The food truck business model was practically non-existent in Australia just a few years ago. So, how did it become so prevalent in most of the popular suburbs? And do you think you should start your own food truck business?
Absolutely, you should start a food truck business, as the demand and appetite for street food are increasing rapidly. Food truck establishments are particularly visible in the popular cities of Melbourne and Sydney, where the craving for street-style food is not part of the local culture.
When foreigners visit Australia, they often miss the taste of street-style food, which is not traditionally part of Australian cuisine. If you observe the food vans around, you’ll find that the majority of customers are new residents and students.
Australia now boasts numerous food trucks and vendors that you can find on popular street corners. In recent years, food trucks have become increasingly popular in Australia, following a trend from other countries. While ice cream trucks have been around for generations, food trucks now offer a wide range of food, including cinnamon rolls and Colombian street food.
What about starting a food truck in the UK or Canada?
The market in the United Kingdom, Canada, or the United States is much broader and entirely different from that of Australia.
Although Australia imports a lot of goods from other countries, it has its own branding under the country’s name. Generally, consumers are more likely to choose snacks made in Australia when given the option between foreign-made snacks and locally-made ones.
The “Australian Made” label is often enough to convert customers.
On the other hand, the marketing strategies used in the UK, USA, and Canada are based on a different approach. With different demographics and a variety of options and flavors, the preferences of Australians differ significantly from those of the mentioned countries.
Alrighty, let’s talk food trucks! The competition is fierce in the UK and Canada – I mean, we’re talking a third of the food market being taken over by these four-wheeled culinary delights! And let’s not forget about the festivals – these food vans and tents are packed tighter than a sardine can, especially during the festive season and holy month of Ramadan.
But down under in Australia, the food truck scene is just starting to take off in the suburbs – although you might catch a crowd at places like Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne.
Now, starting a food truck business may seem daunting at first, but fear not my hungry friend! This guide is here to give you all the deets you need to get your tasty business off the ground – from branding and promotion to registrations and permissions.
- Possibility of being your own boss and having more career control
- Potential for greater cash return compared to working for someone else
- Less financial risk involved compared to opening a restaurant or café
- Lower startup and ongoing costs compared to a brick and mortar establishment
- Can be used to “test” a business idea before opening a permanent location
- Risk of failure, which can lead to a significant burden and lost time
- Obtaining loans can be challenging, especially without prior business experience
- State regulations apply
- Current hospitality establishments may feel pushed aside by food trucks
- Requires a variety of skills beyond just hospitality, such as business and financial management
- Employee turnover can be higher, leading to more time and effort put into recruiting and training new employees.
Here are the main points to keep in mind when starting a food truck business in Australia:
- Analyze the market to figure out if your idea will work before investing any money
- Consider who your target audience is and where they live
- Differentiate yourself from competitors
- Speak with current food truck operators, event planners, and trade associations
- Determine how much income your food truck needs to bring in
- Calculate your total costs and forecast sales
- Account for permit fees and consider cash flow throughout the year
Types of Food Trucks:
- You don’t have to buy the most expensive truck on the market
- Choose from baskets with food or food trucks on the move
- Consider the type of cuisine you want to offer: casual, exquisite, or specialty
Here are the key points to consider when it comes to qualifications, marketing, and licensing for starting a food truck business in Australia:
- All employees must pass basic food handling and food safety training before starting work
- Develop a training plan and induction program that includes food safety and storage instruction
- Some states require a Food Hygiene Supervisor on site who must be properly trained and licensed
Marketing and Branding:
- Choose a brand name and style for your food truck
- Devise a creative menu
- Use social media and a basic website to advertise your business for free
- Consider joining an organization like the Australian Mobile Food Vendors Group to help with marketing
License and Registration:
- Obtain necessary food processing licenses and permits
- Provide nationally accredited food safety courses to all new employees
- Some places require a Food Safety Supervisor on staff who is professionally trained and qualified
- Obtain necessary business and food safety licenses from the local government, as requirements vary by state and territory.