"The more people you reach, the more you learn of their preferences and the more freedom you have to innovate!"- Bombay Food Truck
Sep 29, 2016
Ashish Sajnani,Founder Bombay Food Truck
Describe your business proposition.
Bombay’s biggest food truck rolled into Mumbai city September last year and with it we brought the city’s tastiest street side gourmet eats. Bombay Food Truck offers Gourmet sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and will be constantly innovating with the menu. The audiences are ready are eagerly awaiting for innovation with food. The price has always been a consideration when serving from a food truck and the price strategy for BFT is to keep the offerings accessible, topical and open for anyone to try, across income brackets and demographics.
Bombay Food Truck’s concept is to serve Gourmet Street Food from across the world, hence the price points need to be value of money driven. The biggest learning has been collaboration and innovation - the more people you reach, the more you learn of their preferences and the more freedom you have to innovate!.
Briefly describe the history of your Food Truck Company.
Bombay Food Truck began its operations in October 2015. Amidst speculations of licences and permissions, We are still trying to ?gure out licences and the correct way forward so that in the future it’s encouraging for more people to follow. The biggest issue is that there is no clear legislation – hence there is no speci?c way forward or a regulation system to deal with a food truck in Mumbai. But the BMC is now forming guidelines. We update our patrons on our locations via our website www.bombayfoodtruck.com, Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram. Operating a food truck is very exciting and inspiring and different from running a regular F&B outlet.
To begin with, the investment for a food truck is much smaller than a standalone/ chain restaurant. Of course, both have their own merits. The food truck business is quicker, faster and more challenging. You need to innovate with the times and demands of customers as the preferences change from location to location! Also, service has to be swift and peppy, as that is what patrons expect from us. It’s a new concept and the response has been phenomenal. People are happy and have reached out to us to say that they have always wanted to eat out of a food truck ever since they watched the American tele-series Eat Street.
What licenses do you need to start a food truck? Other concern areas?
Here’s what you need to get started:
- Shops & Establishment licence from the BMC
- Health licence
- Approval from the Food & Drugs Administration (FDA)
- NOC from the fire department
- RTO permission for branding on your vehicle
How long does it typically take to acquire all of these? “There’s no hard and fast rule. It totally depends on the person processing your papers. We’ve got two so far in two months, but are still waiting on the others We still havn’t acquired all of these but we are in the process of doing so. The more trucks that apply for licenses, the easier it will get, so it’s time to put your idea on the road. Loop hole: Circumvent these initially by parking inside mills and big office compounds and procuring private permission from those offices.
Gas Vs Electricity - Make sure you make your truck work sans gas, it is a strict no no when it comes to events. We have a fryer, induction, fridge all of them work on electricity hence no event organisers have any objections while inviting us.
Marketing Initiative undertaken by you
During the launch of The Bombay Food Truck, we undertook a comprehensive Public Relations exercise – we were covered in every possible Mainlines and Lifestyle magazine – The Times of India, Mid-Day, The Indian Express and magazines like Vogue, What’s Hot and more. The coverage continued to pour in and we are in every ‘best food truck of India’ list.
We also undertook an extensive social media exercise – engaged influencers to media as they shared the best of Bombay Food Truck. Today, BFT boasts of 8000+ instagram followers, 3000+ Facebook followers and over 500 Twitter Followers. The pages are updated on a daily basis – events, food and fun facts about the Bombay Food Truck is thoroughly enjoyed by the followers.
Instagram – www.instagram.com/foodtruckbombay
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/BombayFoodTruck/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/foodtruckbombay
Are you a member of any association? (Specify)
Yes we are part of The Food Truck Association – infact we are one of the founding partners of the committee. The committee consists of other food trucks owners and players in the hospitality industry.
Along with Mumbai Foodie, we have started the first Food Truck Festival in Mumbai– Food Truck Square. It was held in May at High Street Phoenix. We had a footfall of over 10,000 people in 3 days.
Scalability of the brand
We are doing this in 2 ways
- Increase our presence in as many events in the city as possible, this will build awareness about our brand, our offering and create a community of BFT fans. We went to 15 festivals last year, we are targeting 30 big ticket festivals this year.
- Increase our Fleet – We are building more Food Trucks! We have already bought 2 more and are in the process of taking our fleet to 5! This will help us do multiple places in a single day – more events, more corporate parks, more colleges and much more.
Eventually, we are looking to roll out a franchise model and invite Food enthusiasts to run their own food trucks under the brand – Bombay Food Truck.