Torqus is now inresto. Enable Contactless Dining with inresto. Click HERE

Starting a Food Truck Business in India: A Complete Guide

  • Published on : 22/03/2022

The Indian food industry has witnessed many evolutionary changes, one of them being the introduction of food trucks. Even though food trucks have been prevalent since the last decade, it wasn’t until a couple of years back that the food truck business caught on.

Starting from burgers and hotdogs to delicious South Indian foods and oh our favourite Chinese cuisine, you will come across food trucks selling a variety of cuisines in the country. Several factors have contributed to the growth of this industry type, out of which financing is a primary attribute. Considering everything, the capital required to open and run a restaurant is colossal. However, a food truck can be opened with a total capital of about INR 9 to 10 lakhs, which is most certainly an affordable range.

Starting a Food Truck Business in India: A Complete Guide

However, owning a food truck business is undoubtedly a blossoming idea. That’s why many aren’t aware of all the prerequisites one has to meet to open and operate a truck restaurant successfully. However, like all dreams, your food truck business is also possible if you stick around and read how to proceed! On this account, we have discussed everything you need to know to open a food truck business.

1. Decide your Cuisine

Your first job to do is to decide the type of food you want to serve. Like other industries, the food industry is divided into several categories based on the food type and the cuisine. 

Without deciding your cuisine and menu first, proceeding further will set you on a path of failure. This decision determines the truck size, the prospective location for business setup, the types of equipment you need, and many other attributes. inresto’s restaurant management solutions are built to optimize your ideal cuisine and menu types and enable you to avoid wastage and manage your food inventory effectively. 

Here are some of the popular food cuisines that are perfect for a food truck business:

  • American dishes like burgers, hotdogs, sandwiches, wraps, burritos, bagels, and others.
  • Various fruits and vegetable juices, beverages, shakes, and smoothies.
  • Authentic South Indian dishes like idli, sambar vada, dosa, uttapam, etc.

2. Understand the cost differentiation of starting a food truck

Every startup business needs capital. Usually, for a standard food truck, the total setup cost is around 8 to 11 lakhs. However, if you want a fully equipped food truck with advanced equipment and setup, the price can increase up to INR 16 to 20 lakhs.

Before we move further, let’s take a glimpse at the price differentiation so that you can understand how much to spend for which purpose.

  • For types of equipment like cooking stations, refrigerator, microwave oven, furniture, will cost you up to INR 2 to 2.5 lakhs.
  • Since you need to buy a truck, you need to spend around INR 3.5 to 5 lakhs based on the truck’s volume, features, and other attributes.
  • You will need an inventory of raw materials for cooking which will cost you around INR 15 to 25 thousand every month based on the amount, the ingredient types, and sales. Click here to know more about inventory management.
  • If you are working independently at the start of the business, you won’t have to worry about the staff cost. But, if you hire a staff, their salary will be about INR 15 to 20 thousand per month, per person. We definitely suggest that you hire at least one person on board so that there is effective management. While one is cooking, the other can take orders, serve, and collect payments.

3. Get the required food licenses

Without proper licenses issued by the government, you will not be able to register your business and make your dream come true. So, before you jump with excitement at the idea of owning a food truck, prepare for obtaining the licenses. Following are the legal documents you will need for conducting the food business:

  • If your business gross turnover is more than INR 12 lakhs annually, you will have to get the FSSAI license.
  • NOC is needed from the Chief Fire Officer since owning a food truck means fire hazard, which means that people’s lives are in danger, including yours.
  • Allowance letter from the municipality body of the area where you will be setting up the business.
  • Vehicle license to register your food truck business with the government.

4. Choose a proper location for the food truck business

Since it is a truck, you cannot set it like an old, traditional restaurant. You have to focus on the area and the road from where you will start the food business. For choosing the location, you need to consider the three most important attributes.

  • You need to confirm with the municipality body about your truck’s parking since every food business needs a spacious ambiance to operate and serve meals smoothly.
  • Another factor that will matter is visibility. Make sure to choose a location that is regularly visited by flocks of people. This will help you to earn more revenue because most people like to grab a small meal on their way rather than going to a restaurant.
  • To beat your competition, you should look into ways to make your customer service and marketing unique and intuitive to build a loyal diner base.

5. Get the required finances for the truck business

If you cannot arrange all the money required for opening the food truck business, you can take help from different financing methods. For example, a loan will help you with the capital needed to start the truck and get everything in motion.

6. Look for brand marketing and promotion

Lastly, you need to market your brand, and for that, you need to rely on advertisements and social media. Many companies offer promotion and marketing services on the digital platform. You can integrate inresto’s marketing solutions to simplify your marketing activities such as social media marketing, customized website and online delivery platform creation for your restaurant business, and much more. This will give you much-needed exposure to your business, and soon your customer base will grow.

Final verdict

Opening a food truck business might seem overwhelming at times. But, in reality, it is one of the easiest business models to set up. Follow these easy steps and build a successful food truck business for yourself.


Let's get started