A food truck business is a great place to start for those looking to venture out into the restaurant industry. The operational costs are lower, you’ll need fewer staff, and you can follow the crowds instead of hoping they come to you. But along with these benefits come other operational challenges, like figuring out fuel and power, working out parking permits, and cooking and serving in a tiny space.
But there’s no reason to be intimidated: all you need is a plan. More specifically, a food truck business plan. For every step of opening a food truck, your business plan will be there to guide you. The operations of your truck – from everyday tasks to year-end paperwork – will run more smoothly if you use a detailed business plan as a north star.
The executive summary is the first section of any food truck business plan. As an introduction and summary of your vision for the food truck, this section includes information about products, consumers, and the team. A basic outline of the business’s path to success and financial plans is also found in the executive summary.
We’ll share business plan writing tips that will help you attract attention and build a compelling executive summary.
How to Write a Food Truck Business Overview
A business overview is an introduction that “hooks” the reader – it should provide just enough description of your food truck to get the reader interested in learning more about the business plan. Include an outline of the ownership structure, location, type of food truck, and customer experience in the business overview.
This section might also introduce key members of your team and a staff training and retention plan. Potential investors will want to see not just that your business plan is exciting but also that it is sustainable.
Finally, paint a detailed picture of the food truck’s brand. In addition to written descriptions, use branded graphics, sample color schemes, and plan for the style of events you imagine would be a great fit. Show readers that you’ve considered all the details.
What Menu Items Will the Food Truck Serve
The kind of food truck you want to start influences a lot of other decisions. Continue the executive summary by outlining the items that your food truck will serve. In this section, work to capture the imagination of potential investors – you’ll have a chance to impress them with your business savvy later in the restaurant summary.
Is your food truck based on guilty pleasure foods that would pair perfectly at a brewery? Or, did you choose a more healthy and organic menu that would fit ideally in a park or beach? The origins and inspirations of your menu are selling points for your brand.
The kind of food your food truck serves is directly related to the restaurant’s concept. Include information about what makes your concept and menu unique. Investors will want to be sure that your restaurant fills a gap in the market.
Who will be the Food Truck Target Consumer
Competition in the restaurant industry is fierce, which makes finding a unique niche imperative. Potential investors will want information about how your food truck stands out in the market.
Build a few customer personas – describe a few potential customers using market data about the demographics, characteristics, and behaviors of diners. Then, describe how your food truck will cater to those guests.
It’s cliche but “location, location, location” is the song of good business–even the best business plans will struggle to find footing unless they cater to the locals. Make decisions for your business based not only on local tastes but also on the local economy. Describe how your menu’s price point is accessible to the target market.
Who are the Key Management Team Members
Food trucks can’t run without people, and you can’t do it all yourself. Write a concise description of the critical roles in your business’s management structure. Describe how chefs and food truck operators are integral to your success.
If your business relies on the talents of a specific chef or an operations manager, include descriptions of those people (and their qualifications) in this section. If you still need to hire for key roles, describe the hiring and retention strategy for the highly-skilled labor your food truck’s needs.
What are the Food Truck Success Factors
What does success look like for this food truck? What contingencies have to go your way? What are the risks of your business model? Having concrete goals and knowing what obstacles stand in the way will impress potential investors.
One success factor for food truck’s is how predictable will their revenues be? How do you plan to maximize profits on the days that you are operating and how can you reduce costs when you are not?
It might seem better to avoid writing about potential pitfalls in your food truck business description. But, showing investors that you have a plan to succeed and that you know how to overcome setbacks lets readers know that you’re serious about the business.
What is the Food Truck Financial Plan
The executive summary of your food truck’s business plan should also include an overview of the financial plans. Answer common questions that investors and banks will need, such as how much funding you need to raise, loans and lines of credit you’ll rely on, and how long it will take for the business to become profitable.
One large expense will be the financing for the food truck itself and the equipment within. You should have a clear strategy for whether you are buying each of these new or used, or leasing.
Calculate and report on the upfront fixed costs of opening your food truck. These are the costs that you know you’ll have to keep up with to keep the business afloat, such as equipment, maintenance, and loan repayments.
Then, give investors an idea of the variable costs per month. Things like labor, raw materials, marketing, and lease costs are likely to change from month to month. Provide a range of the total variable costs per month.
In a later section of the business plan, you’ll provide different reports and financial projections. For the executive summary, focus on the broad strokes of your financial plans. Answer questions like how you plan to raise startup funds and potential profit margins based on projected sales.
Writing your Food Truck’s Executive Summary
Writing about finances can be a challenge–here’s how you can make the details of your restaurant’s finances an interesting read.
Always keep the audience in mind. Use some of the financial vocabulary introduced in this article and write for your potential investors.
Find your voice. As the first section, the executive summary is about making an impression. Investors are often just as interested in your business savvy as the strength of your business plan. Infuse your unique vision and voice into your writing style.
Keep it simple and clear. It's tempting to throw in lots of clever flourishes when writing, but clarity should be the number 1 priority, especially when discussing financial details.
Related Restaurant Resources
Is this article helpful?
DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.