How to have a food truck in Tennessee

POR Hispanic Entrepreneurs May 27, 2022

Having a mobile food or food truck sale in Tennessee has its challenges, but also advantages, such as the possibility of settling in different places and reaching more customers. It is a type of company that has caught the attention of both investors and customers. Find out what you need to get started in the food truck business with this summary that we do in Hispanic Entrepreneurs.

Food trucks or food trucks in Tennessee: an opportunity to undertake

Around the food carts there has been a frenzy that we are witnessing in cities like Memphis, Nashville, and generally throughout Tennessee.

Everywhere there are customers willing to try a new offer of food. And for someone who wants to start their own business, this is a great opportunity. As long as you are willing to make all the effort that is required.

Having a food truck in Tennessee involves more work than just sharing your recipes with customers. There are a series of requirements that must be met, permits to process. And the hours are not limited to the time you are working. You'll also have to worry about vehicle maintenance, buying ingredients, keeping up with insurance ... to name a few tasks.

It's a lot of work, but it's worth the investment. You will be the owner of your own business, with all the advantages and challenges that this implies. You will have the freedom to choose the menu you are going to offer, where and when you are going to sell.

Also, you will not be limited to a single location. You can move with your vehicle through different points of the city. This means more clients and work when you want.

Generally, Tennessee food truck owners have no employees, they take care of everything themselves. This is both an advantage and a challenge, because while everything will be done your way, you will have more responsibilities. And, in the event that you decide to have staff under your charge, you will take care of hiring it yourself.

What do you need to start in the food truck business

If you are interested in investing in this business and being part of the mobile food sales community, this is all you need to know.

Prepare the budget

The most important aspect before starting your business is making sure you have the necessary budget. There are a variety of expenses you should consider, starting with buying the right vehicle.

You can buy the new or used vehicle. This last option is cheaper, but you must ensure that it complies with state regulations. You also have the possibility to rent it or invest in a franchise, but in this case you will not have control over the products.

Buying the vehicle to use it from food trucks in Tennessee is a one-time expense, but maintenance will be recurring. Consider what maintenance, fuel and cleaning will cost. In addition to preparation, such as painting and arranging to adapt the image to the business.

The initial purchase of food is also a one-time expense. In addition to the utensils you will need. Later you will renew the inventory with the profits. Other expenses to consider to have a food truck are:

  1. Payment of the inspection.
  2. Electricity generator.
  3. Payment of insurance and licenses.
  4. Insurance of both the business and the vehicle.

These are some of the most important expenses, which also include initial marketing and promotion.

Buy the vehicle

We mentioned that the vehicle will be the main expense to start your business. This must meet certain standards to be able to operate in the food sales business.

Mobile food preparation vehicles must comply with the following rules:

  1. They must be designed for the sale of food. The kitchen must be inside the vehicle or in a trailer.
  2. A mobile food preparation license must be obtained to start operating.
  3. They must have the business name and permit number in a visible place.
  4. The driver must have a Tennessee state driver's license.
  5. The vehicle should only be used for the sale of food.
  6. The areas where the food is should be free of animals and pests.
  7. Cleaning products should be stored away from food.

Each city has its own food truck regulations. Make sure you know them before you start the business.

Permits and regulations

Like any other food business, you must register and obtain the necessary permits. You will need a business license and employer number (EIN). If you are going to hire workers you need the federal and state EIN.

Additionally, the Health Department will inspect the vehicle before granting you the mobile meal preparation license. This may also require that you obtain a food handling certificate.

Along with all this, remember to choose the right type of company. Because depending on the structure you will know what taxes should you pay.

Having a food sale vehicle implies knowing the commercial areas where you can operate. These will be delimited by local authorities and the health department. It should be borne in mind that there are regulations regarding the hours and distances of certain spaces such as schools, business centers or restaurants.

Are you ready to invest? You already know what you need to get started in the food truck business. Get ready to start your own mobile food sales company. You want to read more articles, we recommend articles like "Hispanic business owners own more than 20% of new companies."

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