Starting a Deli Truck Business

Written by vanessa cross
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Starting a Deli Truck Business
Mobile culinary food businesses often cater to workers, business people or students. (food image by dinostock from

A deli truck business is a mobile truck restaurant that serves sandwiches, snack items, and refreshments. Like a brick and mortar deli shop, the star on the menu will be sandwiches. A deli business on wheels, however, can cater to school campuses, sports arenas, business communities and other public outdoors areas. This is a restaurant business that is its own moving advertisement. If you are a prospective start-up mobile deli business owner, you may need ideas on how to customise the deli truck experience for your customers.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • License/permit
  • Insurance
  • Deli truck
  • Sandwiches
  • Beverages
  • Snacks/Desserts

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  1. 1

    Obtain the required licenses, permits and restaurant insurance. Each state and local government regulates this type of business and determines the license and permit requirements. A state's Division of Food Safety can typically provide information about health department inspection requirements. Also, business insurance will be needed, including auto insurance and business liability insurance.

  2. 2

    Accept credit and debit card purchases. Many people use credit or debit cards for daily transactions such as meal purchases. Credit card and debit card transactions will mean increased sales opportunities. Contact your bank to obtain information about leasing credit/debit card equipment.

  3. 3

    Purchase or lease a deli truck. Many commercial deli trucks are equipped with food preparation and storage equipment designed especially for the deli business. There are an assortment of truck options, from simple trucks to high-end vehicles that can accommodate several cooks.

  4. 4

    Develop good deli sandwich recipes. It is best that a standard recipe is used because loyal customers will seek consistency when making particular selections. Find a good sandwich making book and start customising. A deli truck sandwich can range from simple prepackaged sandwiches to gourmet food productions.

  5. 5

    Secure deli prep equipment and supplies. While a commercial food deli truck may have built-in food preparation features installed, the business owner will also need to purchase preparation equipment such as storage containers, dispensing containers and cleaning supplies.

  6. 6

    Obtain food inventory. For sandwiches this will include an assortment of meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes and other deli garnishments. Additional options for a mobile restaurant are wraps, soups, salads, crisps, beverages and dessert items such as cookies and brownies.

  7. 7

    Find legal public locations to offer vending services and store your vehicle after hours. Contact the local department of motor vehicles (DMV) office for legal places to park a deli truck for commercial food sells. Negotiate a parking storage agreement with a business or car park for convenient overnight parking.

Tips and warnings

  • This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice.

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