UK foodies have officially embraced street-food culture, but that doesn’t make it easier to know where to start with your own offering. Here are some novel ideas for a food truck to inspire you on your journey into the food truck market.
One of the biggest mistakes mobile catering businesses can make is to try and offer a large, complicated menu. Successful food vans start by doing just one, maybe two, flawlessly executed items. Here are a few concepts to get you thinking.
A taqueria on wheels
Some of the best cuisine in Mexico is eaten on the street. Fortunately for you, high-quality Mexican eats are still hard to come by in the UK. And since tacos can be anything thrown in a tortilla and topped with some delicious sauce, they’re endlessly versatile. Go authentic or try your hand at some fusion cuisine. Once you’ve mastered the taco, experiment with some aguas frescas or freshly prepared sides like elotes (grilled sweetcorn) or esquites (corn salads) if you’re staying Mexican – or some regional sides in keeping with your fusion cuisine.
Macaroni-and-cheese, fresh from the truck
In the mobile food business, winter comes at you fast. Good summer sales alone do not make for a profitable year-round business. Shifting your menu to warming and hearty slow-cooked foods like mac-n-cheese will keep customers coming in the coldest months. Premium pasta and melty cheese serve as a platform for endless combinations, from chorizo to chanterelles to lobster.
Savoury and/or sweet dumplings
Dumplings are yet another palette on which to express your culinary creativity. Fill them with traditional Asian ingredients or some version of your most crowd-pleasing home-cooked dish. Pair each variety with its own pre-prepared sauce to bring out its standout flavours. It doesn’t hurt that dumplings are easy to eat on the go, or that they’re very much in fashion at the moment.
Confit: grease is the word
Confit, i.e. meat cooked in its own fat (typically duck) is something many cooks are too intimidated to attempt at home, which makes it an excellent option for eating out. Confit is all in the prep. Once it’s nearly ready in your home or business kitchen, it’s easy to finish up in your van by reheating before serving. Don’t feel restricted by classic confit preparations like duck – pork belly and duck-fat wild mushrooms also finish beautifully in a small pan.
Onigiri, a less well-known Japanese option
Yes, Japanese food has already conquered the world, but one of its most typical variations has yet to really penetrate Western markets. Onigiri – Japanese rice balls wrapped in nori – can be home to any kind of filling, and are the perfect on-the-go snack for all seasons. Consider offering packages with simple sides like miso soup or oshitashi (boiled spinach with sesame seeds) to turn a pair of onigiri into a healthy, filling lunch.
Once you have a concept, read up on our advice on starting a food truck business to register your own food truck business, choose and outfit your van, and get your venture rolling.