By   September 12, 2012

Renting a catering truck. Lot’s to figure out. First of all, depending on the city in which you plan to operate your food truck, there’s a myriad of regulations you have to sift through. City, County, State, and Federal regulation all play a part. In this article we’ll examine some key elements.  Additionally, we’ll briefly examine other key considerations such as the truck, commissary, and business plan.

Regulations. It’s a big, bad scary word for some, but it’s a functional reality of operating a food truck. Here are the main keys to remember: Vendor Permit, Health Permit, and DMV. What it boils down to is this, you must have a “vendor permit” to sell food on the streets, your food truck must have a “health permit” because you’re feeding the public, and you’re using a mobile vehicle so you must have all DMV requirements met (car registration, auto insurance, etc.). If you keep those key elements in mind, the “regulations” involved in food truck rentals isn’t so bad.

Commissary. To some this means a “commercial kitchen”, to food truck owners it’s a parking and service facility required for all food truck rentals. RoadStoves (www.roadstoves.com) is widely known as the only gourmet food truck rental company that owns a fleet of catering trucks, plus its own commissary. When pricing out rentals from there or anywhere, be sure to ask whether commissary costs are included in the food truck rental price.

Finally, once you have your food truck, your permits, and your commissary, the last piece is where to sell your food? This is often times the most challenging part of starting a food truck business. The best piece of advice I can give, is don’t go where all the other trucks are going. It sounds counter-intuitive I know, but if you want longevity in this business I suggest you start building your own niche / locations. Don’t try to piggy-back off of, or steal, from others.

Good luck on your maiden voyage. May the food truck God(s) bless you with good food, good fortune, and good fun.

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