Starting a food truck business is hard, which is why there have been so many resources built online and in local areas to help guide new owners to making the right decisions towards a successful truck; much like us here. In this great day and age of information, we’re lucky in how many things we can each find to answer questions and help us in detail with topics and areas of business we may not understand. And for those really in need, finding a fully in-depth book on the subject is just an Amazon search away to see a whole listing of different texts written about your required subject: in this case, Food Trucks. If you’re starting one up soon, though, we suggest looking to get at least one of these following five books to help you through the long process of beginning and then RUNNING your operation.
The Food Truck Handbook: Start, Grow, and Succeed in the Mobile Food Business – David Weber
Seemingly the definitive guide for any new food truck owner, and even those already in the business. Former truck owner and advocator himself, David Weber provides a complete, practical step-by-step advice to succeeding in this industry with REALISTIC and accurate portrayal of the streets and what you need to do to keep your truck running and profitable, from gaining a loyal following to detailing operations to expansion. It also comes chock-full of templates and other helpful resources for opening/closing checklists, determining vending locations, building a business plan, and more.
Running a Food Truck For Dummies – Richard Myrick
There’s also ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Starting a Food Truck,’ but we figured one insulting title was enough in this list. Yes, the classic resource for complete startup of any new project by people who don’t know a lick about it have created a resource for Food Trucks. The thick handbook covers every single important point of the business, such as figuring out food, taking care of finances, and handling maintenance both preventative and not-so-much, highlighting the key important contents of each. They don’t always get into the finer details and in-depth requirements of some subjects, so one should take this as a full-on ‘study guide’ to help you along each path, where you’ll need to finish the exact details on your own knowledge and skills or via one of these other books.
L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food – Roy Choi
Okay, it may not be the most technically helpful and informative resource to assist with all the start-up details for your food truck business, but one really can’t head into this industry without reading the story of the Godfather of West Coast Food Trucks, Roy Choi; much like how anyone getting into restaurants should read Anthony Bourdain’s infamous first work. From childhood to his first years in the business, this read is filled with the stories that guided his life and love of food.
The Food Truck Startup Series – Andrew Moorehouse
A collection of handbooks detailing different important aspects of, well, ‘starting up’ your food truck business. Beginning with an overall guide to general Startup, either from an entrepreneurial source or coming from the corporate world, Moorehouse follows with helpful books on Marketing, Funding, Buying/Building Trucks, and Payment Systems as they relate to the truck world. Each handbook is somewhere around 70-85 pages in length, except the original startup books which are a little longer, and contain everything to tackle each of these issues in today’s mobile-focused food environment.
Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business – Elizabeth U
It’s not specifically food truck focused, but every business needs to learn how to finance and raise funds successfully for their operation, especially restaurants and food trucks. This book covers everything between bank loans and crowdfunding, including fundraising options, and all from a food-based viewpoint similar to where you yourself will be starting. Now again it’s also with the caveat on focusing on ‘sustainable’ food businesses, but anyone can take advantage of the lessons here; and heck, many a food truck nowadays is focusing on local, organic, and sustainable type menus anyways.
Some other Good non-Book Resources
Food Truckr: Similar to above, though they also have their OWN online book for purchase
National Food Truck Association: An 11-state group of food truck owners that provide resources and support for members. Also make sure to look into your OWN city and/or state’s individual food truck Association/Coalition/etc
The Cost of Starting a Food Truck: Forbes article that looks at startup costs