What You Need to Start a Food Truck

Maybe you’re an experienced restaurateur who’s looking for the best way to find new customers in a big city. Or, maybe you’re a foodie who wants to start a restaurant but keep an unusual workday. There are a million and one reasons to start a food truck, and truth be told, it’s a great entrepreneurial idea. There are a wealth of food trucks out there these days, in every city, and featuring every type of cuisine imaginable. Whether you’re in New York, San Francisco, or Dallas-Fort Worth, you’ll find local entrepreneurs bent over a fryer or an ice machine, providing yummy eats to the masses out the side of a van. Food and business magazines now feature lists of the best new ideas in food trucks on a regular basis.

So, what do you need to start your own restaurant on wheels? That is, besides a penchant for multitasking and an ability to survive on caffeine and adrenaline. Well, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to get into this exciting startup space, keep reading to find out what steps to take.

Your business is your wheels, so make sure they’re in great shape.

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At the end of the day, you’re not setting up your restaurant equipment in a normal commercial kitchen—you’re putting a refrigerator and freezer in a vehicle. That means that you need to care for your wheels and pay attention to any signs that alert you to wheel or engine trouble. Not just any wheel that spins will do for your food truck. Make sure that the truck you purchase is outfitted with high-quality wheels, brakes, and all other pieces of equipment that allow you to work without interruption. As a new restaurant owner, you don’t have enough time to be heading over to the mechanic to fix a blown-out tire every Monday and Thursday.

You’re going to need the best restaurant equipment out there.

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Beyond keeping your vehicle in tip-top shape, you also need the best commercial kitchen equipment available. People can be a little skeptical about buying food out of a truck, and if there’s clutter or dirty pans everywhere they will take more than a short break from visiting your food truck. Appliances can be pricey, which is why it’s worth knowing that you can get used restaurant equipment that’s basically showroom quality for a much more affordable price. Make sure you’re getting a great refrigerator, freezer, and cooler so that everything you serve—from a cup of coffee to a burger hot off the grill—is totally fresh.

Keep your eyes on the prize.

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Sometimes, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day, especially when you’re an entrepreneur or new restaurant owner. Every minute brings a different task, and even the best time management doesn’t allow you to get it all down. It’s important to remember that the workday for a new business owner is hectic, but it won’t always be that way.

Focusing on your goals without getting side-tracked by distractions and the lure of procrastination is a great way to achieve your goals in less time. The truth is, there are ways to increase your productivity no matter where you work, whether that means learning the art of true multitasking or being strategic about how much caffeine intake you actually have. Make sure to prioritize crucial tasks, and to keep a neat and tidy workspace. That will give you a sense of control and help you have more of a productive day.

Whether you’re starting a taco truck or an ice-cream truck, you can be a social media sensation with the right tools. Make sure your vehicle is in great shape, get the appliances and accessories you need, and stay focused. You’ll be on the road to success before you know it.