If it’s too big, don’t buy it
Because space is such a precious commodity in food trucks, don’t go buying overly large kitchen equipment that might not fit. Make a list of all the things you need for your mobile kitchen – for example, stovetops and freezers – and try to find exactly the right dimensions to fit into your kitchen.
Starting your food truck business can be intimidating, especially when you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty details of budgeting. Here are some tips on how to keep your basic costs down.
If you don’t have your truck yet, consider getting a second hand one instead. Alternatively, you can also get a pickup truck for around Rp50-150 million, depending on its condition.
You need to be realistic when customising your truck. Get carried away and the costs of the modifications will end up being more than the cost of the truck itself! However, almost all food trucks need to be customised, so there’s no getting around it. Some traditional Indonesian food trucks may need only around Rp15-50 million of customisation, but if you want to make yours more unique, the costs will go up. Consider making the modifications in instalments so you don’t have to worry about spending too much before you even start operating.
List down the essentials you need to operate your food truck business and try to prioritise the things you need most. For example, if one of your main selling points is coffee, list the coffee maker as an item that needs to be purchased as soon as possible. Prioritising your operation necessities lets you slowly expand your food truck offerings without making a huge dent in your profits.
Have at least 6-12 months’ operational costs ready in advance. Business may not pick up right away, and this gives you a financial buffer so you don’t end up running out of money while your food truck is just starting out. Remember to budget for ingredient costs, your employee salaries and truck upkeep (gasoline, maintenance, or park fees). So, if your monthly cost is around Rp5 million, then you should have at least around Rp30-60 million saved up before you go into business.