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Satyajit Roy

The author is MD & CEO of EGK Foods. With plans to build a modern innovative factory that is compliant with all the sustainability laws, Satyajit and EGK Foods are dedicated to make a real difference to the Onion farmers and the Onion farming trade in the years to come

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Mobile Food Truck Business In India

Due to limitations of space, food trucks usually have menus that are limited to specific food items. This allows for perfection within a limited menu and also forces innovation with limited ingredients

Jon Favreau’s outstanding performance as Chef Carl Casper in the 2014 movie Chef, captured not only the frustrations of a chef trapped in a job where he couldn't express himself but also took us through the extraordinary journey of what it takes to start up a food truck business. No doubt inspired by real life events, food trucks have become a common fixture at all the trendy spots all over the world, pumping out some of the most innovative food in the food space. I know that I’ve secretly nursed ambitions of starting up a small Vietnamese Pho Truck ever since I saw the movie!

So what is it that makes a food truck so exciting?

Due to limitations of space, food trucks usually have menus that are limited to specific food items. This allows for perfection within a limited menu and also forces innovation with limited ingredients. A food truck functions at very high efficiency because of the space constraints. Also, they can change their menus and innovate on a weekly basis as they do not have the constraints of a fully functioning restaurant.

Also one of the most important qualities is mobility. A mobile food truck has that one major advantage over its more fixed competitors, i.e. restaurants. A food truck can go to where its customers are.

Since early 2012, India has seen a silent underground movement in the food truck space. Mobile Food Trucks now have a presence in most metro cities in India, albeit a subdued one.

For the food truck business to truly flourish, some of the challenges to Starting Up a food truck need to be addressed. The one major challenge still seems to be the appropriate license and the availability of the same. Most food trucks start out under the radar and function within the existing system of laws that exist taking measures like being part of concert setups or doing office parties inside gated premises like industrial estates and gate colonies.

Another major issue with the food truck business is that there is no parking space assigned for food trucks, so when business is booming, the lines for food and crowds that gather forces local municipal authorities to step in and impound the trucks.

These are a couple of the bigger issues that stand in the way of a real food truck happening in India.

In the Delhi NCR region, the food truck revolution has been happening since 2012, where there were only 3 food trucks, currently, there are more than 40 food trucks that cater to their clientele out of a parking lot in Gurugram.

Food Trucks have a real potential to bring the latest food trends immediately to the country from all over the world. With the penetration of social media and the new world of synergies that we live in, innovation is the key to the success of any food truck. The dynamic nature of the menu for trucks that innovate on a regular basis, and the fact that the food is served fresh every day, is a real draw for existing as well as newer customers.

Although the challenges may be significant, one thing is certain, that in a country like India where the passion for good food is so high, and the ability to innovate or ‘jugaad’ has always been present, it may not be long before we see food trucks become a permanent part of all our cities Foodscapes!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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