The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in their health and safety guidelines for bars and restaurants, advised people not to spend too much time indoors, especially if there’s no room for a physical distance of at least six feet between people. At the same time, studies show that the world was already grappling with a pandemic of social isolation—and the COVID-19 crisis has significantly aggravated this trend.
If you have a love for food and community and you’re thinking of ways to create an additional stream of income during the pandemic, and if you love fine dining and want people to have this opportunity again, there is one business venture that can help address all of these issues: A luxury mobile restaurant. It’s a safe way to provide people with an opportunity to have good food with people they love without risking their health, and it can be a lucrative venture for you as well. Here’s how you can get started.
Get a business license and other necessary documentation.
Even if you consider it a small business, you will still need to make sure that you have the proper license and documentation, especially since you will be handling food. It’s not as simple as getting a food truck, cooking some food, and selling it to passers-by. Your city will certainly have numerous requirements like vehicle permits, health department certifications, and parking restrictions.
Be wary of and prepared for every obstacle that may come your way, and make sure you’re well-versed on your city’s rules regarding starting a mobile restaurant. The best part is that once you have gotten all the necessary permits and licenses, it hopefully be smooth-sailing from here on out.
Find the perfect vehicle and a piece of land.
A mobile fine dining restaurant must have a luxurious backdrop. Scour the market for the best coach RV you can find—a five-star hotel lobby on wheels, if you will. The best part of purchasing the best possible vehicle for this business is that even if you choose to stop running your mobile restaurant, you will still be left with a luxury motor home that you can use for other activities like going on an A-class camping trip into the wilderness or to escape from your home.
At the same time, you will need to find a place to park your luxury mobile restaurant. For one, you have to know if your town or neighborhood association will allow you to park it in front of your home. Some health departments also require food vendors to sell in facilities with adequate electricity and refrigeration. So figure out the logistics of where your mobile restaurant will be before you make some big moves.
Get adequate financing and insurance.
And as always, one of the building blocks of any business is a solid financial plan. Will you have a co-owner? Will you need to look at multiple resources to finance the venture? If you have a good credit score, you can also take out a business loan. Other options include peer-to-peer lending networks or even borrowing from your family or friends. Figure out your finances and how much you can invest in this venture, and how much interest you will have to pay throughout your business loan.
Since your business will be on wheels, you will need to invest in insurance as well. Something like a pizza oven inside the vehicle already warrants some coverage, so it’s prudent to talk to your insurance agent about your options.
Build helpful connections.
Since your business is not just your run-of-the-mill food truck venture, you may not have the same freedom to park in front of offices during lunch break and get people to check out your place. You might need to work on some special events and occasions, so building connections with event planners is crucial.
Make noise on social media.
The concept of a luxury mobile restaurant is a pretty novel idea in itself, and there are so many ways you can play with it during promotions and marketing. You can design your dining area in an Instagram-worthy way to ensure that your customers will post about your mobile restaurant. You can also play up the theme of “luxury on wheels” to drive up engagement and sales.
The food truck business saw immense growth in the past few years, and you can enjoy a slice of this successful pie too. Adding a touch of luxury is a surefire way to set your mobile restaurant business apart from others.