How to Open a Food Cart
Opening a food cart is an adventure that can be very fun. If you like people and love to cook, then this venture just might be for you. No more nagging bosses, stuffy staff meetings or quotas to
meet. This business is all based on your very own decisions. Remember these ideas when deciding to start your own food cart.
Things You’ll Need
Decide where you would like to locate your food cart. Stake out an area for the maximum number of pedestrians that walk by during the day and even night. If the location seems to be dead, move on to another location. Street corners in cities, malls, sporting events such as college football
season, or flea markets draw great crowds and can provide lots of consumers.
Name of your business. You must know this before you apply for business licenses and federal
Obtain the necessary licenses you will need to run your business. This includes business licenses,
health certificates and inspections. Jurisdictions have been created to allow inspections to be easily completed without a lot of travel for inspectors.
Decide on what you will be offering. You have to know what you are going to be making before
you renovate or design a food cart.
Secure a vehicle that you will use for your food cart. You may be able to locate food carts for sale
that are already set up with little alterations needed. If not, renovate a roomy RV or van and ensurethat you have all of the necessary equipment that you will need for the kind of food you will be
making. For example, if you are not going to sell popcorn, do not furnish your cart with a popcorn maker.
Obtain a cash register. This is very important to make sure that you are charging the correct
amount of money and that you are making correct change. Depending on the kind that you
purchase, you will also have a paper trail to spot any errors in charges.
Decide on the pricing for your food and beverages. This should be completed before you begin to
design your menu. It is a good idea to print menus that your customers can take with them. You
will also need a menu that your consumers can view while deciding on what to order.
Purchase a minimum amount of food and beverages to stock your cart to avoid wasting money
on food that does not sell. After you get a feel for the amount of traffic you will have, increase
your food and beverage purchases to accommodate accordingly.
Decide on a day to open and advertise your grand opening. Use billboards, TV, radio, flyers,
newspapers, print ads and word of mouth to tell your city about its newest arrival.
Tips & Warnings
Be sure to equip your cart with fire extinguishers. It is a safety regulation. Also, do not forget to
post your health inspection rating in plain view of your consumers. Ask for feedback and be personable with your consumers. Friendliness will go a long way to ensure that your new customers are
returning customers. Word of mouth travels fast, so be sure that you deliver great service.
Avoid trying to run your food cart alone. You are going to need to take care of other issues such
as shopping for food or fixing problems with your cart. If you do not have someone to help you,
you could end up losing customers, and eventually, your cart.
8, 4, 2014
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