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The US road vendor sector was valued at $2.49 billion in 2022, up from the earlier 12 months’s whole of $2.29 billion. The market is anticipated to develop one other 1.7% in 2023.

For these with aspirations of culinary greatness, a meals truck is the proper setting to develop new recipes whereas constructing a fan base, and even a web based enterprise, with out the expense and danger of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. 

There’s even a road meals chef in Singapore with a Michelin star, proving that you just don’t want an enormous kitchen and 50 sous cooks to construct a fame for high quality, innovation, and deliciousness.

With the rising reputation of meals vehicles, it’s important to prep your operation earlier than you begin prepping your mise en place. A stable meals truck marketing strategy places you on the entrance of the grid when the race begins.

How one can write a profitable meals truck marketing strategy, step-by-step

  1. Put aside a web page in your government abstract
  2. Write an summary of your organization
  3. Conduct a market evaluation
  4. Lay out your merchandise and/or providers
  5. Create buyer personas
  6. Put collectively a advertising and marketing plan
  7. Create a logistics and operations plan
  8. Write out your monetary plan

Beginning a cellular meals enterprise is topic to the identical challenges and pitfalls as some other startup operation. However there are particular concerns for meals vehicles to deal with earlier than you open the window to begin slinging sandwiches (or tacos, or barbeque, or …).

You could need to open up our helpful marketing strategy template so you may take notes, or jot down your sensible concepts as they arrive to you. We additionally talked to seasoned meals truck operators and entrepreneurs Natalie Basile and Mikey Wheeler-Johnson of Eats Amoré Cellular Italian Delicacies, who share their information and expertise all through this information.

eatsamore food truck business owners

From the manager abstract to the monetary particulars, we’ll present you how you can construct a meals truck marketing strategy for savory success.

1. Put aside a web page in your government abstract

Although that is the primary part in your marketing strategy, it’s the final part you need to write. Your government abstract captures all of the highlights from the remainder of your marketing strategy, so get these sorted out first. 

food truck business plan template

That is Shopify’s marketing strategy template. You possibly can obtain it beneath. 

When it’s time to write down this part, take into consideration your viewers. When you’re writing a marketing strategy for your self as a strategy to keep organized, motivated, and targeted in your objectives, this abstract may be fast and soiled.

Free: Meals Truck Enterprise Plan Template

Enterprise planning is usually used to safe funding, however loads of enterprise homeowners discover writing a plan helpful, even when they by no means work with an investor. That’s why we put collectively a free marketing strategy template that can assist you get began.

Get the template now

In case your marketing strategy is supposed to safe a financial institution mortgage or impress potential traders, your government abstract might want to deal with revenue, reliability, and the truth that you realize what you’re doing—so your meals truck looks like a secure wager.

Whereas it’s essential to say what makes your meals service mannequin distinctive, spend loads of time displaying that you just additionally perceive the realities of operating a small enterprise.

2. Write an summary of your organization

This part is your alternative to clarify what’s going to make your vehicular vittles completely different and extra profitable than each different meals truck on the street. 

ice cream food truck


As a part of this part you’ll want to inform your viewers what makes you able to operating a worthwhile meals enterprise. 

  • Do you may have skilled cooking expertise? 
  • Have you ever managed a business pantry earlier than? 
  • Do you may have an current fame for creating delectable meals? 

Lenders would possibly put money into you based mostly on the energy of your new enterprise concept, however expertise will enhance your possibilities.

At Eats Amoré, though neither Mikey nor Natalie has skilled cooking expertise, they do have a proud household historical past of manufacturing scrumptious meals. “Natalie discovered to cook dinner from her grandmother, who’s from Naples, Italy. After which her mother is an natural farmer, so she discovered conventional recipes with contemporary substances, which is the spine of Italian cooking,” says Mikey.


Along with your individual place in your meals truck enterprise, this part is the place the place you’ll define the forms of workers you may have or might want to rent. Meals vehicles are small, so likelihood is you received’t want quite a lot of workers or a administration workforce, however you can contemplate hiring prep workers, cleaners, and many others.


The corporate overview can also be the very best place to set some objectives. As a short-term purpose, most meals truck homeowners (and restaurateurs for that matter) purpose to repay the majority of their startup prices (licensing charges, insurance coverage, provides, meals, web site, branding, and many others.) inside the first 12 months, although this can rely closely in your anticipated margins.

Different short-term objectives could embody constructing a social media following, discovering predictable parking spots to encourage repeat site visitors, or securing a spot at an enormous occasion.

Your largest capital funding is, in fact, the truck itself. Though meals vehicles value so much much less to arrange in comparison with brick-and-mortar areas, they’ll nonetheless set you again between $50,000 and $175,000, relying on what sort of meals you’ll make and the tools required to do it.

Paying off your meals truck is prone to be your main long-term purpose, which you’ll be able to fulfill with your individual funding or Shopify Capital.

3. Conduct a market evaluation

An enormous think about setting what you are promoting up for fulfillment is knowing the goal market the place you’ll function.

conduct a market analysis for business plan


Since meals vehicles are cellular, you’ll take pleasure in some flexibility in comparison with a restaurant, however many cities nonetheless limit the place, when, and how one can serve your clients as a part of the license that lets you function (which prices an common of $1,800).

In case your very best clients reside in an space or work at a time when you may’t promote to them, you can be in for some problem. For instance, if you happen to have been to open a meals truck in Vancouver, you’d discover that restrictions embody:

  • Not working throughout nighttime hours
  • Avoiding sure neighborhoods
  • Staying 100 meters away from brick-and-mortar eating places
  • Staying outdoors park boundaries
  • And lots extra

In some instances, chances are you’ll discover that meals vehicles haven’t but been thought of in metropolis rules, and you could have to blaze a path for what you are promoting, like Mikey and Natalie did. “We had very restricted areas that we might choose from,” Mikey stated. 

“The zoning in Kamloops was completely horrible. We weren’t appeared very favorably upon. So after many council conferences and many emails with counselors and going forwards and backwards, we lastly obtained the town to present us a pilot mission location within the downtown core.”

Each metropolis has completely different restrictions that have an effect on meals cart and truck homeowners, so make sure you seek the advice of the town corridor web site in your space. And begin early—licensing can take time, particularly in areas with excessive demand.

Native circumstances

Past the restrictions imposed by municipalities, every metropolis is topic to circumstances that might assist or hinder what you are promoting. 

When you’re planning an ice cream truck for Edmonton, you would possibly solely have the nice and cozy, sunny climate you want for 4 months of the 12 months, severely limiting earnings. Conversely, the identical ice cream truck in San Diego, with 266 days of sunshine on common, could be a sensation with strains across the block.

You must also take into consideration inhabitants in your metropolis, demographics, foot site visitors in your most popular neighborhoods, and the variety of occasions that host meals vehicles, with a view to set up an estimate of what number of days per 12 months you might be possible capable of function.


Lastly, run a aggressive evaluation. 

  • What’s the meals truck market like in your metropolis? 
  • What do different meals vehicles supply? 
  • What’s your aggressive benefit? 
  • Is there a strong restaurant scene pushed by homeowners who don’t need meals vehicles diverting their clients

An excessive amount of competitors and also you might need hassle discovering clients or a spot to park. Too little and chances are you’ll discover that there’s a purpose nobody is operating a brand new meals truck.

4. Lay out your merchandise and/or providers

This part is your alternative to stipulate your inventive meals imaginative and prescient, so remember that there are some limitations and concerns on the subject of the meals popping out of your truck.

food menu

  • Meals must be simple to eat in a wide range of settings, similar to on a bench, standing on the sidewalk, or at a crowded live performance, with out spilling down the entrance of a CEO’s Brooks Brothers shirt.
  • Maintain it easy: Whilst you might be able to make complicated particular person dishes, making an attempt to supply a broad, sophisticated menu with restricted area, workers, tools, and storage might show to be troublesome or unattainable.
  • An extended menu may be intimidating or time consuming for these making an attempt to order rapidly throughout their lunch break.
  • Attempt to fill a distinct segment in your metropolis. If there are already quite a lot of pizza vehicles however no Thai meals, make som tam as a substitute of a margherita pie. Or, for instance, if you happen to reside someplace with loads of vehicles making mediocre burgers, your ultra-high-quality model would possibly nook the market. You may also differentiate your choices based mostly on overhead and meals value.

Exit and research the present meals truck scene in your space to get an concept of what would possibly work. 

Alternate income

This part is an effective place to think about further income streams similar to on-line gross sales of issues like bottled sauces, spice packs, baked items, and many others. Promoting on-line could be a lifesaver throughout quiet winter months, when festivals aren’t occurring, and even throughout a world pandemic.

Eats Amoré has discovered that on-line gross sales and catering bookings by way of its Shopify web site have gotten more and more essential to its backside line. “It’s to the purpose the place now we have to show it on and switch it off as a result of it’s so busy,” says Mikey.

“We got here up with this concept referred to as the Ravioli Membership, which is actually a membership that you just purchase from our on-line retailer, and also you get three thriller deliveries of ravioli delivered to your own home each two weeks.”

ravioli club

Mikey wasn’t all the time an ecommerce knowledgeable. “I used to be very inexperienced in studying how you can do all the net gross sales, and I’m nonetheless studying so much,” he says.

“And even with the small increments of studying that I’ve executed, gross sales are going up exponentially. Not solely has it boosted our gross sales, but it surely decreased the period of time that I’ve to spend doing forwards and backwards work with folks. As a result of after getting all of your data laid out on the web site, you get so much much less tire kickers and also you get much more folks that decision you and need to rent you [for catering].”

5. Create buyer personas

This space of your meals truck marketing strategy is the place you’ll define your very best buyer. 

  • The place do they reside? 
  • How outdated are they? 
  • What sort of meals do they like? 
  • How a lot disposable earnings have they got? 

You’ll must do some severe demographic analysis to fill on this part, since each metropolis and neighborhood is completely different. Then use it to tell your menu and pricing. 

ice cream food truck 2

When you plan to arrange outdoors rock concert events and baseball parks, caviar and foie gras could possibly be arduous to promote, whereas home-cooked barbeque may not do properly on the road in entrance of your native opera home. Ask questions to find out what your potential clients need.

6. Put collectively a advertising and marketing plan

You may make as a lot scrumptious meals as you need, but when nobody is aware of about it, you’re going to have a tough time making a revenue. Your advertising and marketing technique is important to the success of what you are promoting and this part is the place you’ll define it for your self or what you are promoting mortgage officer.

Branding and communications

Begin by detailing the place you’ll park and what your truck will seem like, since these are the 2 largest elements in attracting walk-by clients. Subsequent, present the way you’ll elevate the profile of what you are promoting past passersby utilizing conventional advertising and marketing methods and, particularly, social media.

When you intend to park in several areas on completely different days, having devoted followers on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Fb is an effective way to let folks know the place they’ll discover you. Social media can also be the proper place to replace your followers on new menu gadgets. Keep in mind to take nice photographs of your meals for max affect.

The meals truck advertising and marketing and gross sales portion must also account for what makes your choices completely different from everybody else on the street. Within the Merchandise and Providers part, we mentioned how your menu ought to fill a distinct segment, whether or not it’s the kind of delicacies, high quality, or value. 

On this part, you’ll want to offer particulars on how you intend to speak these differentiators to your goal clients.

On-line ordering

Talking of know-how, this can be a good time to discover the opportunity of having your clients work together with you by way of smartphones and computer systems.

You could need to supply on-line ordering with supply or pickup, which may be completed utilizing third-party providers like DoorDash, Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats, or any variety of apps most popular in several markets world wide—make sure you discover out which app most eating places and supply providers use in your space.


A much less apparent side of your advertising and marketing plan is your begin date. When you plan on opening proper when the nice climate hits, you’re prone to be too busy to spend so much of time constructing a model identification and on-line presence, although your money circulation will most likely be in fine condition.

“An enormous mistake that we had in our first 12 months’s marketing strategy was that we have been going to work by the winter,” says Mikey. “However what I forgot was that the folks in Kamloops are very reasonable weathered. They’re used to good climate. So just a little little bit of chilly they usually’re like, No, we’re out of right here. It wasn’t till final winter that we truly did turn out to be a year-round enterprise once we opened our Shopify account.”

7. Create a logistics and operations plan

This part is the place you’ll must dig into the nitty-gritty day-to-day operations of your native meals truck.

Provide chain

You want substances with a view to promote meals. However the place will you get them? Let’s take a look at your choices.


  • Instance: Sysco
  • Execs: Dependable and price efficient.
  • Cons: Giant volume-packaged merchandise could possibly be arduous to retailer in your truck.


  • Instance: Costco
  • Execs: Comfort—store everytime you need.
  • Cons: Costs could also be increased than restaurant wholesalers.


  • Instance: Dealer Joe’s, native greengrocers, specialty markets
  • Execs: The best number of substances, together with native, natural, and specialty gadgets. Smaller bundle sizes.
  • Cons: Excessive costs.

Many meals truck operators use a mixture of suppliers to attain their objectives, so take a look at what is accessible in your space that matches into your menu and funds. 

Additionally contemplate your menu: When you have a hard and fast set of meal choices, will you have the ability to reliably get the identical substances all year long? In case your menu rotates continuously, will you may have time to supply new substances frequently?


Your truck is your facility. So think twice about what sort of car you resolve to purchase.

Mikey says, “We obtained this HandyDART bus for a steal, and we spent the start of 2013 turning it right into a meals truck. We discovered a lot. It’s a fiberglass car, which wasn’t very best in comparison with an enormous stainless truck. However we made it work.” 

Retrofitting a car that isn’t good could also be an possibility contemplating your funds and ability set, or chances are you’ll need to buy a car that was purpose-built to be a meals truck.

That is the place to stipulate the bodily tools and upkeep necessities for what you are promoting, similar to:

  • Specialised cooking tools
  • Tires
  • Brakes
  • Battery
  • Gas (cooking and engine)

Many cities additionally dictate that some facets of meals preparation, similar to chopping greens, making soups, baking bread, or making ready different substances, be executed in an off-site commissary kitchen outdoors of gross sales hours, slightly than within the meals truck or in your house. That is to make sure meals security, and also you’ll must issue the associated fee and logistics into your plan.

It’s additionally a good suggestion to find out if you happen to can retailer further substances at your commissary kitchen location.

cooking food for food truck

Manufacturing capability

How lengthy does it take to make an merchandise out of your menu, on common? This can be a main consideration that might restrict what number of clients you may serve in a day. 

How do you plan to deal with modifications in tempo and demand over the course of a day, week, month, or 12 months? Mikey says, “I am going house and do dishes for 2 hours. It’s way more labor intensive than folks understand.” So don’t neglect to think about how a lot work you may realistically do your self.


When you plan on providing merchandise on the market on-line, you’ll must type out a plan to ship them to clients. Luckily, delivery may be completed fairly simply at cheap costs.

8. Write out your monetary plan

Like most companies, yours will possible reside or die on the energy of your monetary plan. You must understand how a lot cash is coming in, how a lot goes out, and the way these numbers are prone to change sooner or later. 

So make sure you dig deep into your potential stability sheet to actually perceive how earnings and prices will have an effect on your operation. 

Handle your cash the place you make it with Shopify Steadiness

Shopify Steadiness is a free monetary account that permits you to handle what you are promoting’s cash from Shopify admin. Pay no month-to-month charges, get payouts as much as 4 days earlier, and earn cashback on eligible purchases.

Uncover Shopify Steadiness

Revenue margin

Luckily for you, startup prices on a meals truck are so much lower than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, so your break-even level might come so much sooner. That stated, your earnings could possibly be restricted by the meals truck mannequin.

Meals vehicles can count on to common about 8% revenue, which suggests they’re a quantity enterprise. You’ll must work quick to serve quite a lot of clients with a view to earn a revenue.

You’ll additionally want to stipulate your money circulation state of affairs. Since meals vehicles can’t retailer quite a lot of stock (substances and provides), you’ll must promote and restock extra continuously than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Further prices

This part can also be the place to think about different prices, similar to licensing, upkeep, and workers wages, when you’ve got workers. And if you happen to don’t plan on hiring assist, do not forget that you most likely can’t work 16 hours a day, seven days per week, which is able to restrict your earnings too. You’ll want to write correct monetary projections so that you get a good suggestion of how a lot you’ll earn.

Flip what you are promoting concept right into a savory actuality

The meals truck business is rising. Now that you just’ve had an opportunity to consider how your meals truck goals will form your meals truck marketing strategy, it’s time to really sit down and write it.

Want just a little push in the appropriate path? Try some marketing strategy examples, then begin filling in your template when you’re impressed.

Meals truck marketing strategy FAQ

How worthwhile is a meals truck?

Meals truck companies may be very worthwhile compared to a standard restaurant enterprise, because you don’t need to pay constructing charges (like lease) and they are often managed with fewer workers. You even have the benefit of having the ability to transfer areas in anticipation of high-traffic occasions.

How do I begin a meals truck marketing strategy?

  1. Put aside a web page in your government abstract
  2. Write an summary of your organization
  3. Conduct a market evaluation
  4. Lay out your merchandise and/or providers
  5. Create buyer personas 
  6. Put collectively a advertising and marketing plan 
  7. Create a logistics and operations plan
  8. Write out your monetary plan 

How a lot does a meals truck value?

Although meals vehicles value so much much less to arrange than brick-and-mortar eating places, they’ll nonetheless value between $50,000 and $175,000, relying on what you’re serving and the tools you’ll want.

Is a meals truck enterprise funding?

Sure, meals truck companies have typically decrease overhead prices than a standard restaurant and have the benefit of mobility, that means they’ll relocate simply to high-traffic areas.

How one can Write a Meals Truck Enterprise Plan in 2023 (+ Template)