India is a land of diverse cultures where numerous variety of food items are consumed and therefore, the Indian food industry never stops growing and evolving. The latest addition to the food industry that is gaining momentum is the concept of food trucks. A food truck, which is like a restaurant on wheels, is a lucrative business idea whether you are an entrepreneur or an existing food brand. In this blog, we will discuss the meaning of a food truck along with its benefits and challenges. Additionally, we will explore the different food truck business ideas.
What is a Food Truck?
A food truck is like a moving restaurant that serves a range of food and beverages to consumers at different places. Cooking equipment and kitchen facilities are fitted inside these trucks and therefore, you can make and serve food right away from a truck.
Below is a picture of a food truck selling a variety of food items –
Therefore, a food truck is like an alternative to a conventional restaurant. They are becoming popular because of their capacity to deliver delicious and distinctive food choices at places like street corners, festivals, events, workplaces, and more.
Food Truck Business in India
The food truck industry in India has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. According to a report by BlueWeave Consulting (2023), the market size of food trucks in India was approx $152.45 million in 2022. In the same year, the government of Delhi announced that they would introduce a food truck policy inspired by the regulations seen in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The food truck market in India can be divided into three segments based on offerings: Food, Beverages, and Desserts & ice cream. All three segments occupy an equal share of the market. Further, various factors have contributed to the growth of the food truck business in India such as a change in the preferences of consumers, urbanization, the rise in millennials, etc.
Moreover, in the future, specifically between 2023 to 2029, the Indian food truck industry is expected to perform well with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.23%. Therefore, the industry presents significant growth opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Benefits of the Food Truck Business
The following are the benefits of the food truck business.
Lower Initial Investment
As compared to a traditional restaurant, a food truck business requires a lower initial investment. You just need to buy a truck and cooking equipment and if you want to provide a sitting facility to customers, you can simply set up a few tables and chairs.
On the other hand, to open a traditional restaurant, you need to find a proper place and set up furniture inside that includes a counter, sofas, dining tables, fans, etc. Therefore, it requires a considerable investment.
As food trucks are like mobile restaurants, they offer high flexibility. If you want to try different locations to set up your business, you can do so by moving the food truck from one place to another. Moreover, you can also place the food truck in events and festivals and adjust to changing market dynamics.
Unique Experience for Customers
Food trucks offer unique and casual dining experiences to customers. If they don’t feel like going to a proper restaurant, they can just have their favorite meal while passing by a food truck. Generally, food trucks appeal more to the younger generations are they are trendy. Therefore, you should accordingly design the food truck business plan.
Less Operational Expenses
If you are operating a food truck, you don’t need to spend much on electricity, staffing, and other maintenance. These expenses increase if you operate at a fixed location. Therefore, in the food truck business, you get the benefit of lower operational expenses.
Operating a food truck gives you a chance to engage personally with the customers. In this way, you can understand their tastes and preferences in a better way and accordingly modify your servings. Therefore, the food truck business brings the benefit of personalization.
Food Truck Business Ideas
Generally, the following offerings are popular amongst food trucks –
- Sandwiches, pizza, burgers, tacos, and wraps
- Beverages such as cold drinks, soft drinks, cold coffee, juice, smoothies, etc.
- Desserts including ice cream, brownies, waffles, doughnuts, etc.
- Local food items belonging to a particular place e.g., momos and chhole kulche in Delhi, different types of chaat e.g., bhel puri and pav bhaji in Mumbai, vada pav and masala dosa in Pune, etc.
- Vegan food items like salads, soups, crispy tofu, etc.
- Korean dishes like ramen, fried chicken, etc.
Famous Food Trucks in India
The following are some of the examples of famous food trucks in India –
- The Lalit Food Truck Company, New Delhi
- Bombay Food Truck, Mumbai
- The Cheese Truck, Pune
- Delhi Food Truck Co., Gurgaon
- S.W.A.T., Bangalore
- Road Kill, Bangalore
- Henny’s Gourmet, Pune
- Burgertron, Pune
- Desi Firangii, Chandigarh
- Chaska, Chennai
Challenges in the Food Truck Business
While the food truck business has its benefits, it comes with a set of challenges as well.
The following are some of the common challenges faced by food truck businesses –
- There is a limited space inside the food truck. Therefore, sometimes it becomes difficult to store equipment and operate from the same place.
- As food trucks are like mobile restaurants and in most cases, their seating area is not covered, seasonal changes like heavy rain and extreme heat affect their operations.
- There is high competition in the market as the concept of food trucks is new and emerging.
- The license cost for food trucks is higher in India. Therefore, it increases the initial investment in the business.
- Finding a suitable location and parking restrictions are some of the other challenges faced by food trucks.
In conclusion, food trucks present a promising venture with their flexibility, creative concepts, and low entry barriers. Also, given the opportunities in the market, the food truck business is profitable in India. It is like a revolution in the Indian food industry that is here to stay for a longer period of time.