Starting a Food Truck Business in Canada

A food truck business is a low-cost option in terms of financing and allows business owners to move to high-traffic locations to maximize their profits.

The Basics

Before you start a food truck or mobile business, it is important to ask yourself questions about your target market and ideal demographic, your budget and start-up costs, whether you will be running it full-time or part-time, etc. Think of the type of business that suits you best, whether it will be a food truck business, concession trailer, food cart, food kiosk, or anything else. A mobile catering menu is also a good option. The next step is to inquire about any licenses and permits required to open a business in your area. You may need to pass a fire and safety inspection to obtain permits: Obviously, it is important to plan a menu that will attract potential customers and help you build a loyal customer base. Think of a menu that is practical and includes seasonal, fresh produce to keep your customers happy and satisfied. What you have on offer obviously depends on the type of food you can cook as well as the types of ingredients you can easily find at local markets and wholesalers (and at a reasonable price). You may want to include some unique meals in your menu, for example, lobster rolls, fried avocado tacos, and quinoa and veggie tacos.

Your Business Plan, Sections, and Details

A business plan is the key to securing affordable financing for your food truck business. Make sure you include sections that cover your marketing methods and strategy, market analysis, company description, ownership and management, and business operations. Describe the products and services you plan to offer, for example, guacamole, chips, tacos, burritos and waffles. Include a section on your customer base as well, including professionals and shoppers in different locations: Finally, it is important to include a section with information on the funds required, your financial forecast, marketing and sales analysis and forecast, and financial forecast. The more detailed your business plan is, the better your chances to get low-cost financing for your business.

Financing and Sources

There are different sources of financing for a small business in Canada, including government grants and loans, financing by private providers such as banks and unions, angel investors, peer to peer lenders, etc. Affordable financing is offered to small-size companies under the Canada Small Business Financing Program. You can use the money in different ways, for example, to buy equipment for your food truck. Depending on your menu, you may need grills, stoves, and refrigerators as well as equipment such as fire alarms, a sprinkler system, fire extinguishers, etc. The good news is that if you qualify, you will get low-cost financing to buy equipment for your food truck business: An alternative option is to apply for a business loan or a commercial mortgage from a bank or credit union. A mortgage loan is an affordable alternative provided that you are willing to pledge some asset to serve as a guarantee of repayment. An unsecured loan is a less risky option but the interest rate can be higher. This is because unsecured loans are riskier for financial institutions themselves: Visit your local credit union as well. They usually offer loans with lower rates compared to other providers. Peer to peer financing is also a good option, and some lenders actually offer lower rates. Finally, if you are willing to offer a portion of your ownership entity, you can contact angel investors in your area.