A food truck business wasn’t on my mind when I went shopping the other day.
I was thinking more along the lines of how quickly can I get in and get out of the supermarket car park before it gets really crazy on a Friday afternoon.
As it happened, my ingenious plan was thwarted but in a good way.
I ended up having a conversation with someone I vaguely knew in the car park about my favourite subject… business ideas!
We were parked next to each other so I couldn’t really avoid the interaction, and it would have been rude not to say hello?
He smiled at me and came over for a chat, and I was really glad he did.
Two really happy souls left that conversation that day.
This is how it went, with someone I want to call Fish Finger Fred.
Me: So Fred, how have you been, what are you doing these days?
Him: oh you know still stuck in the day job.
Me: Have you thought about doing something else? (A question I ask of people daily!)
Him: As a matter of fact, I quite fancy having a food truck business, you know like when people are selling burgers or hot dogs but I don’t want to sell burgers or hot dogs!
Me: Great idea, it is very popular these days and a great way to get into the food industry without the aggravation of having to open a restaurant. Your idea to start a food truck business is genius, super popular idea.
So, if you don’t want to sell burgers, what do you want to sell?
Are you vegetarian or vegan?
That is a really great trend to hop on to.
A sizzling hot niche if ever you wanted one
Him: Actually, no, that is not what I had in mind, but a great idea. I was thinking of fish finger sandwiches.
Me: That’s interesting. Immediately I really like that idea.
Him: I love them, my family loves them and everyone I speak too loves them and I wanted to do something different, not what everyone else does.
I know I want to work in the business of food, so it is an easy start.
Fish finger sandwiches are an institution in Britain…right?
Me: Well Fred, actually I think that is genius!
Him: Really? You agree with me?
Me: Absolutely, I LOVE fish finger sandwiches and have them at least twice per month, always with mayonnaise.
My husband prefers tomato ketchup on his.
If I came upon a van selling them at an event or in the city centre you can be sure I would buy one.
I am sure I am not alone in my love of them but I have never seen anyone selling them.
I think it would be a fun business, especially at festivals...!
I was imagining 20 somethings hung over, looking for a great morning after breakfast perhaps?
My mind was on overdrive at this point as I had rolled out his business idea like a red carpet at the BAFTAS.
All the way to the awards ceremony for food truck innovation.
I told him what I do, helping people come up with business ideas that fit in with their life and personality and he was thrilled I was pleased.
"It is always nice to feel other people get you" he said.
I was really pleased because he had actually done a bit of very broad market research but hadn’t got bogged down in too much detail or become frightened off by thinking too deeply about business planning or allowing himself to be turned off by other people’s opinions
That could all come later…if it needed to come at all.
I was even more pleased because:
All the hallmarks off someone who got off the sofa
My personal benchmark for success as you know.
His family were all in with him, just so helpful when you want to go ahead with a business idea and he was just beaming with excitement.
How could I not be excited for him too?
Now I don’t offer unsolicited advice as a rule but he did ask if I had any suggestions for him.
I did a quick search online on my phone and suggested he looked at the following sites, because he had not done any other real life research as he called it, up to this point.
All found in 10 minutes!
NCASS: The catering industry body for advice and guidance about all Food Truck Business related stuff UK wide catering.
You will need to know the ins and outs of health and safety and all manner of rules and regulations so this was a good place to begin.
Street Trading Licence: you can check your postcode to see if you need a licence
Access Point: An agency that can help locate the best place for your business, they help multi nationals down to market traders for a fee. They can also assist with marketing campaigns to get you off the ground in a new area.
Food Truckr: American, Pat Flynn the best in the business and he started his own website and podcast about the industry.
His an online superstar when it comes to business and I HIGHLY recommend his advice.
He is a very respected individual by his peers.
Food Truck Business Plan: A useful tool from a Boston based food company.
I thought it was great information to share with any ambition trucker anywhere in the world.
Perfect to answer the question about how to start up a food truck business.
The Festival Calendar (UK): From Music to Marmalade Festivals all over the UK, updated each year.
A gold mine of information about where to take your truck if you don't want to be static in the city and want to head out on an adventure around the country.
In addition to that "on the fly" information I also found a load of books on Amazon to help you if you want to start a Food Truck Business so here they are:
I left him in the car park, he was on a cloud of excitement and I just know he will be a success.
I wonder if I will ever see him again for an update, who knows?
Anyway, I am so glad I bumped into him, he made my day.
I hope I made his: 0