15 Nov 2013
Custom Trailer - Jingles Frozen Yoghurt. Vending Trailer.

Starting a Mobile Food Trailer Business

Mobile Food Trailer Business
1.  Will every municipality allow a Food Trailer business?Unfortunately not. The first step in starting a food trailer business is to find out if they are allowed in the area you want to trade.  Some municipalities have restrictions or rules and regulations for mobile vendors or mobile businesses, regardless of what type product you will be selling.  Determine which area you can set up your food trailer, keeping in mind that the location you choose needs to be a prime area. Depending on which area you are intending on setting up your Food Trailer business – you possibly need to apply for a license or permit from your local municipality.  In some instances the number of the permits allowed in any certain area is restricted, thus causing a long waiting period for prospective Food Trailer business owners.

2.  Does a Food Trailer cost a lot of money?

A food trailer is much cheaper than a restaurant. A decent food trailer can be a costly investment, however it is a once off financial expense. Spend money on a quality food trailer, at the end of the day customers want to buy food from a smart, clean and a well presented food trailer.  You need not worry about signing a lease or covering utility bills come month-end. Therefore the stress for income is less than owning a restaurant. Also, invest in good quality cooking equipment, eliminating break-downs resulting in no income for that period whilst machinery is being repaired.


3.  Is Health and Safety important in the Food Trailer industry?

Of course, if you prepare and serve food to customers from a Food Trailer, you need ensure that you take the necessary steps to ensure safety of both workers and customers at all times.  All food needs to be prepared, stored, presented and served in a safe and sanitary environment.


4.  Location is the key factor to a successful Food Trailer business.

The biggest advantage of a food trailer business is that it takes the food directly to the customer. You can move your food trailer business from location to location – until you find a prime spot which has the most passing trade. Certain restaurants may not take well to you parking your food trailer near to them, especially if you are serving a similar menu as to what they are. Make sure you find the correct spot where you won’t be intruding on a certain restaurant’s territory.


5. The Food Trailer business and Social Media

As we all know Facebook and Twitter are probably the best platforms as to where you can advertise your business. Create a Facebook page of your Food Trailer business, include your menu, some pictures of your food offering as well as your trailer.  You can tweet where you are going to be each day on twitter and post specials and future promotions. The greatest part of this form of advertising is that it is free!


6. Potential business expander

Having constant mobility, food trailers are a great way to break into the catering industry.  If your food is great and your prices are reasonable, word of mouth will alone make your business very popular.  You can even consider expanding and offer catering at events such as sports days at schools, birthdays, work functions and even weddings!


7.  Food Trailer Business Facts

  • Keep it simple but tasty.
  • Don’t sell food that will take hours to prepare.
  • Decide on what food you want to sell and then concentrate on how to prepare it the fastest but tastiest way.
  • Your food trailer business is as good as you are.
  • If you are not proud of your business, people won’t take pride in your product.
  • You cannot get retrenched and lose your job.
  • You are going to be as successful as you dream to be.
  • You get to make the decisions, you do the work and you reap the rewards.
  • You are in charge and you are responsible for your business and for your business future.
  • You decide how much money you want and how much you can generate.
  • Good planning and a well-planned menu will take hours off your labour and is the key to success!


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