How to Start a Food Truck Business in Cameroon

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ave you ever pondered on how to start a food truck business in Cameroon? with the idea of getting closer to your customers or clients?

Have you ever pondered how to start a food truck business in Cameroon? with the idea of getting closer to your customers or clients or taking advantage of a market and providing them with the quality that your business possesses. If I guess it right and your answer is "YES", this article is for you.


A Food truck business can be likened to a restaurant business or mobile canteen, widely regarded among the most successful businesses in Cameroon today. But what separates the food truck from a restaurant is its mobility.

When planned and well-executed, the business rarely experiences poor sales due to its enormous and limitless target market. 


Let's take a minute to think about this, everyone eats, everyone needs a place to eat, and regardless of the location, there is always somebody ready to buy food and eat. 

What is a Food Truck Business?

A food truck is simply a large vehicle with a mobile kitchen to prepare and serve food to people who are on the go. They are preferred by many entrepreneurs because getting or purchasing a restaurant location is expensive compared to food trucks that are much more affordable. 

Food truck businesses are scarce to find in less developed countries, but Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Kenya are well known to practice this business. 

In the case of Cameroon, it's kind of non-existent. This might be because some people have the idea but do not know how to go about it. 

Meanwhile, food truck businesses are rather so popular in the developed world to an extent whereby some cities have been noted for their food truck scene. From its conception, the food truck business wasn't given a chance as it was considered unhealthy. But, today it has become a trend in the world.

If you are pondering how to start a food truck business of your own and the cost to start a food truck in Cameroon, check out the steps and tips levelled below to help you get the ball rolling. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of how to start a food truck business in Cameroon, let us look at its origin.

What is the Origin or History of the Food Truck?

In 1872, Walter Scott created the first known Food truck. Scott Walter cut his wagon's windows and later parked in front of a Providence, R.I. newspaper office. He sold coffee, sandwiches, and slices of pie to the journalist who worked long hours.

 Today Food trucks can be seen around schools, universities, and offices serving students and workers as it is profitable.

What is the Cost of Starting a Food Truck Business in Cameroon?

So many factors come into place when determining the startup costs for a food truck business. Some of the factors are one-time costs and recurring costs that can vary by location. 


The average cost to startup a food truck business in Cameroon ranges from 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 FCFA. All of this depends on the truck's customisation, the legal fees (local council tax), your location, and niche (concept).

One Time Cost

This represents the initial To-Do list you may encounter when setting up your startup food truck business:
  • The Truck 
  • Local Council Inspection 
  • Insurance 
  • Legal and Consulting Fees 
  • Truck Customization
  • Truck Logo and Wrap
  • Point-of-Sale (POS) 
  • Advertising 
  • Ingredients 
  • Disposables

Recurring Cost 

A food truck business, like any other business, will always have recurring costs.
  • Staff Payroll
  • Insurance Payments
  • Fuel
  • Permits and Licenses
  • Disposables

How do you start a Food Truck Business in Cameroon?

Starting a food truck business is considered an investment and it requires that proper steps be taken to evaluate its costs and ensure it is successful.

  1. Research Your Food Truck Location
  2. Choose a Food Truck Niche 
  3. Write a Business Plan
  4. Get Funding
  5. Get the Proper Licenses and Permits
  6. Buy a Food Truck
  7. Purchase Equipment and Supplies
  8. Choose a POS System

    1. Research Your Truck Location

To begin setting up a food truck business, it is advisable to ensure that your idea stands out against the existing market. Begin by researching your location for the following:

  • Average demographic of the population
  • Rush hour street times where commuters can become customers
  • Existing restaurant concepts/ideas
  • Existing food truck businesses and concepts
  • Space where food trucks can stop and sell their products

    2. Choose a Food Truck Niche 

Getting your food truck niche right is a vital step to setting up a successful food truck business. Your food truck niche should aim at taking care of the needs of the people in that area. Also, your food truck should be able to portray passion and interest via your business. 


Choose a food truck niche that is unique to you and your location, this can guide you to select a name and logo for your business. Your  name, logo, and niche should portray the following attributes:
  • Descriptive and attention-grabbing
  • Unique and memorable
  • Intentions should be clearly expressed without being too specific. This is to provide room for growth.

    3. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan should be one of the first steps any food truck owner should take in setting up a food truck business. This document helps you bring out your vision and financial plan to present to potential investors. 


The business plan for the food truck business should include the following: 
  • An executive summary: This is an overview of your business plan. It needs to be precise and straight to the point as further intrigues will be discussed in other points.
  • A company description: This section should bring out who you are and what makes you unique from your competitors. 
  • A market analysis: This section should demonstrate your knowledge of the local food market and your target audience.
  • An organization & management plan: In this section, you'll like to preview how your business is organized as a legal entity. Also, there's the need to list out the business owners, their percentage, and the management team of the company. This will help show a clear business organizational system.
  • A service or product line description: In this section, you describe your food menu and your plans to win new customers and evaluate the evolution of the business and address new market trends.
  • A marketing & sales strategy: Provide your marketing tactics and advertisement plan that you entail to spread the word about your food truck and include your sales strategy and platforms you plan on using to get above your competition.

  • A funding request: In this section, be specific on how much money you need and describe, in details, how every franc will be spent to grow the food truck business. 
  • A financial projection: It is sometimes difficult to project your finances, especially for new businesses who do not have a financial history. Nevertheless, calculate how much money your business will make over the next two to five years.
  • An appendix: This isn't a necessary requirement in a business plan, but it is a great place to add information that you think is important and might have left out of the business plan. This can be conveyed to lenders or investors. This can include anything from logos, blueprints, letters of reference to produce photos etc.

    4. Get Funding

After writing the business plan, which is a vital step, next up is getting the funds for the food truck business. Looking at the cost involved in setting up a food truck, a loan might be needed to get your business off the ground. This funding and startup savings can be gotten from a variety of places:
  • Personal investors such as friends and family
  • Banks (depending on your credit)
  • Credit Unions or Co-operatives
  • Village Association Meetings (Njangis)
  • Government funding programs
  • Micro-finance houses

    5. Get Proper Licenses and Permits 

After deciding where your funding will be coming from, you will also need to evaluate what licenses are needed to start up a food truck business in your town or locality. These licences could vary depending on your town or locality. 


Therefore you must visit the local council, delegation of commerce, and delegation of health to find out their requirements.

    6. Buy a Food Truck

Taking a decision on which food truck to buy is a vital business decision as it is the largest portion of your budget. Therefore it is important to select one that will serve the purpose of your business. Some points which you need to look into are:
  • Taking a decision on whether to select a new or used truck
  • Taking a decision on what customizations you will like on the truck
  • It is vital to purchase insurance for the truck and business.

    7. Purchase Equipment and Supplies

Next stop, is purchasing the equipment and supplies needed to run your food truck business. These items are required to produce your products and keep your truck operating efficiently; thus, they are an essential part of the process. 


These items may vary depending on the type of food truck business you intend to run. Some examples of these items include:
  • Gas cookers
  • Gas bottles
  • Sinks
  • Wet Mats
  • Sponges
  • Sanitizing Chemicals
  • Trash Cans
  • Brooms and Mops
  • Cups
  • Napkins
  • Disposable Utensils
  • Food Trays
  • Serving Utensils
  • Work Tables
  • Knives
  • Cutting Boards
  • Pans
  • Fryers
  • Microwaves
  • Toasters

    8. Choose a POS System

While operating a food truck business, there might be moments where your clients may require a mobile point of sale (POS) system. This comes in handy in situations where the customer can't pay in cash but will love to use Mtn MoMo or Orange money payment services. So it is necessary to include the POS in your food truck business.

Benefits and Challenges of Running a Food Truck Business in Cameroon

Running a food truck business comes with some benefits as well as challenges which we will evaluate examine below: 

Benefits

  1. Food truck being a new business in Cameroon provides the business with a vast market to exploit.
  2. A food truck gives you the advantage of moving your business from one place to another, covering a vast area and customer base and advertising potential.
  3. Compared to standard truck owners, food truck owners, due to their truck can avoid some taxes.
  4. To add, food trucks are flexible when it comes to adjusting their menus and schedules. Also, they have the advantage of transporting fresh food to events and festivals.

Challenges

  1. Being a new concept in Cameroon, putting the equipment together might be challenging, but should you follow our steps on good footing.
  2. A food truck might need long hours of maintenance and cleaning.
  3. Food truck owners can face challenges in getting areas to park their trucks and how long their trucks can be parked in the set location.  

Conclusion

Setting up a food truck business will provide many business opportunities for entrepreneurs as the Cameroon market is barren and crying out loud to be exploited. The food truck business has various models like ice cream trucks that can be exploited, but it all boils down to the entrepreneur and his ambitions.

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HIPPOTECH GROUP: How to Start a Food Truck Business in Cameroon
How to Start a Food Truck Business in Cameroon
ave you ever pondered on how to start a food truck business in Cameroon? with the idea of getting closer to your customers or clients?
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