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How To Write A Food Truck Business Plan (With Examples)

food truck business plan

Table of Contents

Food trucks may be the hottest business type in the food and beverage industry. Currently, there are more than 35,000 food trucks in the United States, with a market size of $1.16 billion in 2021. This market share is expected to rise by 6.4% annually from 2022 to 2030, driven in large part by a demand for novel dining experiences and a greater interest in gastronomy.In many communities, food trucks are a common sight in busy downtown areas, outside of breweries and bars, and at festivals and special events. If you want to run a food truck of your own, you will need a solid business plan. Having a well-written business plan will not only help you secure funding for your venture, but it will also serve as a guide for running a successful enterprise.

Budget Branders is dedicated to helping independently owned and operated businesses thrive. We offer a range of high-quality disposable products, each of which can be printed with your food truck’s name, logo, and/or slogan. Read on to learn more about writing a food truck business plan – and then reach out to us to learn more about our custom disposable products.

Why Do You Need a Business Plan for Your Food Truck?

Generally, it costs far less to start a food truck than it does to open a restaurant. You may think that having a business plan isn’t really necessary, or that it’s a lot of paperwork for nothing if you already have a vision for your truck. But there are many great reasons why any entrepreneur should have a well-crafted business plan.As an initial matter, a business plan will almost certainly be required if you plan to seek funding from investors, a bank, or others. Before people put capital into your idea, they usually want to know that they will see a return on their investment. A business plan is the single best way to persuade potential investors that you know what you are doing and that giving you money to fund your dream is a smart idea.

Even if you don’t need funding for your food truck, you should still have a business plan. This plan isn’t just a document that you provide to the bank to get a business loan. It can guide you through the process of starting your food truck and managing it as it grows. A business plan gives you the opportunity to think through all of the details of how you will actually run your food truck.

A business plan can also be used to check your progress and determine if you are hitting milestones. For example, if you set goals for sales in the first year to two years of business, you can check in to make sure that you are on target. If not, then you may need to adjust your plan to accommodate whatever economic realities (such as the rising price of certain ingredients) you may be facing.

Most importantly, writing a business plan does not have to be complicated. There are many templates available online – including the samples that we have included below. You can also adapt your plan to fit your needs, without worrying too much about format.

Writing a business plan does take some research and attention to detail. However, the work that you put into drafting the plan includes things that you should be doing anyways – such as looking into the types of licenses and permits that you will need, pricing out menu items, and figuring out your target demographic. This information isn’t just necessary for a business plan – it is vital to ensure that your company will be financially successful.

What Should a Food Truck Business Plan Include?

Below, we outline the core elements of a traditional business plan. These elements are seen in most business plans – but that doesn’t mean that you are required to include each one. A business plan can be an incredibly flexible document that you can customize to meet your needs.

An Executive Summary

When you write any document, it is often a good idea to include an overview at the start. Known as an executive summary, this portion of your business plan should be concise while still providing key details. As a general rule, while the executive summary should be the first portion of your business plan, you should write it last. This way, you can pull key information from each section of the plan to write an interesting, informative narrative about what you are trying to accomplish and why your plan is likely to succeed. For example, you may briefly discuss a gap in the local market for the type of food truck that you want to establish while talking about how your particular experience and expertise will help the business flourish.

You should consider including the following points in the executive summary:

  • Where you plan to sell your food
  • What type of food you plan to sell
  • Why this style of food will be successful in the target market
  • The projected costs and profits for the food truck
  • Future goals for the food truck (such as buying additional trucks or even franchising)

The Food Truck Vision

Next, you will provide a broad description of your proposed company and its concept. This is the section where you get to talk about what you want to do and why you want to do it. For example, you might describe how you were inspired to start a food truck and what makes your concept unique. This section should get more into the details of your food truck and how it will be run. It may include information on the type of food truck you plan to run (such as a converted bus, a food cart, or a traditional truck), why a food truck makes more sense than a traditional restaurant, where the food will be prepared, the truck design, the consumers that you will serve, your competitive advantages, and if there is a gap in the local market for this type of food.

A Sample Menu

Food trucks tend to have much smaller and more limited menus than brick-and-mortar restaurants. They are often focused on a specific cuisine (such as Mexican food) or even one food type (like tacos or grilled cheese sandwiches). Although you have already provided an overall concept of your food truck, this is the place where you show that you have put in more work.In this section, you typically write out a sample menu. You should then include anticipated pricing for each menu item based on ingredient and labor cost as well as your anticipated profit margin. You may also explain whether you plan to prepare food in the truck or off-site, as this may affect the type of kitchen equipment and licenses that you need.

Organization and Management 

Compared to restaurants, food trucks typically have few employees and perhaps just one owner who also serves as the manager. Nevertheless, you should include a section on how the business will be organized and run.For example, you may decide to open up a food truck that serves barbeque with your spouse and family. This section should describe who will be responsible for each aspect of the business (i.e., your wife handles the finances, procuring ingredients and serving, while you prepare the food and handle marketing and booking events and festivals). Taking the time to explain exactly how the food truck will be run will serve as a road map for you and will show potential investors that you have a game plan in place.

Market Analysis

It isn’t enough to have a great concept for your food truck – you also need people willing to buy your food. A market analysis will provide a broad overview of the market where you plan to operate and any economic factors that will affect the viability of your business.This section may include information on whether there is a hole in the market that your food truck will fill, and whether there is any interest or demand for your product. For example, if you notice that local parks are often full of families attending youth sporting events but there aren’t any food options for them, you could include that information. You should also include other factors that may affect the profitability of your food truck – such as whether food trucks are even allowed at or near these parks.

Target Audience

This next section is related to the market analysis, and may be included in it.  Essentially, this is where you talk about who you think your customers will be. In the parks example above, your target audience may be parents and kids who are stuck at practices or games without any way to get food if they didn’t pack snacks or a meal. If you plan to operate a food truck in an office park, then your target audience may be workers at nearby offices.The target audience description should also include information on why your specific menu will appeal to these potential patrons. If you want to run a late night food truck near bars, for example, you may describe how the type of food that you plan to sell (such as pizza, tacos, hot dogs, or french fries) will appeal to young people who may be looking for conveniently-located food after a night of drinking. If you plan to partner with local brew pubs to offer food, you might talk about how your proposed menu will pair well with beer.


When you run a business, you typically need to do some type of advertising. In the past, running ads in the local newspaper or on the radio might have been sufficient. In the modern era, you may need a multi-pronged approach to marketing that incorporates both traditional and digital forms of advertising.This section should include details about the type of marketing that you plan to do plus the anticipated cost of each option. For example, you may be planning to mostly rely on social media to spread the word about your food truck – an option that is usually free or low cost, but you may need to include a budget for professional photography or paid ads. If you decide to use branded disposable products – such as custom plastic cups for drinks – then you should include that information along with pricing in this section.

Expected Costs

Any business plan should include detailed financial information. Whether you are seeking investors or not, you need to have a good understanding of what it will cost to run your food truck. This should include expenses such as:

  • Buying or renting a food truck
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Labor costs
  • Ingredients
  • Supplies
  • Licenses and permits
  • Insurance
  • Marketing and advertising
  • Lawyers, accountants, and other consultant fees

Once you have priced out each of these costs, you will have a better idea of how much money you will need to not only start your business but to run it. You can then seek out funding or plan your budget accordingly.

Financial Projections

Finally, you should make an estimate about your projected profits. This can be hard to predict when you’re just getting started, but it is still important to perform an analysis of (1) how much food you plan to sell; and (2) what profits you will make on these sales. Typically, these projections should be for 5 years so that your investors can see a potential return on their investments. These projections can also serve as a benchmark for you to check your progress. You may need to adapt them over time to adjust to changing economic conditions or to account for unexpected sources of revenue (such as being booked for weddings and other events). If you purchase Point of Sale (PoS) software, you will be able to track your sales, expenses, and profit margin in real time.

Food Truck Business Plan Example Template

We know creating a business plan for your food truck business can be a daunting task, so we created an example template you can use to put together your own business plan. You can download the template by clicking the link below. 

How Budget Branders Can Help Your Food Truck Business Grow

Starting up any business requires a leap of faith: you have to believe in yourself and your dream, and take
the chance that you can make it work. When you write a business plan, this can help to solidify your plans and increase the likelihood of your start-up becoming successful.
Based in Michigan, Budget Branders provides custom cups, bowls, bags, and more to restaurants, food trucks, coffee shops, and other businesses. We know that food truck owners don’t tend to have a lot of extra storage space – which is why you can order our products in smaller quantities than most companies offer. All of our products are priced well so that they can fit within your budget, giving you a cost-effective marketing option.

If you’d like to learn more or to request a quote, contact us today by pressing the live chat button, or sending us a message online.


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