How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

Posted by Damian Roberti on

How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida



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How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida


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Food trucks, which were once thought to be a passing trend, have shown that they are here to stay by selling cheap, tasty food on every street corner and sidewalk. In the past few years, the multibillion-dollar food truck industry has become more popular as street chefs reinvent street food and start the gourmet food truck craze. 



How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida
But all you have to do to start a food truck business is buy a truck and cook some food. Before you even get to the details of running a business, there is a lot of planning and preparation to do. This is especially true for food-related businesses.

Before we get into how to start a food truck business, let's talk briefly about some of the first things you'll want to do when you start any business, not just a food truck:


How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

Write a business plan. You may want to get your food truck up and running as soon as possible, but a well-thought-out business plan will help you in the long run. By making a long-term plan ahead of time, you'll have a road map to follow as you continue to set up your food truck.

Choose the legal form of your business: Before you worry about trucks, food, and where to park, you need to figure out how your business will be set up legally. Will you be a sole proprietor or will you work with other people? A business lawyer or online legal service might be able to help you decide what to do.

Register your business. Once you've decided on your business's legal structure, you'll need to register your business name and sign up for federal, state, and local taxes, if necessary. How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida    You'll probably need to get an EIN from the IRS, which stands for Employee Identification Number.

Open a business bank account: After you've filed your taxes, you'll need to open a business bank account as the first step in separating your business and personal finances. This account will be the place where you keep track of and organize your money as you get your food truck up and running.



At this point, you'll be in a good position to actually start your business. Here are the steps to starting a food truck:

1. Make a budget and find a truck.
First, you have to think about how much it will cost.



How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

How much does it cost to get a food truck up and running? There are so many different things you might need to get started that it's hard to give an accurate estimate of startup costs. First, you'll have to find the right truck for your business. It's likely that you'll have to have it made to fit your needs, which can cost between $30,000 and $50,000. You should also think about costs like:

Food and its parts.
Employees get a salary and other benefits.
Tools to help you drive your truck.
Marketing, advertising and more.



How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida
The biggest and most important thing you'll need to pay for is the truck itself. Before you choose a truck, you should have a few layout options in mind, keeping in mind what you need for your food truck business.

With this in mind, you might also think about your different food truck financing options, such as loans and business credit cards, to cover many of your startup costs.

2. Get the Board of Health's okay.
Next, you'll have to figure out which rules and laws you have to follow. As a business that deals with food, there will be more things to think about in this area.


How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

So, you might first want to find out what rules you need to follow from the Board of Health. It probably doesn't come as a surprise to learn that health department inspectors check food on food trucks just like they do in restaurants. Most inspections are done at least to make sure of the following:

Proof that you own the car, your ID, and the car's license.

Food Manager Identification Card from the District.

Food is kept in the right place and at the right temperature.

Food shopping records.

Safety and health codes are followed.

3. Get licenses and permits
After you know what your health requirements are, the next step in how to start a food truck is to get the permits and business licenses you need. Again, because starting a food truck business means handling food and serving it to customers, there are probably going to be a lot of rules and permits to figure out. Also, the licenses and permits you need will depend a lot on the state and city you live in.




How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

In fact, some cities, like New York City, limit the number of truck permits that can be given out at once. Visit the website for your city to find out exactly what you need to do to get the right paperwork. Keep in mind that this process may take time and that you may have to pay fees and show proof of a Health Department permit, tax certification, and liability insurance.

4. Choose how you will cook your food.
Once you've figured out the behind-the-scenes details and chosen your truck, it's time to think about your product.




How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

After all, one of the most important parts of learning how to start a food truck business is deciding what kind of food you're going to make and sell, how that process will work, what you'll need, and what your menu will look like. As you think about these things and start making decisions, you'll want to keep in mind that a food truck doesn't have as much space as a restaurant with a brick-and-mortar location, so it can be hard to cook food inside.

So, you'll need to decide if it's best for your business to make food ahead of time before going to work or if it's possible to make everything on-site. Also, when you're perfecting your recipes, you'll want to make sure that the food on your menu can be made in large quantities, tastes good every time, is easy to serve, easy to eat, and can travel well. How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida





5. Hire employees and get mobile food vendor badges
If you want to start a food truck, the next thing you'll need to do is think about who you'll hire. In a small space like a food truck, you won't be able to have too many employees, but you may want to hire help depending on your food, how you make it, and how busy you expect to be.

When you first start out, you might be able to work with friends, family, or a business partner. If your food truck business grows quickly, though, you might need some part-time or full-time employees. Also, when it comes to food truck workers, you'll need to do more than just hire them and get them started.



How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

To explain, in addition to all the licenses and permits you need as a business owner, each of your employees needs a mobile food vendor badge in order to legally work in your truck and serve food. It takes about four months to get this badge, which is a shame.

If you think you'll need help with your food truck, you should get this process out of the way right away and hire your first employee. "It's even more frustrating," says Kaye, "because if your business loses an employee, you have to wait four months for a new employee to get their badge. This means you might not have enough employees to work lunch and dinner services."

6. Plan where to park.
The fact that a food truck business can move around is both a benefit and a challenge. You can go (to a certain extent) where your customers are, but you'll also need to figure out where the best places are to get customers and, perhaps just as important, where you can and cannot park your truck.

Just like licenses and permits, the rules about where you can park your food truck are going to be unique to your city. To find out what your options are, you'll need to look at your city's rules.

Here are 10 websites that can help you start a food business in Florida:

  1. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
  2. Florida Small Business Development Center:
  3. Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association:
  4. City of Miami Business:
  5. City of Orlando Business:
  6. City of Tampa Business:
  7. My Florida Licenses:
  8. Florida Chamber of Commerce:
  9. Florida SBDC Network:
  10. US Small Business Administration:


How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

If you live in a bigger place, like New York City, it's likely that this process will be even harder.

had to pay fines of up to \$2,000 a month because of how strict the rules were on the streets of New York City. Kaye says that it's getting harder to find a place to park now that there are more gourmet food trucks in the city.

With this in mind, you'll want to take extra care to find out the rules (and any possible loopholes) for your location.

7. Advertise and market your food truck.
First, you'll need to plan and carry out some marketing strategies to let people know about your food truck.

You could have a "grand opening" or see if you can be a part of a local event to get people interested in your business and bring them in. You should also think about starting a website and being active on social media, as well as putting up signs around town.

Also, if you have a mobile business that moves around every day, it's important to let your customers know where you'll be. You'll need to keep this in mind, whether it means making a set schedule every week or just keeping your customers up to date on your website or social media pages.




8. You might want to use a point-of-sale system. How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida
Even though you might be able to run your food truck with just a cash drawer and a paper order system, you might want to invest in a point-of-sale system to speed up the process. With your food truck's POS system, you'll be able to take orders, accept payments (including credit cards), track inventory, set up loyalty programs, and more.

In fact, there are a number of POS systems made just for food trucks on the market.

If you use one of these systems, you can keep track of everything in one place, speed up and simplify your processes, and better serve your customers as a result. This is especially important for food trucks, which get a lot of customers for just a few hours a day and can have long lines of people waiting. If this happens, you might want to use a pre-order system to help your food truck deal with the rush.



How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida
9. Get your day-to-day plan just right
 running a food truck business is much harder than most people think. This is because most people only see food trucks at lunchtime.

you'll need to think about how your day-to-day will go, including how you'll work with your employees, where you'll be every day, and which days will require more time or money than others. Planning ahead, even if it's just at the start of each week, will help you make the most of your time and, hopefully, your business.

Along these lines, you might also want to think about whether you'll just park around town or if you'll take part in local events or even start catering.

In conclusion
In the end, it will take a lot of time, work, and money to learn how to start a food truck.

How to Start a Food Truck in Orlando Florida

Even though there is more competition, if you can find a niche, you have a good chance of being successful without having to pay a lot to open a restaurant.

A food truck is also a great place to start if you want to open a restaurant in the future. For example, in the spring of 2008, Laura O'Neill and Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen started the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream truck. Since then, the three of them have done so well that their business now has more than 20 locations, including storefronts and trucks in both New York and Los Angeles.