If you’re dreaming of jumping on the street food bandwagon by launching your own mobile catering business you will no doubt be asking yourself, “how much does starting a food truck cost?”.
In this blog, the team at Adrian Flux itemise what cash you will be dishing out where, before you can start dishing out your lovely street food.
Will you buy or rent your first food truck?
The vehicle from which you eventually trade will ultimately be your biggest business startup expense. It can cost anything from £5,000 to £50,000 to buy a fully fitted food truck.
Rather like the street food on offer, you will probably get what you pay for. If you shop at the top end of the range you’re talking a la carte, with a more modest budget it’s the good old hot dog. But, a word of caution: Spending little may cost a lot in the long run if your catering van and its equipment keep breaking bown.
You could try renting but prices and levels of equipment vary widely. Some rentals also come with certain restrictions that may not suit the way you want to trade.
To get some inspiration for your street food business, read our blog about some of the UK’s most unique converted catering vans and food trucks.
Your mobile kitchen and equipment
Whether you’re updating equipment already installed in a second hand food truck or embarking on a DIY project from scratch, there are a number of kitchen equipment items that you will have to invest in.
- Separate sinks for hand washing and dishwashing
- Grills, fryers and a gas stove or electric oven
- Hot water urn
- Extractor fan
- Fridge and/or freezer
- Suitable food prep area
- Suitable storage area
You will also need to obtain:
- Fire safety equipment
- Utensils and cookware
- Disposable napkins, cups, cutlery and plates
- Aprons, catering headwear and plastic gloves
You may also want to invest in a picnic table, chairs and parasol so you can create a nice dining space wherever you go.
The licenses and permits your mobile catering business will need
There are a number of licences and permits you will need before going into business. Some of them are free, while some are paid for and will need to be budgeted for in your food truck startup costs.
- You’ll need to register with the local authority responsible for administering each area in which you want to trade, at least 28 days before you commence trading. The good news? It is free to register.
- If your food truck business will be handling meat, fish, eggs or dairy products, council officials will need to inspect it and its equipment for safety and hygiene.
- Council approval is needed and a street trading licence needs to be issued. Some places don’t charge for the licence but others, such as Westminster in London, do. There you will need to fork out almost £100 for a licence.
- If your menu involves cooking hot food with gas appliances, you will need a commercial gas safety certificate to show your equipment is fit for use. All gas appliances should come with a CE marking and flame failure device.
- Food safety regulations require anyone handling food or drink to prove that they can do so responsibly. It’s a good idea to get a food hygiene certificate, though it’s not a legal requirement. Training and getting certified in food hygiene costs from £12 + VAT per person for the basic Level 1 course, £16 + VAT for the Level 2, and £99 + VAT per person for Level 3, which is aimed at those supervising other staff within a food business. This will probably be suitable for you if you’re the proprietor.
Your food truck will need reliable insurance
Adrian Flux provides insurance for a huge range of food trucks, catering vans and mobile shops, meaning that whatever your business, we’ll have a policy for you.
And whatever is on your menu – from burgers and butties to mobile bars and baristas – if you own a catering van, we can serve up an insurance policy to please.
Call 0333 255 8870 for a fast no obligation quote – 81.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in August 2022 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone.