Could running a food truck be your next business venture? Newcastle is the place to try this summer

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The days are getting longer, and you start to ask your partner “do you reckon I'll need a coat?” every time you leave the house. Summer is nearly here.

This is the perfect season for mobile food trucks to make some serious money in Newcastle. From St James Park to Gateshead Millennium Bridge and all along the River Tyne. The food truck industry is estimated to be worth a mega £1.2 million. This is not surprising when you learn that food trucks are seeing a growth of 20% each year.

Food trucks provide a cheaper and faster alternative to eating in a restaurant. They offer a flexible dining solution, whether you need a quick lunch or are chilling out with friends. Mobile food trucks are also known for serving a diverse range of food from all cultures. Many food trucks gain popularity due to their speciality dishes and authenticity. As well as the flexible dining options, food trucks can be flexible with their locations. From town centres to events, food trucks can go wherever the customers are.

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Working out costs

If you are looking to start a food truck business, the first question on your mind is probably 'how much will this cost?'. If you're looking for a second-hand van or trailer, you would be looking upwards of £3000. Many food truck business owners renovate their own vehicles. You could consider upcycling a horse box, a camper van, or a trailer. Next you must factor in the cost of getting equipment, decorating, and buying stock. These expenses will vary depending on the type of food you wish to serve, and how you plan to decorate. Some of the most popular foods served at a food van include African, Thai, burgers, and finger food.

Keeping it legal

You will need permits and licenses to legally operate your food truck in Newcastle. This includes health permits, business clearances and other regulations. You will need to register your business with the Government and the council. This process will take at least 28 days, so it will need to be done before you plan on opening your business. If you are going to move your food truck to different locations, you'll need permits from each council. These will also need to be done in advance. Failing to follow the regulations and licensing could face heavy fines.

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Spreading the word

Once your business is up and running, it's time to think about advertising. According to the Food Standard Agency, 16-24 and 25–34-year-olds eat out most frequently. Newcastle is home to 55,000 students. So, if you're setting up your food truck in a busy location, you're bound to bump into this age group. Millennials and Gen Zs spend the most time on social media, so are more likely to see your content. Instagram and TikTok are especially good apps to promote your business on. Sharing promotional leaflets is also a great way to spread the word and attract customers to your business.

Keeping your cash flow flowing

The final thing to think about is how you are going to accept payments. 57% of payments are now made with a debit card. Out of all card payments under £100, 93% are made by contactless card. Accepting card payments is essential to the success of your business. We simply don't use cash as much as we once did, especially not the younger generations. Instead, we opt for quick and efficient methods, like digital wallets on our phones.

UTP has helped over 52,000 merchants accept debit and credit card payments. Over the last ten years, they have processed over £15 billion in transactions and operate in four countries. They provide mobile card machines, which are commonly used in food truck businesses. The UTP Pro and UTP Pro Lite connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, GPRS or a roaming SIM card. Both card machines also come with a super long-life battery, further ensuring you never miss a sale. Cost is also a huge thing to consider when starting your food truck business. UTP saves customers an average of 30% on their transaction rates and offers free benefits. This includes Faster Processing, which sees you get paid after each transaction, hourly, or at the end of your working day. Low cash flow is the main reason why businesses fail, so this is especially helpful to new businesses. Another free benefit UTP provides is UTP Shield. This is their anti-fraud protection service, alerting your business to suspicious transactions.

If you are starting a new business or looking to switch card machine for business, contact UTP for a free quote, phone 0330 99 99 300 or email [email protected]