How to find the perfect spot for your food truck

Without the right parking space, your food truck is in a lost cause. Read here how to find the right pitch and what to look out for when researching.

Two people stand in a sales trailer and smile at the camera

Are you thinking about buying a food truck, brooding over a concept and wondering how to find the right location? One thing first: without the right location, your street food business will have little chance of a successful future, no matter how good your concept or the quality of your food. But how do you actually find the right location for your sales trailer? Read here to find out what you need to consider when researching, what costs you should expect and what permits you might need.

Is a mobile sales stand on private property worth it?

Sites for sales trailers and food trucks can be divided into two main categories. On the one hand, you can set up your mobile sales stand on private property. These can be car parks of supermarkets, furniture shops or car dealerships, for example. If you want to set up your food truck here, you need the permission of the respective owner. If you do not want to park your food truck on private property, it is usually a public area. This means parks, pedestrian zones or similar. In order to stand there, you need the permission of the respective city, municipality or administration. It doesn’t matter whether you choose the marketplace or a food truck on private property. As a rule, the better the location, the higher the costs. Or to put it another way: more people, more parking space fees.

How much does a food truck pitch cost?

As mentioned above, you usually pay rent or fees for your food truck parking space. However, different rules apply to public spaces such as pedestrian zones, train stations or parks. Local regulations vary considerably depending on the municipality. Here, it is the local authorities and offices that you must contact once you have found a potential parking space. It is therefore difficult to give a general estimate of how much your food truck parking space will cost. Depending on the rent and the necessary permits, the costs can vary considerably and even reach four figures. A travel business permit can cost as little as 400 euros. Since there are also fees for business registrations and other documents, this is a cost block you should take into account.

How to find a parking space for your food truck

On the internet, you can easily look for parking spaces on portals such as Ebay Kleinanzeigen. Here, spaces are often offered in the car parks of DIY stores or shopping centres. You can also use Google Maps to get an overview of your region. You should look for places that are well frequented and therefore offer high customer potential. These can be, for example, traffic junctions, industrial estates and office complexes or shopping arcades and centres. Google also offers you the direct option of searching for restaurants and competitors in the area. But this is only half the battle. In any case, you should check out where other food trucks are located in your area. This will give you a feel for the local market. You will see what is in demand, where there is already an offer and where there might be gaps that you can close. It is often said that competition stimulates business. Nevertheless, you should take a close look at what is already available. The fourth burger trailer in one location will hardly be profitable. However, if the different concepts complement each other, chances are that you and your competitors will profit. So the difference between a good and a bad pitch depends a lot on the location and the audience there. Both have to be right for you. Is there enough foot traffic on site? Does the local audience fit your concept and pricing, or are you perhaps targeting the wrong audience for the location?

Why it makes sense to change your location

The search for a suitable location for your street food is not that easy. Once you have found a suitable place, it seems to make sense to stay there, but does that make sense? If you stay at one location, you limit your customer potential. The advantage of a sales trailer is of course its flexibility. You are not forced to stay at one and the same location. Depending on the location, it can be worthwhile to vary the location of your food truck. But be careful, you will need a travel trade permit for this. You should also consider visiting street food festivals. Such festivals offer you several advantages. You can make contacts with other food truck owners and operators, find out about current trends, news from the scene or other food truck locations, and gain inspiration for your own concept.

Make your food truck findable

Unfortunately, a well-frequented stand alone is no guarantee of sales. So try to draw attention to yourself as much as possible.

  • Use social media channels like Facebook and Instagram to connect with your customers. This is also the ideal way to keep them informed about changing locations.
  • Despite digitalisation, it can still be worthwhile to use classic advertisements and press work to increase awareness of your snack bar.
  • Use flyers and posters in the immediate vicinity. For example, if your location is in the middle of an office complex or a business park, you can of course distribute flyers directly on site to attract potential customers.
  • You can also register on platforms like Craftplaces. If you are listed here, it will be easier for customers to find you and your food truck parking space.

Conclusion

In summary, it can be said that the location, the audience and the concept have to fit together. The best concept is of no use if your pricing does not match the audience or if you and your snack van lack the necessary publicity. It is therefore worthwhile to invest time and perhaps money in publicity measures and advertising. If you carefully analyse the potential location in terms of clientele, competition and costs, you are already well on the way to success. But don’t forget to gather all the necessary documents and permits before you start your food truck.

Benjamin
Benjamin

Benjamin, der Autor dieses Beitrags, ist von Beginn an bei BuddyStar dabei und kümmert sich um das Marketing. Der leidenschaftliche Hobbykoch hat eine Vorliebe für Street-Food und reist gerne in ferne Länder, wo er immer wieder neue Food-Kreationen für sich entdeckt.

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