5 Reasons Why You Should Open a Food Truck Instead of a Regular Restaurant

5 min readNov 21, 2016

With a rise in youth spending, middle-class expenditure, conscious consumerism, mobile lifestyle and requirement of food on the go, Food Trucks have become quite a rage among the Indian population.
The future of food trucks seems bright with their projected revenue growth at a rate of 3.7% in the next five years. If things work out this way, the industry total will climb to $1.7 billion, which is a huge growth for a newly introduced industry.

With low investments and minimal risks involved, Food Trucks are now becoming the popular choice for opening a restaurant business, especially for first-time restaurateurs.
Read on to find how owning a food truck can give a run for money to casual and fine-dining restaurants.

Also Read: A Step by Step Guide to Start Your Own Food Truck Business

Benefits of Running a Food Truck over a Sit-Down Restaurant

1) Low Initial Investment

Opening a food truck is a much lower investment as against a sit-down restaurant. The only main cost is buying your own truck, which can even be avoided by taking advantage of the growing food truck rental business. With an old truck, and re-used equipment, you can set up your food truck in less than Rs 10 Lakh! Next, you will need to outfit your truck with the right equipment, including exhausts, grillers, heat lamps, and any other specialty equipment your particular food needs.

Food trucks are a steal on the wheel. A typical street vendor in Mumbai, for instance, makes an average monthly profit of 40 to 50 thousand rupees; the basic food truck is priced at Rs. 21,500 which is inclusive of added charges for upgrades like- extra hot plates, water filtration, and refrigeration units. Three-year sales and lease options mean that vendors don’t have to break the bank to get some fancy new equipment.

2) Low Operation Cost

Owning a restaurant requires huge paying utilities, hiring a wide range of staff including cooks, cashiers, servers, kitchen managers, cleaners etc., and paying property taxes if you are the owner of your real estate or the skyrocketed monthly rentals if the property is on rent.
On the other hand, operational costs of a food truck are month-to- month, and are limited to food, supplies, and gas. You don’t have to have a full staff; you can do away with just a small staff and many of your taxes will be much lower.

Apart from the vast paying liabilities, repairs and fixes at restaurants can cause a hole your pocket. There is no denying that a brick and mortar real estate requires continuous maintenance. Maintaining furniture, electrical appliances, and other kitchen equipment, restaurant decor, leaking pipes or ceiling, etc., all require a lot of efforts and of course- money.
Food trucks, on the other hand, can do well with just a little maintenance and repairs here and there over time.

3) Attracts More Customers

With better quality food (as compared to the street vendors) at marginally lesser price, Food Trucks have become the latest fad among the consumers as well.

  • Inexpensive: Almost all food trucks are pocket-friendly; a meal at food trucks starts from as low as Rs.50. The famous Lalit Food Truck which was started by the Lalit Hotel on Barakhamba Road claims to target audience that cannot afford a five-star restaurant, yet desire a scrumptious, quality meal. Vegetarian dishes at the five-star associated food truck start with Rs 150-Rs 200 and non-vegetarian dishes start from Rs 200.
    Since the food costs are low, you can please your customers with budget-friendly meals.
  • Health and Hygiene: Food trucks are a safer and healthier alternative to street food. Food from street vendors is generally considered as unsafe for consumption. With growing health consciousness, more and more people are switching to alternatives like small restaurants and food trucks.

4) Mobile Location

Restaurants rise and die with their location. Around 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year. And nearly 80 percent shut before their fifth year of operation; one of the major reasons being poor location and high rentals. Fortunately, Food Trucks are immune to this problem, they are mobile, and you can choose the location of your food truck as per your choice. If your services do not seem to work well at a particular location, you can move to some other location and see if your business model is capable of thriving there.

Apart from keeping all your documents ready while you are on a move, you will just have to take permissions from the RWAs before parking your food truck in posh residential areas.

Just remember to choose your location which is easily accessible (for cars and other vehicles), and sees ample footfall.

5) You Can Build (Or Expand) A Brand

With a mobile food van, you can build your brand at a smaller level before expanding into something much larger, such as a sit-down restaurant or possibly franchising your trucks.
Dynamics of a food truck are quite different from those of a sit-down restaurant. Analyzing the best location, trying new recipes, modifying plans and menus can be a lot easier than that of a restaurant’s. Since sit-down restaurants are of a fixed-nature, it can be difficult to change your brand name and image and make changes then to your restaurant can be costly, time-consuming and exhausting. With a food truck, there is much more flexibility. This is seemingly the best avenue for first-time entrepreneurs since they can experiment, research and implement with their model food truck before they venture into establishing a sit-down restaurant with high investments costs and risks.

After experimenting with various technologies and strategies, you can dive into a conclusion of what would work the best for your sit-down restaurant. It would then be easier to step in with a foolproof plan.

The future of food trucks clearly seems to move high on the profit graph in the developing India. If the revenue growth continues to grow as estimated, there are tremendous scope and growth opportunities for entrepreneurs who already are, or wish to step into the food truck business.

Originally published at blog.posist.com on November 21, 2016.