These culinary ventures, however, face substantial hurdles. They not only have to compete with local food stands, but also have to battle licence logjams.
Food Trucks are a common sight in the US and the UK, but with food trends moving towards global diaspora, it is heating up the food scenario in India as well.
Brands like The Lalit who are into the hospitality business for ages have come up with their Food Trucks in Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru looking at an aggressive expansion of this model as this business needs fewer budgets with a much profitable ROI which goes up to 80 per cent in months of its inception. On the other hand, Kylin, which started its first restaurant 11 years back, has come up with Wanchai by Kylin Food Trucks inspired by the Wan Chai streets in Hong Kong which has more than 100 Food Trucks parked in its streets and commercial locations.
How is the trend picking
With a concept of revolutionising the dining trend in the country, Food Truck gives an entrepreneur a return of approximately 70-80 per cent within few months of its inception. From cuisines like South Indian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Fast Foods, these concept gives an easy return to the entrepreneur where people today are craving for something authentic with a value for money pricing.
The Lalit Food Truck, the first mobile restaurant launched by the Group, is part of its foray into the outdoor catering business. It currently offers churros, quesadillas, tacos, falafel, burgers and milkshakes, among other items, for under Rs 350. The group which is planning to take these food trucks to Bengaluru to Srinagar is selling right at the right time.
“One food truck will travel to another, which will then travel to the third, and so on, creating a trail. This will cover eight Lalit hotels in the country starting from Bengaluru and all the way to Srinagar,” shared Keshav Suri, Executive Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality.
However Delhi- Gurgaon alone is running over 15 food Trucks today serving Mexican cuisines, Chinese cuisine , fresh foods, and a mix of all the cuisines. Dosa Inc is one such venture which has emerged as one of the top selling food trucks in over 80 and more neighbourhoods and a regular visitor at over 10 companies and institutions.
Adding to the same lines, Jyothi Ganapati, Co-Founder, Dosa Inc which serves authentic south Indian food in residential places and office areas shared, “We are the only mobile truck in the area. Our goal is to go to customers not wait for the customers like a restaurant. Hence, it is a flash sale model we don’t go to same location too frequently ensuring that the demands remain high.”
Battling the legal parameters
These culinary ventures, however, face substantial hurdles. They not only have to compete with local food stands, but also have to battle licence logjams. Several truck vendors say they have to grease palms to be able to stay put in a preferred location. However Gurgaon, Noida nad Bengaluru has a less licenses to go through, food trucks in Delhi are facing these hurdles on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, Kylin which is doing a good business of about 40-60 thousand per month is waiting for the government’s approval to make this food truck mobile on a regular basis.
“We have created a truck which is mobile also, but we are not parking it on a regular basis because of the government rule and regulation. But at the same time it works very well for us to do the festivals. We were recently with Amazon Fashion Week where we have put or truck. So, in future if got the permission we should always go and park this at the Grub Fest or may be at the sectors, there is lot of potential in the segment, “pointed Saurabh Khanijo, Director, Welgrow Concept which owns Wanchai by Kylin Food Trucks.
According to Riyaaz Amlani, President NRAI and MD and CEO, Impresario Entertainment, “Delhi needs to have places with open spaces restaurants, more food trucks on the roads and places like Hauz Khas and Gurgaon which is emerging as a food and tourist hub in the city.”
Not only this, an NRAI delegation led by President Amlani met Delhi Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra asking the government to pass a more friendly law to successfully run the food business in the city.
And hence it is a good model as a start-up, with real estate getting too expensive this model may hit the market once the government pass a law on the same. “People know that the concept is quirky and they at least come and have a look at the truck which makes it a better sale if not a counter sale,” added Khanijo.