurs as well as consumers. Amid the rapidly growing standalone restaurant business in India, the charm of food trucks has made it a rage in recent years. You might be getting the thought roaming in your mind that the concept of food trucks is newly introduced, right? In reality, the food truck business landed in the Indian food market in the 1970s and 80s. However, Indians started embracing western culture in the 21st century, and thereafter, Indian consumers become more familiar with the term food ‘trucks.’

Drafting a food truck business plan in advance would simplify the process of setting up a food truck business anywhere in India. The Meals on Wheels business has established itself in India’s elite cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi NCR, and few more cities till now, and the demand for it has started soaring in different parts of India. Even the thought of tasting delicious food by migrating from one point to another fills the hearts of food lovers with pleasure.

The involvement of minimum initial capital and added mobility advantage provides food truck owners access to several locations simultaneously. Therefore, small restaurant owners are planning to make a well-planned investment in the food trucks business. We will accompany you on a trip to the stepwise guide for commencing the food truck business in India through this write-up.

Conduct Market Research before Initiating a Food Truck Business in India

Before proceeding ahead for starting a food truck business in India, you must gather enough knowledge concerning the steps and procedures that must get followed. You must conduct market research through which most of the points concerning the food truck venture will be clear.

The things you should get familiar with are-

  • Learn about your competitors’ tactics that they apply in their business along with their approach.
  • Identify the place where a food truck business can flourish well.
  • Ensure that your food truck business has its unique selling point that may hopefully lure customers to visit for the lip-smacking comfort foods.
  • Analyze the competitors’ strategies and gain insights from their successes and failures.
  • Understand the customers’ tastes and preferences on a priority basis.

Costs Involved in Kickstarting a Food Truck Business in India

  • The cost of an average food truck lies somewhere between Rs. 8-12 lakhs in India. However, the price may highly differ in case of a wholly equipped food truck whose cost may touch the 20 lakhs mark.
  • To initiate the things, you must either have a second-hand truck or a new one. The minimum cost of a truck will be around Rs. 4-5 lakhs. You would have to make a one-time investment in the required kitchen equipment. The much-needed kitchen equipment comprises- cutlery, stove, cooking vessels, and utensils. The entire equipment cost will migrate around 1-2 lakhs only.
  • Maintaining a stock of raw materials is mandatory for meal preparation. The cost of raw materials will be somewhere around Rs. 20-30 lakhs.
  • Your POS is responsible for looking after your billing and technology. Major business functions such as analytics, inventory management, and customer relationship management have a connection with POS. A better POS[1] cost will be somewhere around Rs. 25-30K for a pack of 6 months. 
  • Managing your business’s day-to-day operations would demand you to hire a group of staff as resources for your entity. Hiring staff is not a costly affair in a country like India due to a significant portion of the population, finding their way of living under the shackles of poverty. For staff, you can consider cost in the range of 10-15k per person.
  • Irrespective of your business nature, sales, and marketing are the unavoidable factors. Excellent marketing strategies including promotion, advertisement, digital marketing assistance, etc. would drive your food truck business in India. The entire cost of marketing may be close to Rs. 20k every month.

Location- The Deciding Factor

  • Food truck owners must create a strategy concerning the suitable places for parking their food trucks. The success or collapse of a food truck business largely depends on the location where you will be setting up your food truck business. You may think about parking your food truck on a street where there is a scarcity of similar types of businesses and food sellers.
  • It would be advantageous for your food truck business if you choose a location where a massive crowd keeps visiting. The site where you will be parking your food vehicle must have a clean surrounding area to bring consumers in the first go. If the location is perfect, there will be no stopping for your food truck business to succeed. Discuss with the local municipal authorities concerning vehicle parking in a particular area. A truck with open space will be a decisive factor in your favor.
  • Plan your location on the basis of your competitors’ set up and move ahead wisely. A definition of a perfect location states that it is an area where visitors keep going regularly. The ideal places for parking your food trucks are outside the university campus, near cinema halls, and in the proximity to famous parks and the primary market of the city.

Relevant Licenses and Permits you’ll need while Commencing a Food Truck Business in India

At the time of commencing a food truck business in India, you must acquire all the legal permits and licenses as the Indian government is taking strict actions against those who are into this segment of the market without obtaining permits and licenses.

The licenses and permits needed to give food truck business a dreamy gallop in India are-

 licenses and permits needed to give food truck business a dreamy gallop in India

FSSAI License

The food license (Commonly known as FSSAI license) is one of the essentials to start a food truck business. The authority to provide an FSSAI license lies in the hands of FSSAI. It’s an approval by the administration that would let you set your food truck business across India. This license is most importantly, a 14-digit unique registration number provided to traders, manufacturers, as well as food trucks. The printing of this number must take place on foodstuffs.

 If the food truck owners follow all the food safety standards for running their food truck business, your customers will sense a secure feeling while eating at your food truck. It’s mandatory for food business operators, including food truck owners, to get them registered under FSSAI.

Types of FSSAI License based on the turnover of food business are-

Basic FSSAI License– If the annual turnover of your food truck business is not more than 12 lakhs, you must apply for basic FSSAI registration.

State FSSAI License– If the annual turnover of your food truck business is exceeding 12 lakhs, but less than 20 crores can apply for state FSSAI license.

Central FSSAI License– If your food truck business’s annual turnover touches 20 crores or more than 20 crores, you can apply for a central FSSAI license.

Essential Documents for Obtaining FSSAI License/Registration

  • Photo ID proof
  • Address proof
  • Food category list
  • List of equipment
  • Layout plan or Blueprint of the plan
  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum of Association
  • NOC from the municipality office
  • Articles of Association
  • Import Export Code
  • Report of Water Test
  • List of partners/Directors

Approval Letter from the Local Municipal Body

After deciding the location for your food truck business, you should obtain a written document that should get stamped by the local municipal body for commencing a food truck business.

Read our article:An Elaborative Study: Food Safety and Management Systems

Shop and Establishment License

Any commercial corporation, restaurant, residential hotel, theatre, eating house, food truck, or any different place of entertainment or recreation should apply for the Shop and Establishment License. Applying for this license becomes crucial in the case of running any business within any premise. Get your food truck business registered under the Shop Act with the state government before initiating the food truck business in India.

Before issuing a certificate of Shop Act registration, an inspector who got appointed by the labour department os state will analyze whether the mandatory conditions under the Act got fulfilled or not.

Essential Documents for Obtaining Shop Act License

The mandatory documents for obtaining the Shop Act license differs from one state to another state. Specified below are the documents needed for acquiring Shop Act license for running a food truck business-

  • Name of the establishment
  • Name of the manager and the employer
  • Category of the establishment
  • Owner’s passport size photograph along with food truck
  • Establishment photo as well as the signboard
  • Postal address of the shop
  • Aadhaar Card

Fire Safety Certificate

Regardless of the category of food business, you’ve engaged yourself in; various equipment in use can catch fire easily. Thus, you should obtain a Fire Safety Certificate from the Fire Department office before marching ahead for the food truck business in India.

Vehicle License

As commercial vehicles have a notable role to play in performing the operations of the food truck business, food truck owners should obtain a vehicle license issued by the Regional Transport Office of commercial vehicles for running the food truck in India.

GST Registration

If the food truck owner falls under the criteria of GST, he must apply for GST registration.

Manpower Needed for your Food Truck

In the food truck business, there is a general requirement of one or two chefs along with one or two helpers who can look after the operations concerning the food truck business. Finding the best men for your food truck business and retaining them, in the long run, is a challenging task for food truck owners. Make your chefs and helpers familiar with the way how food truck business operates.

Creating a Strong Brand Impression is Vital

In the modern era, brand value is one of the essential aspects that may decide whether your business will grab the consumers’ attention or not. It’s essential to have a brand name that should hit customers’ minds in the first go itself. To formulate a strong brand, you need to recognize your target consumers at the initial level. Find out what response your competitors are getting, their promotional strategies, along with their USPs.

What’s best about your food products that others don’t have? How are you distinct from the crowd? Being a food truck owner, you must have the answers to these two questions. Now, let’s proceed to the main part of constructing a strong brand. Select a name that should grab a permanent spot in the heart of your target consumers even after hearing for the first time. The brand name should be relatable to your finalized target audience, and it must stick to their mind for a long time. After all, the brand name creates the first impression.

Getting the logo right is crucial for food truck owners as it will appear on your food truck, promotional and advertising activities, etc. Moreover, we can say that the brand name and logo must fine-tune your brand.

Maintenance of Health and Hygiene- The Formula for Seeking Customers’ Attention

Food truck owners need to be wary of air pollution level, hygiene maintenance in the kitchen, and management of food waste. Environmental pollution can be a hurdle in the running of a food truck business in several ways. Many food truck businesses in foggy or polluted regions have suffered a lot. Thus, maintaining better environmental conditions should be a priority for food truck business owners.

Points that food truck owners need to keep in mind

  1. Put one or two dustbins close to your food truck.
  2. Make sure that your staff looks after the maintenance of sanitation and hygiene.
  3. Use chimneys properly so that air pollution would get controlled.
  4. Ensure that your cooking area is clean.
  5. Tracking food waste on a regular basis is essential.    

Examples of Food Trucks in India  

The successful food trucks in India that has comprehended their craft and can be an inspiration for food truck business enthusiasts’ are- 

Examples of Food Trucks in India

Crux

The food truck culture has already achieved lots of popularity in the West. By looking at the increasing trend of the food truck business in India, we must say that the future of this mobile cuisine business seems promising.

All the food truck owners must obtain the required permits and licenses to commence the food truck business in India. At Corpbiz, Our experts would help you acquire FSSAI license and other permits and provide guidance until you commence your food truck business in India.

Read our article: Key Insights on Setting up an Online Food Delivery Marketplace in India

Margesh Rai

Being a poetry lover, and an avid reader, Margesh is fanatical about legal content writing. After completing graduation in B.Com(H), he decided to follow his passion. Writing impeccable in-depth content about legal and finance-related topics is his biggest forte.

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