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How to Start a Food Truck Business in South Africa

Starting a food truck business is a profitable venture in South Africa. The demand for foodstuffs is high especially in towns. A food truck business is a good choice especially if you are looking for a mobile takeaway. If you have a talent for cooking, a food truck business is an excellent business idea you can try out. To make it in the business, you need to prepare tasty food and then market your food truck business. It is easier to start a food truck business compared to a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Research the Market

Before starting a food truck business, you need to research the market and find out fast food that you can sell in your food truck business. You also need to identify a location where you can set up your business. Market research will also help you identify challenges in the market and how best you can address them. You also need to identify a place where you can get a food truck at a lower price.

Identify a Good Location

To make it in the food truck business, you need to find a good location for the business. A food truck business is best suited in areas with a high population like towns. Try and find a place with high foot traffic. You can also set up your food truck business near institutions like a college or a university or marketplaces.

Read also: How to start kota business in South Africa. 

Acquire Business Licenses

You need to register your food truck business before you can start operations. You need to get a business license and certificate of acceptability from a municipal office near you.  A business dealing with foodstuff in South Africa must get a certificate of acceptability before it can start operations.

The municipal office will send a health inspector who will come and inspect your business premises to identify if it adheres to food safety practices. If he is satisfied with food safety practices, he will issue you with a certificate of acceptability.

Food truck owners must also get authorization from city governments to trade in public places. As such, you must get a location permit to start a food truck business in your location of choice.

Related: How to register a business in South Africa.

Decide Products to Sell in a Food Truck

Depending on your target customers, you can decide what foodstuffs to sell. To make it in food truck business, it would be best if you sold complementary products. Some of the common foodstuffs in a food truck business include sandwiches, burgers and beverages. Other foodstuffs you can sell in your food truck business include:

  • Pizza
  • Chips
  • Tea, Coffee and Alcoholic drinks
  • Burger, sandwich and rolls
  • Magwinya
  • Bunny chow/ Kota
  • Yogurts, juice and milkshakes
  • Traditional dishes
  • Meat like chicken, beef, fish and pork

Cost of Starting a Food Truck Business in South Africa

The cost of starting a food truck business depends on your business location and the foodstuff you will be selling. You can opt to buy a food truck or rent one. If you have a limited budget, it would be best if you rented one. Renting a food truck would cost you around R5, 000 every month. On the other hand, buying a food truck would cost you R120,000, which would then require you to equip the truck.

Read also: How to start magwinya business in South Africa. 

Equipment for Starting a Food Truck Business in South Africa 

To start a food truck business, you need some equipment. The equipment varies depending on the foodstuffs you will be selling and the size of the business. The primary equipment you need is a food truck vehicle. Your food truck can have kitchen equipment inside like stoves, refrigerators and cookers. You also need other equipment like mixers, shelving pots, stoves, oven, slicers, cutlery and food preparation counters. Most of your startup costs will spent in acquiring a food truck and buying kitchen equipment.

Is a Food Truck a Profitable Business in South Africa?

Yes. A food truck business is a profitable venture in South Africa. However, the level of profitability depends on some factors like target market and business location. Finding a good location will guarantee you a large number of customers, thereby generating profits.

 Also, when starting a food truck business, make sure to sell foodstuffs that are in demand. If you can focus on addressing problems in the market, it can also help you generate higher profits. Also, consider the risks and come up with ways to mitigate the them. A business plan can help you start a profitable food truck business in South Africa.