Street and strip mall vending carts have been around for longer than most people may even realize. Throughout major cities such as Philly, NYC and Chicago, they are not only known but they are depended on for things such as lunch, the morning paper and novelty trinkets.
If this type of service is of interest to you, there are a few things you may need to know before you dive in. This lucrative and independent line of work can be a very rewarding career change, provided it is done with right.
Here are few things that you should consider before starting your own cart or food truck business:
Tip #1: Take a look at the need and location of a potential street marketing operation. You want to really make sure that you have ample access to foot traffic and easy accessibility for them. Major cities and industrial areas tend to lend the best return on investment, so start looking there.
Tip #2: Inquire locally and within your state to see what rules and regulations apply to street vending. Local ordinances change from town to town, so be certain to check with your township about things such as merchant and peddling licenses, advertising and location of cart.
Tip #3: Determine what you would like to sell. Rules and regulations are different based on the type of merchandise you are looking to dispense. Try to pigeon hole your business and not offer too much of a variety. Create a “niche” for yourself and then investigate whether or not you can open your own station with it.
Tip #4: Apply for and follow up with all necessary permits required to start your business. In some cases, this is not a terribly difficult thing to do, but it could be time consuming. If you wait until the last minute, you may not be fully operational until you receive the appropriate paperwork.
Tip #5: Contact wholesale merchants and distributors to get price sheets and establish an account. When you are ready to start your business, this will be one less thing that you will have to worry about. If you are close to operational, then order a larger shipment for your first order. This will aid in determining how often you will need to re-order without the fear of running out of anything.
Tip #6: Gather and price promotional gear and order “grand opening” flyers for local business distribution. Offer free samples if you are able. Promoting your business may cost money in the beginning, but with enough elbow grease and the right work ethic, it will come back to you three-fold.
Creating a custom food and beverage cart can be overwhelming for those who attempt to do it themselves. Presentation and ease of operation are only a few of the things that need to be considered when building a work station. Visit our gallery to view our extensive line of merchandise and beverage carts, trikes and food trucks.