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The Emerging Food Trucks Culture in India

Street food is loved and enjoyed by most of us. In India, when we think of street food, we tend to picture in our minds how much satisfaction we would be getting from going from one stall to the other and enjoying every bite of delicious foods. The idea itself makes our mouths water!

This culinary trend is already well established in the West and the trend of street food is spreading all over India and at a good speed! The future of food trucks seems bright with their projected revenue growth at a rate of 3.7% in the next five years. The industry may rise up to $1.7 billion; which certainly is fabulous for a new concept like this.

The Meals On Wheels concept has made its presence customary in Indian cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Delhi NCR by far and the need for it is rapidly increasing.

Two types of food trucks are operating in India right now:

1. Small Trucks – minimal branding, less equipment and limited menu – usually seen selling tiffins, snack items and Chinese. These can fit in parking slots designated for one or two vehicles without sacrificing space needed for operation.

2. Bustaurants/ Double- decker setups – ‘the Moving Cart’ and made its first run in April 2013. A joint venture of Maharashtra Tourism and the Moving Cart Company, the food bus is actually the second of its type, with one being run in Chennai by the same company.

Starting a food truck business though not easy; can become a very successful venture with careful planning, hard work, resource management and the most important of all – love of food!

For the food truck business’ to flourish, some challenges to Starting Up a food truck need to be addressed. However, the venture imposes a set of challenges for food truck owners. A few of which are mentioned below:

Weather: You can control your food quality and your business plan but you can’t control the weather. So, you must know how to anticipate the weather.

Location: To continue the flow, there should be a proper selection of a location in order to attract the right set of customers / most trafficked areas just at the right time!

Government: Dealing with the local municipality and government officials is another challenge in this field and one should have all his/her contacts handy to upkeep the truck on road.

Licensing: Though licensing is not defined for food trucks in India, licenses like FDA license, NOC from traffic police, fire license for kitchen, police NOC, etc are required to be taken.

Parking: Parking space is a major issue and there is no clarity on rules and regulations pertaining to food truck parking. The food truck owners feel that no designated parking space often affects their business.

If you’re looking to start a food truck of your own, then these 7 basic tips can help you launch a successful food truck business:

1. Analyze the Market: Different cities have different protocols and taste, so know your local game and learn how to play it well. Know that the laws in your city can either make or break your food truck business.
Find out the requirements: Ensure you have the authority, permission and license permit to operate your business smoothly.

2. Fix your Budget: Make sure you’ve budgeted for your first year of operations because you’re not guaranteed to turn a profit within the first few months.

3. Get your truck: Your truck is the lifeblood of your business. Checking out the pros and cons, you can either lease or own a truck.

4. Offer Attractive Menu and Fair Price: This is the basic mantra, practicing which may turn out less profit, but will bring in more people. Later, you can increase menu offerings and prices.

5. Leverage Social Media: Invest time and money into creating websites, build a social following, being active in your local community spaces, create local buzz and conversation about your spot, etc.

6. Payment Methods: You don’t want to lose any customer. When competitors become aware that you’re an all-cash business, then there is a threat to losing your customers to them. Enhance your operations and sales by accepting multiple modes of payment.

Every startup has its own challenges but the ones who come victorious at the end of the day are the ones who really loved their work and who have the zeal to stay despite all the hurdles, even when the whole world is against them, still, they move on.

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