If limited capital is the only thing that keeps you from opening a restaurant then you may want to start small and think big in your entry to the food business. Those who have the passion for food and the knack for business need not worry about huge capitalization and business location anymore. Just let the food kiosks, carts, and trucks pave the way to your foodie empire. These options offer low capitalization and overhead costs as well as flexibility in operations.
Food kiosks are common sights in malls, theaters, and event venues like stadiums and coliseums. They can be described as small stores with enough space to accommodate two people to prepare and serve food as well as basic food preparation and storage equipment. Kiosks also come with signage and counter space similar to to-go counters of giant fast food chains and restaurants. Some kiosks in malls are afforded a table or two in front of their stalls to accommodate diners. The investment requirement for food kiosks is around $2,000-$10,000.
Food carts are smaller and mobile versions of the food kiosk. These carts can easily be dismantled and moved to a different location if needed. However, food cart operators still need to comply with permits and licensing requirements in areas where they choose to do business. Those who would like to start a food business in carts need an investment of around $1,000 or more.
Food Trucks have grown in popularity in the US during the past few years. They give a new meaning to street food with the affordable and ingenious creations of food truck owners. These trucks can be found in parked in sidewalks catering to office workers on a break or any passerby. Food trucks can easily move from one location to another in different times of the day. The cost of a food truck can range from $30,000-$100,000.
Just like any food business, having a food kiosk, cart, or truck requires a lot of thought and planning. One has to consider the budget for capital and operating expenses, business location, marketing strategies, logistics, etc. The main advantages in choosing these three alternatives include minimal capitalization requirements, lower overhead and manpower costs, and flexibility in switching locations or opening and closing stores. This makes it easier for kiosk, cart, or truck owners to adjust to the demands of the market. For instance, they can easily move from selling ice cream to frozen yogurt if the foodie trend calls for it.