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Start a food truck business in Abu Dhabi: Costs & requirements

The UAE is a country where people love to eat out. The country’s foodservice industry has been growing steadily for some time. Forecasts for the sector predict a rise of 5% between 2019 and 2024.

A fast-growing segment of this sector is the use of mobile food trucks. They provide an excellent alternative to compete in the fast-paced, ever-evolving culinary industry. This post will examine the essential aspects and benefits of starting a food truck business in Abu Dhabi. We will cover the following topics:

• Benefits of starting a food truck business in Abu Dhabi
• Steps to start a food truck business in Abu Dhabi
• Cost of setting up a food truck business in Abu Dhabi
• Working with Creative Zone

Benefits of starting a food truck business in Abu Dhabi

If you are undecided about opening a traditional restaurant or a food truck, consider these benefits which show why operating a food truck is better than a brick and mortar restaurant.

1.Low initial investment: Food trucks are a high-profit business model since they need less investment than dine-in restaurants. You can invest this saved amount for marketing, staff hiring and operational costs. The most significant expense you will have is buying the truck; however, with the growing industry of rental food trucks, you can save on that too.

2.Low operation cost: When you own a restaurant, you have to pay for expensive utilities and hire a wide range of staff, such as cooks, servers, kitchen managers, and cleaners. On top of that, you have to either pay property tax if you own the building or a monthly rent if you rent the space. All this can build up and eat into your profits. Unlike a restaurant, a food truck’s operating expenses are fixed and only include the cost of food, supplies, and fuel. Furthermore, you do not need a large workforce; typically, only two people work in a food truck, saving on wages. While a restaurant requires constant upkeep, a food truck requires minor repairs and maintenance.

3.Freedom to move: More than two-thirds of businesses failed within the first five years because of choosing the wrong location and costly rents. On the other hand, food trucks are entirely immune to this problem since they are movable and can be parked anywhere in the city. If your current location isn’t generating the footfall you desire, you can quickly relocate to another area to improve your sales.

4.Extensive customer base: You may capitalise on the mobility of food trucks to encourage prospective clients to your vehicle. On a daily, weekly or monthly basis, you can also strategically change your position depending on the level of foot traffic. You can readily attend events and food festivals as a food truck to promote your cuisine.

5.Potential expansion: Food trucks are a great way to build a brand before moving on to a more substantial business, such as a restaurant or franchising your vehicles. They operate on a whole different set of rules than traditional restaurants. The model makes it simpler to analyse locations, experiment with new recipes, and adjust plans and menus compared to restaurants.

Steps to start a food truck business in Abu Dhabi

Before you can start your business, you need to make sure that it follows all the laws and rules of the emirate. Here are seven simple steps for establishing your business in Abu Dhabi:

Licensing and permits
You must first submit your business plan to the Dubai Municipality and the Department of Economic Development (DED) to get permission for the kitchen and food truck. The plan needs to be clear and well thought out and includes your concept, budget, and action plan. Other approvals include RTA for transportation and the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) for cleanliness and safety.

Choosing your truck
You now need to choose a vehicle that meets your requirements. For your truck, you will need clearance from the appropriate authorities. Your vehicle must fit your kitchen and have enough ventilation to manage the heat. Depending on your needs and budget, you can buy or hire a truck. Renting is a preferable alternative since the initial expenditures are comparatively lower, and the profits made during the early stages are reinvested in upgrading the cooking equipment.

Purchase of cooking equipment and supplies
The next step is to prepare the kitchen by obtaining all necessary equipment and ingredients. Microwave, refrigerator, freezer, grill, juicer, mixer, utensils, burner and steamer are a must-have for any food truck’s kitchen. There should also be functional tables, exhaust facilities, and a decent battery backup. At first, raw materials should be bought for shorter periods to determine the sales pattern. You can purchase supplies in bulk once the business is performing successfully.

Consider hiring a skilled staff
Any more than two chefs might overcrowd the food truck, and any less would not be enough to handle massive orders. You should also have a delivery person to deliver meals to clients or help buy raw ingredients.

POS or kiosk?
The food truck should have an efficient point-of-sale (POS) system or kiosk system to accept orders and delivery, handle payments, discount and coupon procedures, and monitor inventory. However, POS software is the preferred option when running a restaurant or food truck.

It’s all about location:
The next stage is to choose and get approval for your intended location. Even though a food truck is a mobile enterprise, this does not mean that you may freely move throughout Abu Dhabi selling food. You require a permit for both public and private locations. The RTA provides public-space permits, while you will need a leasing agreement with the owner for private locations..

When starting a food truck company, marketing is as important as setting it up. Social media marketing may be the best approach to generate interest for your food truck. Using platforms like Instagram to post pictures of your menu, customers are more likely to be interested in sampling your food. Furthermore, they can learn about the truck’s location, current menu trends, and other information.

Cost of setting up a food truck business in Abu Dhabi

The cost of setting up a food truck business in Abu Dhabi starts at AED 25,000. Additional expenses include food and commerce permits, buying a food truck, registration, insurance for the vehicle, and cooking equipment.

To get an exact price quote, contact Creative Zone. We can give you a personalised overview of the fees involved in starting your food truck.

Working with Creative Zone
When it comes to setting up businesses in Dubai, Creative Zone is the UAE’s most well-known expert. More than 44,000 enterprises have benefited from our assistance since 2010.

We are:

• a specialist in the industry
• experienced
• quick
• dependable
• hassle-free

Getting your business set up in Abu Dhabi is only the beginning. We can also provide you with additional services such as:

• a dedicated business setup manager
• help with tax preparation
• legal advice
• HR management
• networking opportunities

Every client of Creative Zone gets access to our networking tool, CZ Connect. Through it, you can network, interact and develop relationships with our community of fellow entrepreneurs and the region’s business community.

Get started with your company formation in Abu Dhabi by taking advantage of our complimentary consultations.

Prices offered by free zones are subject to change without notice. Please get in touch with Creative Zone for an updated price based on the current promotions and availability.

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