How to Commence a Food Truck Business in India - Corpbiz (2023)

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Food Truck Business in India hasgained admiration among small entrepreneurs as well as consumers. Amid therapidly growing standalone restaurant business in India, the charm of foodtrucks has made it a rage in recent years. You might be getting the thoughtroaming in your mind that the concept of food trucks is newlyintroduced, right? In reality, the food truck business landed in the Indianfood market in the 1970s and 80s. However, Indians started embracing westernculture in the 21st century, and thereafter, Indian consumers become morefamiliar with the term food ‘trucks.’

Drafting a food truck businessplan in advance would simplify the process of setting up a food truck businessanywhere in India. The Meals on Wheels business has establisheditself in India’s elite cities like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi NCR,and few more cities till now, and the demand for it has started soaring indifferent parts of India. Even the thought of tasting delicious food bymigrating from one point to another fills the hearts of food lovers withpleasure.

The involvement of minimum initial capital and added mobility advantage provides food truck owners access to several locations simultaneously. Therefore, small restaurant owners are planning to make a well-planned investment in the food trucks business. We will accompany you on a trip to the stepwise guide for commencing the food truck business in India through this write-up.

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Conduct Market Research before Initiating a FoodTruck Business in India

Before proceeding ahead forstarting a food truck business in India, you must gather enough knowledgeconcerning the steps and procedures that must get followed. You must conductmarket research through which most of the points concerning the foodtruck venture will be clear.

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The things you should getfamiliar with are-

  • Learn about your competitors’ tactics thatthey apply in their business along with their approach.
  • Identify the place where a food truck businesscan flourish well.
  • Ensure that your food truck business has itsunique selling point that may hopefully lure customers to visit for the lip-smackingcomfort foods.
  • Analyze the competitors’ strategies and gaininsights from their successes and failures.
  • Understand the customers’ tastes and preferenceson a priority basis.

Costs Involved in Kickstarting a Food Truck Business in India

  • The cost of an average food truck lies somewhere between Rs. 8-12 lakhs in India. However, the price may highly differ in case of a wholly equipped food truck whose cost may touch the 20 lakhs mark.
  • To initiate the things, you must either have a second-hand truck or a new one. The minimum cost of a truck will be around Rs. 4-5 lakhs. You would have to make a one-time investment in the required kitchen equipment. The much-needed kitchen equipment comprises- cutlery, stove, cooking vessels, and utensils. The entire equipment cost will migrate around 1-2 lakhs only.
  • Maintaining a stock of raw materials is mandatory for meal preparation. The cost of raw materials will be somewhere around Rs. 20-30 lakhs.
  • Your POS is responsible for looking after your billing and technology. Major business functions such as analytics, inventory management, and customer relationship management have a connection with POS. A better POS[1] cost will be somewhere around Rs. 25-30K for a pack of 6 months.
  • Managing your business’s day-to-day operations would demand you to hire a group of staff as resources for your entity. Hiring staff is not a costly affair in a country like India due to a significant portion of the population, finding their way of living under the shackles of poverty. For staff, you can consider cost in the range of 10-15k per person.
  • Irrespective of your business nature, sales, and marketing are the unavoidable factors. Excellent marketing strategies including promotion, advertisement, digital marketing assistance, etc. would drive your food truck business in India. The entire cost of marketing may be close to Rs. 20k every month.

Location- The Deciding Factor

  • Food truck owners must create a strategyconcerning the suitable places for parking their food trucks. The success orcollapse of a food truck business largely depends on the location where youwill be setting up your food truck business. You may think aboutparking your food truck on a street where there is a scarcity of similar typesof businesses and food sellers.
  • It would be advantageous for your food truckbusiness if you choose a location where a massive crowd keeps visiting. Thesite where you will be parking your food vehicle must have a clean surroundingarea to bring consumers in the first go. If the location is perfect, there willbe no stopping for your food truck business to succeed. Discuss with the localmunicipal authorities concerning vehicle parking in a particular area.A truck with open space will be a decisive factor in your favor.
  • Plan your location on the basis of yourcompetitors’ set up and move ahead wisely. A definition of a perfectlocation states that it is an area where visitors keep going regularly.The ideal places for parking your food trucks are outside the universitycampus, near cinema halls, and in the proximity to famous parks and the primarymarket of the city.

Relevant Licenses and Permits you’ll need whileCommencing a Food Truck Business in India

At the time of commencing a foodtruck business in India, you must acquire all the legal permits and licenses asthe Indian government is taking strict actions against those who are into thissegment of the market without obtaining permits and licenses.

The licenses and permits needed to give food truck business a dreamy gallop in India are-

How to Commence a Food Truck Business in India - Corpbiz (1)

FSSAI License

The food license (Commonly known as FSSAI license) is one of the essentials to start a food truck business. The authority to provide an FSSAI license lies in the hands of FSSAI. It’s an approval by the administration that would let you set your food truck business across India. This license is most importantly, a 14-digit unique registration number provided to traders, manufacturers, as well as food trucks. The printing of this number must take place on foodstuffs.

If the food truck owners follow all the foodsafety standards for running their food truck business, your customers willsense a secure feeling while eating at your food truck. It’s mandatory for foodbusiness operators, including food truck owners, to get them registered underFSSAI.

Types of FSSAI License based onthe turnover of food business are-

Basic FSSAI License– If the annual turnover of your food truckbusiness is not more than 12 lakhs, you must apply for basic FSSAIregistration.

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State FSSAI License– If the annual turnover of your food truck business is exceeding 12 lakhs, but less than 20 crores can apply for state FSSAI license.

Central FSSAI License– If your food truck business’s annual turnover touches 20 crores or more than 20 crores, you can apply for a central FSSAI license.

Essential Documents for Obtaining FSSAI License/Registration

  • PhotoID proof
  • Addressproof
  • Foodcategory list
  • Listof equipment
  • Layoutplan or Blueprint of the plan
  • Certificateof incorporation
  • Memorandumof Association
  • NOCfrom the municipality office
  • Articlesof Association
  • ImportExport Code
  • Reportof Water Test
  • Listof partners/Directors

Approval Letter from the Local Municipal Body

After deciding the location for your food truck business, you should obtain a written document that should get stamped by the local municipal body for commencing a food truck business.

Read our article:An Elaborative Study: Food Safety and Management Systems

Shop and Establishment License

Any commercial corporation, restaurant, residential hotel, theatre, eating house, food truck, or any different place of entertainment or recreation should apply for the Shop and Establishment License. Applying for this license becomes crucial in the case of running any business within any premise. Get your food truck business registered under the Shop Act with the state government before initiating the food truck business in India.

Before issuing a certificate of ShopAct registration, an inspector who got appointed by the labourdepartment os state will analyze whether the mandatory conditions under the Actgot fulfilled or not.

Essential Documents for Obtaining Shop Act License

The mandatory documents forobtaining the Shop Act license differs from one state to another state.Specified below are the documents needed for acquiring Shop Act licensefor running a food truck business-

  • Name ofthe establishment
  • Name ofthe manager and the employer
  • Categoryof the establishment
  • Owner’spassport size photograph along with food truck
  • Establishmentphoto as well as the signboard
  • Postaladdress of the shop
  • AadhaarCard

Fire Safety Certificate

Regardless of the category offood business, you’ve engaged yourself in; various equipment in use can catchfire easily. Thus, you should obtain a Fire Safety Certificate from the FireDepartment office before marching ahead for the food truck business inIndia.

(Video) What is Eating House License/Registration? | How to apply | Process | Documents - Corpbiz

Vehicle License

As commercial vehicles have anotable role to play in performing the operations of the food truck business,food truck owners should obtain a vehicle license issued by the RegionalTransport Office of commercial vehicles for running the food truck inIndia.

GST Registration

If the food truck owner falls under the criteria of GST, he must apply for GST registration.

Manpower Needed for your Food Truck

In the food truck business, thereis a general requirement of one or two chefs along with one or two helpers whocan look after the operations concerning the food truck business. Finding thebest men for your food truck business and retaining them, in the long run, is achallenging task for food truck owners. Make your chefs and helpers familiarwith the way how food truck business operates.

Creating a Strong Brand Impression is Vital

In the modern era, brand value isone of the essential aspects that may decide whether your business will grabthe consumers’ attention or not. It’s essential to have a brand name thatshould hit customers’ minds in the first go itself. To formulate a strongbrand, you need to recognize your target consumers at the initial level. Findout what response your competitors are getting, their promotional strategies,along with their USPs.

What’s best about your food productsthat others don’t have? How are you distinct from the crowd? Being a food truckowner, you must have the answers to these two questions. Now, let’s proceed tothe main part of constructing a strong brand. Select a name that should grab apermanent spot in the heart of your target consumers even after hearing for thefirst time. The brand name should be relatable to your finalized target audience,and it must stick to their mind for a long time. After all, the brand namecreates the first impression.

Getting the logo right is crucialfor food truck owners as it will appear on your food truck, promotional andadvertising activities, etc. Moreover, we can say that the brand name and logo mustfine-tune your brand.

Maintenance of Health and Hygiene- The Formula for Seeking Customers’Attention

Food truck owners need to be waryof airpollution level, hygiene maintenance in the kitchen, and management of foodwaste. Environmental pollution can be a hurdle in the running of a foodtruck business in several ways. Many food truck businesses in foggy or pollutedregions have suffered a lot. Thus, maintaining better environmental conditionsshould be a priority for food truck business owners.

Points that food truck owners need to keep in mind

  1. Putone or two dustbins close to your food truck.
  2. Makesure that your staff looks after the maintenance of sanitation and hygiene.
  3. Usechimneys properly so that air pollution would get controlled.
  4. Ensurethat your cooking area is clean.
  5. Trackingfood waste on a regular basis is essential.

Examples of Food Trucks in India

The successful food trucks in India that has comprehended their craft and can be an inspiration for food truck business enthusiasts’ are-

(Video) FSSAI launches Mobile App | Food Safety Connect App for Food Businesses | Corpbiz

How to Commence a Food Truck Business in India - Corpbiz (2)


The food truck culture hasalready achieved lots of popularity in the West. By looking at the increasingtrend of the food truck business in India, we must say that the future of thismobile cuisine business seems promising.

All the food truck owners must obtain the required permits and licenses to commence the food truck business in India. At Corpbiz, Our experts would help you acquire FSSAI license and other permits and provide guidance until you commence your food truck business in India.

Read our article:Key Insights on Setting up an Online Food Delivery Marketplace in India

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How much does it cost to start a food truck business in India? ›

What is the cost of opening a Food Truck in India? An average food truck can cost anywhere between INR 8-10 lakhs in India. On the upper end of the spectrum, a fully equipped food truck can even cost up to 20 lakhs.

How do you start a successful food truck? ›

  1. Plan your costs and find a truck.
  2. Get approved by the Board of Health.
  3. Get permits and licenses.
  4. Decide how you're going to prepare your food.
  5. Hire employees and get mobile food vendor badges.
  6. Figure out where to park.
  7. Start marketing and promoting your food truck.
  8. Consider using a point-of-sale system.
28 Jul 2017

What are 3 of the most common issues faced by food truck businesses? ›

The Top 5 Challenges Food Truck Owners Face
  • Permits and Regulations. So, you're excited about your food truck and you can't wait to park your truck and serving customers. ...
  • Location, Location, Location. ...
  • Inventory and Menus. ...
  • Wearing Many Hats. ...
  • An Inefficient Kitchen.
28 Oct 2019

What permission is required for food truck in India? ›

However, it is essential to procure the following set of licenses for your food truck in India, which will permit you to carry on with your restaurant business legally in this territory: Fire Safety Certificate. Shop and Establishment License. NOC from RTO.


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