Food trucks are now simply part of the gastro scene. The culinary concepts of the food truck chefs are popular. You want to offer street food from a food truck yourself? Ask a transport company from sydney or pay attention to a few things. Here you will find what you need to know!
In this blog article you will learn everything about food trucks and at the end you can find out what you need to consider if you want to open a food truck yourself:
Opening a food truck – the first customers were cowboys
Foodtrucks are an American invention. There, the mobile kitchens, as they are also often called, have been known for a long time. On Manhattan’s streets, people line up at lunchtime for tacos or dim sum, for example. Trucks have been part of the American way of life since the 1860s. In the 19th century, so-called “chuck wagons” supplied cowboys with beans, dried meat, coffee and cookies. Finally, around the turn of the century, clever entrepreneurs began using mobile snack wagons, “roach coaches,” to drive to construction sites in major American cities and offer workers a nutritious snack. Then, beginning in the late 19th century, “night lunch wagons” provided food to shift workers in New York and other major cities. The 20th century saw the addition of mobile army canteens, jingling ice cream trucks, hot dog stands and taco trucks that brought Mexican street food culture to the United States. At the time, mobile food was considered cheap, unhealthy and proletarian. Then, with the incredible success of a Korean taco truck, the image changed. Roy Choi, now an award-winning chef, served fusion dishes like kimchi quesadillas and Korean burritos at rotating locations. It didn’t take long for the Kogi Truck to become a social media hit. Enthusiastic fans follow him on Twitter and Facebook, flocking whenever the truck stops nearby.
The food truck conquers Germany
Here in Germany, food trucks are creating new momentum in the gastronomic landscape. Thanks to them, we Germans have also understood for some years now that street food doesn’t necessarily have to mean “One curry sausage with French fries, please!” The restored and beautifully designed, nostalgic food trucks serve really good and fast food on wheels, often without flavor enhancers and not infrequently in organic quality. It’s not only in major German cities that they delight hungry people with a wide variety of offerings: Potato pancakes, burgers, Allgäuer Kässpätzle, wraps and crepes or curries – all incredibly delicious and always freshly prepared. Most trucks focus on a particular specialty. Food truck owners announce their current stand locations either on their website or via Facebook. For more tips on how you can make the most of social media channels as a restaurateur, click here.
Three great examples of German food trucks: Erna & Co., Swagman and Burger de Ville
1 Erna & Co.: Erna has been touring the Ländle (Baden-Württemberg) region since March 2011, making it one of the oldest food trucks in Germany. The two owners, both of whom have degrees in business administration, offer delicious Maultaschen and other Swabian originals such as potato salad, spaetzle and meatballs at various locations around Stuttgart. In the meantime, Erna & Co. has developed into Stuttgart’s largest food truck company.
2 Swagman: In mid-2011, the starting signal was given for the first Swagman – as migrant workers are called in Australia. Since then, Andrea Übelhack and Peter Appel have been touring Bayreuth with Truck No. 1. With their Swagman No. 2, they have also been on the road in Nuremberg since November 2012. They have five dishes plus a dessert on offer. They announce the exact locations on their Facebook page. Since 2017, the now three food trucks have been joined by a Swagman Roadhouse in Bayreuth.
3 Burger de Ville: The Burger de Ville food truck was pretty much a permanent fixture at Hardenbergstraße 29a in Berlin until Bikini Berlin opened. Here, Jürgen Klümper serves burgers whose patties are made with 100 percent Angus beef, hand-cut fries and homemade sauces. Success led to a restaurant at Kranzler Eck on Ku’damm and a partnership with the 25h hotel chain in Hamburg, Munich and Vienna. It’s worth a visit!
Mobile and yet stationary: The problem with stand locations
Every food truck owner knows the problem: Where can I put my food truck without getting into trouble with the authorities? In Germany, food truck owners need permits to stand in public places. These have to be applied for at the responsible road construction office. Unfortunately, this often makes it very difficult to get good stand locations. In Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, for example, local authorities are very sparing in issuing licenses for public stands. Their concerns: food trucks don’t fit into the cityscape and lead to dirt and noise for residents. For this reason, most food trucks mainly patrol weekly markets, industrial parks or the parking lots in front of clubs and large businesses, because operators can usually rent the stands privately there. If you want to start your own food truck, it is best to park your mobile gastronomy vehicle on a private property, for example, that of a company. With your street food on your menu, you will certainly offer a welcome change from the canteen and the usual snack.
Open your own food truck
You want to become the proud owner of a food truck and wonder what you need for it? If you want to enter the food truck business as a restaurateur, there are a few things to consider before you start. The possibility of opening a mobile gastro, with which you are free and independent, sounds very tempting. However, there are also stumbling blocks and legal regulations that you as a restaurateur must observe. But before you get permission from the authorities, you should create a business plan. This will help you to maintain an overview and to have a good basis for obtaining a bank loan. Help on how to conduct the interview with your bank can be found here.
Of course, going to the trade office is also part of the process. Typical legal forms for your mobile gastronomy are the GbR (Gesellschaft bürgerlichen Rechts), the UG and self-employed as a sole proprietor. All legal forms have their advantages and disadvantages, which you should consider. A start-up in the catering industry always requires permits from the health department. If you want to bring your street food to the people in a truck, you have to register a travel trade at your responsible regulatory or district office. After the successful approvals, you will receive a travel business card, which you must always carry with you when you are on the road with your food truck. If you are not sure how long you want to keep your food truck, because you still want to try out this kind of gastronomy, you can also limit the time of your travel business. And to save costs in the short term, simply sign a contract for a rental kitchen. In some German cities, including Berlin, the Veterinary and Food Inspection Office also requires a contract with a catering rental kitchen. Once you have completed these formalities, you can open your food truck.