How to start a food truck business in 2024 – HungryWheels

How to start food truck business in 2024

In India, cuisine changes every 100 km, plus global cuisines are entering our plates and homes through holidays and movies – so it is natural and smart to ask how to start a food truck business in 2024

But… before you go further – PAUSE! If you don’t go to the office in a truck – why should your brand?

As an ex-Army Colonel’s company, with 8 years of tests and trials and the first mobile kitchen company with 100% compliance – we do business the clean way. Hence, it is our duty to warn you about the non-stop issues and long term losses of choosing a truck to set-up your kitchen – it is daunting and downright a dirty business.

Why, when you seem to see more trucks hitting the road? Pause again, ask yourself if any respectable brand is scaling with food trucks? Some may start a food truck or two made by a jugaad local kitchen maker or a metal fabricator in a shed, but no one is able to scale with jugaad. Why, you may ask again?

  • Trucks are meant for trucking that’s just what they can do, so food truck business licenses are a grey area, plus working environment is unhealthy and this harms brand image.
  • Jugaad fabricators with zero engineering or even dangerneering and zero-testing are risking your brand, your dream and your customers.
  • Children, women and the elderly need to climb four steps to get to a truck like in a factory – making your brand super customer un-friendly.

Ask yourself if you really want to load your brand with the problems of being inside trucks with their unfriendliness, odd-looks, and jugaad design plus local fabrication? Trucks with kitchens cause headaches and heartburn for your staff, and administrative teams and undermine your brand-building efforts due to it being a grey area in terms of licensing too.

We agree that its smart to think about starting a food truck business in 2024.

Squarecle white on orange HungryWheels logo

Food is an evergreen business, tastes may differ from person to person, but one thing’s for certain: everyone needs to eat and now you can move where demand is waiting… and hungry. With so many potential customers, and such a wide variety of dish offerings in India, no matter how many food brands enter the market, there’s always room for one more. 

Now that you have understood why you must not choose a food truck, let’s discuss how to start a food truck business in 2024: 

Start by knowing exactly why you want a mobile kitchen:

  1. Don’t want to waste money on exorbitant rentals
  2. Want a solution to franchise shut-downs
  3. Looking to grow your brand faster than your competition
  4. Ready to grow your brand beyond the mall food court
  5. Want to have a compliant and designer product


If your answer is any of the above then you are ready to start a food truck business in 2024, and here are a detailed guide to start a food truck business to get you started.

Amidst the evolving tastes and preferences of consumers who are mobile, launching a food truck business requires strategic planning, careful consideration of market trends, and adherence to regulatory requirements.

Whether you dream of serving up delhi chats, chole bhature, Japanese sushi, gourmet burgers, kadi chawal, artisanal tacos, or vegan delights, mastering the art of mobile outdoor dining in 2024 is your gateway to culinary success on the move.

In the bustling culinary landscape of 2024, the growing allure of mobile outdoor dining continues to captivate both entrepreneurs and foodies alike. With the demand for unique dining experiences on the rise, starting a food truck / mobile kitchens presents an enticing opportunity for those with a passion for cooking and a flair for creating happy experiences.

But navigating the intricacies of launching a successful venture amidst evolving consumer preferences and regulatory frameworks requires careful planning, strategic execution and a manufacturing partner who will take away the headaches.

From crafting a standout menu to securing the right permits, mastering the art of the How to start food truck business in 2024 demands a blend of creativity, resilience, and business acumen.

The food industry continues to flourish, offering delicious cuisine and entrepreneurial possibilities. But before you hit the road, careful planning is essential.

How To Start food truck Business In 2024
(A guide to navigate through the key steps)

What are the types of food trucks and what is right for you:

-Don’t you want the most beautiful vehicle for yourself, then why not for your brand?
-Don’t you want products that give no headaches, then why not for your brand?
-Don’t you want machinery from brands that test rigorously and works with ease – then why not for your brand?
-Don’t you want good vibes for yourself – then why not for your customers?

Introducing The future of Food Trucks Business – Food POD.

Food PODs are modern, beautiful, tested for over 8 years across India, plus they are India’s first 100% FSSAI compliant, 100% zero emission, 100% customer friendly mobile kitchen with restaurant grade infrastructure that makes doing business a breeze. They make food business a breeze. 

Just for your ease, from here onwards, we will use food truck and Food POD interchangeably.


How to buy a food truck with no money?

How To Start Food Cart Business in India

If you’re eager to start a food business but lack the upfront funds to purchase a food truck, there are still avenues you can explore to make your dream a reality. The smartest option is to start a Food POD instead, which requires minimal to zero initial investment than jugaad food trucks.

HungryWheels is India’s first Food POD company presenting an alternative to food trucks and provides financing options or loans to help entrepreneurs get started with exciting offers of Zero Down Payment and Zero Collateral available (for customers that qualify).

While buying a food POD with no money upfront may seem too good to be true, exploring financing options from HungryWheels can help you overcome financial barriers and turn your culinary dreams into reality. With determination, creativity, and strategic planning, you can successfully launch and grow a thriving food business on wheels.

Research and Concept Development:

Before hitting the streets with your food truck/ POD, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research and develop a unique concept that sets you apart from the competition. Start by exploring the local food scene to identify gaps or opportunities where your brand can fill a niche.

Consider factors such as demographics, dietary trends, and popular cuisines to tailor your concept to the tastes and preferences of your target audience. Whether you’re passionate about Indian, American, SE Asian, Chinese or ethnic street food, or plant-protein, choose a culinary niche that aligns with your brand, skills, interests, and market demand. You can get to top Food & Menu Consultans – click here.

Create a Business Plan for food truck business 

With your concept in mind, it’s time to create a comprehensive business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections. Your business plan should include details such as startup costs, operating expenses, pricing strategies, and revenue projections.

Consider factors such as menu pricing, ingredient sourcing, and overhead costs when estimating your budget. Additionally, outline your marketing plan, including strategies for building brand awareness, attracting customers, and leveraging social media and other digital platforms to promote your food truck/ Food POD. You can get your business projections in one click here.

Obtain Necessary Permits and Licences:

Before you can start serving up delicious dishes from your food truck/ Food POD, you’ll need to navigate the complex world of permits and licences. The requirements for food trucks are complex and vary depending on your location, so it’s essential to research the specific regulations governing food trucks in your area – in most cities food trucks are not legally allowed, but Food PODs are allowed, as each Food POD comes with FSSAI compliance certificate, HSRP RTO registration and National Insurance.

Typically, you’ll need permits for food service, health and safety inspections (if you are using gas), and mobile vending/ business licence. Additionally, you may need to obtain parking permits for the location/s you intent to do business in. Be prepared to provide documentation such as proof of insurance, FSSAI certification for your vehicle, and RTO HSRP Registration to comply with local regulations.

How to pick the best food truck POS software and system

Selecting a POS system for a food truck is a 3 step check – prioritise mobility (handheld/ wall mount over desktop), ease of use (easy to punch buttons or phone/ tablet screen), and integration capabilities (with UPI, credit cards and take-away platforms like Swiggy, Zomato etc.). First, ensure the hardware is compact and robust enough for the limited space and varied conditions of a food truck/ Food POD.

Second, choose software that is intuitive, allowing quick training and efficient operation during busy times – you don’t want to struggle to generate bills when the que is long already. Third, opt for a system that integrates seamlessly with inventory management, accounting, and online ordering platforms. To decide, test different systems for user experience, consult reviews and case studies from similar businesses, and evaluate customer support responsiveness to ensure reliability and suitability for your specific needs.

Hiring, staff-comfort and staff retention is a key to success

Staff in a jugaad food truck operating in a hot and humid climate often face overheating, dehydration, and equipment malfunctions. We remember many press articles sharing the plight of staff in trucks of Bombay Food Truck Company, Faasos Food Truck etc.

To prevent overheating, and to make the workspace a happy space HungryWheels Food PODs come with portable fans, proper ventilation, and ultra-high grade insulation. For dehydration, we recommend ensure an ample supply of cold water and encourage frequent hydration breaks.

To address equipment malfunctions due to humidity, use high-quality, weather-resistant equipment and perform regular maintenance. Additionally, consider implementing a shaded outdoor area for breaks and providing occasional cool treats like ice cream or cold beverages. Prioritise a supportive and communicative work environment to maintain morale and demonstrate appreciation for their hard work in challenging conditions.

Choose the Right Equipment and Supplies:

Start by designing your food truck/ Food POD kitchen layout to optimise workflow and customer service while creating an inviting and functional space for both customers and staff. Equipping your food truck with restaurant grade MEP and the right tools and supplies is essential for smooth operations and culinary success.

Invest in FSSAI approved and quick-speed kitchen equipment that maximises space and efficiency while allowing you to prepare and serve your menu items with precision and speed. Consider factors such as cooking capacity, storage space, and energy efficiency when selecting appliances such as grills, fryers, refrigerators, and food warmers.

Additionally, stock up on essential supplies such as utensils, serving containers, napkins, and cleaning supplies to ensure that your food truck is well-equipped to handle the demands of daily operations.

Design Your Food Truck and Branding:

Your food truck no matter what you paint and sticker it with will look like a TRUCK! Food PODs on the other hand are designed for ultra-high branding impact and this plays a crucial role in attracting customers and distinguishing your business in a crowded marketplace.

Work with a professional graphics designer, or an artst to create a visually appealing design and incorporate your logo, signage, and branding materials into it, so that the exterior reflects your concept and culinary identity.

Consider elements such as colour scheme, typography, and imagery that convey your brand personality and resonate with your target audience. Each Food POD comes with 360 degree branding options, and you can choose between a full POD wrap plus that lasts up to 3 years and also an overhead neon or backlit signage, to attract the bhukkads after dark. 

Pick the best Food Truck manufacturer in India:

In a world with a 1000 me-too claims, best means what? We recommend you choose an automotive grade and approved manufacturer and not a kitchen/ Stainless Steel fabricator or a Jugaad metal fabricator. Broadly described, choosing an unapproved, unscientific metal fabricator with zero design skills for making a long-lasting mobile kitchen can lead to several significant risks. Here are the top seven:

  1. Safety Hazards:
    Structural Integrity: Poor design and fabrication can compromise the structural integrity of the food truck, leading to potential collapses or failures during operation.

    Electrical and Gas Risks: Inadequate handling of electrical wiring and gas lines can result in serious hazards such as fires, explosions, and electrocution, which are just a ticking time bomb in any Indian truck. Just close your eyes and try to remember how many times have you seen a truck whose fuel tank wasn’t leaking!

    Food PODs are 100% compliant with IT Parks Act, Airport Authority of India, and FSSAI – HungryWheels is an MSME Deparment approved and DPIT recognised Start-up that is the first POD manufacturer that is approved for sales pan-India. This is the reason that TATA Group owned Taj Hotels, ITC Hotels and Manipal Group are our customers.
  2. Non-Compliance with Health and Safety Regulations:
    Food trucks are for trucking so lack the ability to meet the new and stringent FSSAI, health and safety permit requirements. An unapproved fabricator may not be familiar with these regulations, leading to non-compliance issues that can result in fines, legal action, or shutdowns by health inspectors. But they don’t care, because the vehicle is made by some other company and they just make a box on top, and with zero certificates.

    Food PODs on the other hand are 100% Conceived and Made In India, with FSSAI compliance, national permit HSRP Number plates and pan-India Insurance. Making it super easy to do business anywhere and anytime.
  3. Poor Quality and Durability:
    Substandard materials and craftsmanship can lead to rapid wear and tear, frequent breakdowns, and a shorter lifespan of the food truck, the equipment and therefore your business and brand. This increases maintenance costs and downtime, negatively impacting the business. Most trucks need to be operated 100km minimum per day for lasting their full 15 yearsd life, anything lesser leads to engine troubles and increase in maintenance costs and downtime, harming your growth plans.

    Food PODs on the other hand use world class material science, are made from Aluminium used in aircraft and only the top quality green Stainless Steel which is approved by FSSAI. They also have the lowest maintenance cost of a few thousand rupees across their 30 years life, plus an assured zero down time.
  4. Inefficient Layout and Design:
    A fabricator with no design skills may create an inefficient layout that hampers workflow, leading to slower service, increased wait times for customers, and higher stress levels for staff. This can reduce overall productivity and profitability.

    Food PODs are the happiest space to work on wheels, with ample sunlight to help you grow, open accessible kitchens to build brand loyalty through transparency and a layout that accommodates 6 chefs with ease and dishes out 500 meals per service.
  5. Lack of Proper Insulation and Ventilation:
    Proper insulation is critical for maintaining the correct temperature for food storage and preparation. Poor ventilation can lead to overheating, uncomfortable working conditions, and potential health hazards from fumes and smoke.

    Food PODs are the coolest space to work on wheels, insulated with green materials to protect you, raw-food and your customers from come rain, cold or sunlight to help you grow with ease and create happy experiences without worry.
  6. Aesthetic and Branding Issues:
    The visual appeal and branding of a food truck are crucial for attracting customers. A fabricator lacking design skills may produce an unattractive or unprofessional appearance, which can deter potential customers and harm the business’s image.

    Food PODs are Insta friendly, make your brand customer friendly and provide your brand with ultra-high visibility that creates brand recall and attracts customers.
  7. Increased Costs in the Long Run:
    Initial savings from choosing a cheaper, unapproved fabricator can be quickly offset by the costs of repairs, modifications, and compliance corrections. Additionally, the potential loss of business due to safety violations or a poor reputation can be financially devastating.

    Food PODs mean no worry. They have the lowest annual maintenance cost of a few thousand rupees across their 30 years life, plus an assured zero down time, no need for engine repairs. Go ahead, grow fearlessly.

Retail is Location! Location! Location!

Choosing the location of their stores is a critical strategic decision for global giants and national chains and anyone doing brick and mortar business eg. for brands like McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coffee Day, etc. Their approaches are highly sophisticated, leveraging data analytics, market research, and a deep understanding of customer behaviour.

LOCATION IS DEAD because these approaches are unnecessary and fail when you run your business on a Food POD. As you can move where demand moves, you are not stuck and you can be in front of your demand by changing location and making your brand presence felt anytime, anywhere.

Build a Strong Online Presence:
Aaj ki digial duniya mein, people are always looking for something nearby and on their phone. So, having a strong online presence is essential for reaching and engaging with customers effectively, and calling to where you are parked.

Leverage social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to showcase your menu items, share behind-the-scenes glimpses of your food truck/ Food POD, and interact with your followers ensuring they think of walking up to you when you are parked nearby.

Create engaging content such as mouth-watering food photos, recipe videos, or even live feeds of the kitchens and customer testimonials to build trust, excitement and loyalty around your brand.

Additionally, invest in a mobile-responsive website where customers can easily find information about your menu, schedule, and locations scheudle, as well as place orders or book you for catering/ event services that become revenue multipliers of off days like Monday and office holidays.

Launch and Market Your Food Truck:
With everything in place, it’s time to launch your Food POD/ food truck and hit the streets! Host a grand opening event to generate buzz and attract customers to your food truck, offering special promotions or combos or samples to entice people to try your food.

Partner with local businesses, events, office complexes, apartments, villa settlements and festivals to expand your reach and visibility, and consider offering catering services for private events, corporate functions, kids birthdays and weddings plus more.

Continuously monitor and adjust your marketing strategies based on customer feedback and market trends to keep your food truck top of mind and you can implement loyalty programmes to build a loyal customer base that follows you where you go.

FAQ: How to start a food truck business (OOPS! We meant food POD business)  in 2024?

Q: What are the first steps to starting a food truck business (OOPS! We meant food POD business)  in 2024?

A: The initial steps to launch a food truck business (OOPS! We meant food POD business)  in 2024 include conducting thorough market research, developing a unique concept, creating a comprehensive business plan, and obtaining necessary permits and licenses.

Q: How important is concept development in starting a food truck / Food POD business?

A: Concept development is crucial as it sets the foundation for your food truck business. Your concept should be unique, appealing to your target audience, and aligned with current culinary trends. It’s essential to differentiate your truck from competitors and offer something compelling and memorable to customers.

Q: What permits and licenses are required to operate a food truck in 2024?

A: The permits and licenses required to operate a food POD vary depending on your location, and trucks usually don’t get permits. However, common permits include health and safety permits, mobile vending permits, business licenses, and parking permits. It’s essential to research and comply with all relevant regulations to ensure legal operation, HungryWheels Food POD comes with RTO, FSSAI, and Insurance.

Q: How can I attract customers to my food truck in 2024?

A: In 2024, attracting customers to your food truck requires a combination of effective marketing strategies and delivering high-quality food and service. Maximise social media platforms, participate in local events and festivals, offer promotions, and focus on providing a memorable dining experience to build a loyal customer base.

Q: What are some tips for managing and operating a food truck successfully in 2024?

A: To operate a food truck/ Food POD successfully in 2024, it’s essential to prioritise efficiency, consistency, and customer satisfaction. Streamline your operations, maintain high standards of food quality and cleanliness, stay adaptable to changing consumer preferences, and continually innovate to keep your menu fresh and exciting.

Q: How can I stay competitive in the mobile food industry in 2024?

A: Staying competitive in the industry in 2024 requires staying ahead of the game and taking a future ready Food POD, plus staying informed about culinary trends, listening to customer feedback, and continually refining your offerings. Keep your menu diverse, experiment with new flavours and ingredients, and differentiate your truck through branding, customer service, and unique experiences.

Summary of how to start a food truck in 2024:

Starting a food truck business (OOPS! We meant food POD business) in 2024 offers a unique opportunity to grow your brand, or turning your culinary passion into a profitable and rewarding venture.

By following these essential steps and staying adaptable to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics, you can embark on a successful journey to become a prominent player in the vibrant world of mobile dining.

What you are looking for is the future of food trucks that remove the hurdles and make life easier for you. After all you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money only to realise in 18 months that you got cheated.

So, fire up those grills, sharpen those knives, and get ready to serve up delicious dishes that leave a lasting impression on hungry customers across the streets of your city with Food PODs! Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a budding entrepreneur, learning how to start food truck business (OOPS! We meant food POD business)  in 2024 is your ticket to culinary success on the move.

Contact us today to start your Food POD chain in 45 days.
HungryWheels – India’s first mobile real-estate POD

Vikram Sood

Mobility architect, system designer, and ecosystem builder
Since 2012, he has developed various scalable vehicle platforms and solutions for retail, logistics, and defense. As a possibilist, futurist, and innovator, Vikram’s designs have powered the success of Food POD mobile kitchens at ITC, TAJ Hotels, Qmin, Manipal Group, and more.

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