A custom-designed Bella Manufacturing food truck is the first step on your journey to a life of freedom, independence and individuality.
But making a success of your new mobile catering business also means finding locations that work for your business, and knowing the rules of the road when you get there.
Food Truck Legals
Any food business needs a licence to operate and food trucks are no exception. Food truck businesses also need to apply to local councils if they plan to set up their truck to trade on a roadside or footpath.
Local councils generally have designated areas for street food traders and an annual fee is required to set up and trade at any of these spots. Of course this is subject to other conditions that might affect all road users and applies only if your approval remains valid.
Not all locations are created equal. For example Brisbane City Council has designated the CBD as Zone A and outer city regions as Zone B. You’ll pay more for the privilege of selling your great street food in Zone A … but it might be a trade-off worth making if it gives you access to more customers.
At the same time there’s no point setting up in a location that will bring more customers than your food truck can feed.
Setting up your food truck also means knowing what you can and can’t do at the roadside. Food trucks trading in the City of Sydney can be no more than 11 metres long and 2.5 metres wide. It’s a detail worth knowing before your truck build starts.
The City of Sydney also prohibits deliveries once you’re set up and trading for the day, and food trucks need to keep customers safe by making sure serving windows don’t open on to roadways or cycleways.
Different councils will have different rules so it’s worth doing a bit of research as part of the setup of your business to see how your local council regulates things, and Bella Manufacturing can give you some guidance on the rules in your area.
Hitting the Highways
Getting up to speed on local council regulations for running a food truck business is just part of deciding where you’re going to trade. You also need to go where your customers are.
In most cases at least part of your business will be at festivals, fairs and other events where people gather outdoors, and eventually get hungry.
Those venues will have their own fees, approval and inspection processes, though they generally expect you to take care of your own individual council approvals, and probably won’t be quick to invite you back if you don’t.
Annual events such as Camping and Caravanning and Easter Shows are great for selling to a big crowd but you’ll need a circuit of regular food fairs and festivals if you want to run a sustainable and profitable food truck business.
With street food fairs and pop up festivals happening all over Australia there are plenty of great locations to choose from. Finding the balance between accessing new and interesting locations and building a customer base means being adaptable.
In the early days you might need to operate a regular route so customers know to expect you at a certain place and a certain time. Once you’re established you might find your customers more willing to seek you out so you have a bit more flexibility on where you go.
Think outside the box for regular venues and take advantage of any resources they might have. Phatboys, a Bella Manufacturing success story selling Portuguese street food, has a regular slot at a boutique bar and brewery, they also regularly set up shop at Wandering Cooks, a South Brisbane hub for the food community.
Wandering Cooks hosts weekly food trucks as well as being home to licensed commercial kitchens that food businesses can hire, making it a great place to try out new recipes or cook up for a day’s trading.
You might even meet a few seasoned business owners who will share some tips for running a successful mobile catering business.
Building a successful business means your customers know where you are, as well as how good you are, so make sure you tell them.
There are a host of great websites such as www.wherethetruck.at where you can list your food truck and share details of your upcoming events or find out about events you might want to be part of.
Or set up your own website, advertise your schedule, and get input from customers on where they’d like to see you next. Just make sure you’re not one of ten gourmet pizza food trucks at the same venue that night.
The street food revolution has changed the face of food truck businesses in Australia. With demand for quality gourmet food at an all-time high all you have to do is to decide where you want to go next.
For a no obligation discussion about how Bella Manufacturing can open up your business to new horizons and support you though the entire process call 1300 721 811 or email us here.