Are you thinking about starting a mobile food business?

The mobile food industry, and food truck culture in particular, are growing like never before.  The Greater Lehigh Valley Mobile Food Alliance exists as a local and regional resource and common voice for current and prospective mobile food entrepreneurs.

If you currently own and operate a mobile food business, please follow the links on this site to learn about how you can join our growing Alliance.   If you are thinking about getting into the business, we’re happy to offer the following “food” for thought!

  1. A mobile food business is as challenging as (if not more challenging than) a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Mobile restaurants have the advantage of bringing their product to diverse markets and “going where the customers are,” but there are many areas that are off-limits for vending in our area. Be sure to call your local target municipalities and get the facts about mobile vending before you make a major investment, and then again before you open. There are over 60 individual municipalities within the Greater Lehigh Valley.  What’s allowed in one town, city, township, or borough many not be allowed in neighboring jurisdictions.  If you become a Prospective Member with the GLVMFA, you will receive mobile vending ordinance guidance and support, so even if you don’t have a road-ready operation, yet, we can help.
  2. Even if you’re not looking for funding, create a business plan that has a clear 3-year financial strategy, marketing strategy, and branding strategy. Mobile vendors who do not have a clear plan to develop their business will face management challenges and will have a harder time adjusting to change and overcoming unforeseen roadblocks and setbacks.  The following articles should prove helpful:
    1. What I Wish I Had Known Before Starting a Mobile Food Business
    2. Streets of Dreams (facts about starting a mobile food business from The Institute of Justice)
  3. You’re equal parts chef and entrepreneur.  You will have long, long days and very little return during your first one-to-two years. You have to have passion, savvy, and a nest-egg that together will help you develop a brand people can believe in and love. Know your demographics and your target customer. The modern mobile food industry is about uniqueness and foodie culture. Don’t forget that.  Consider niche approaches and balance that niche appeal with the need to be flexible.
  4. Mobile vending operates in a limited season in the Greater Lehigh Valley depending on weather, so be prepared to have other sources of income when it’s too cold (or too icy, snowy, etc.) to open.
  5. Become a Prospective Member of our alliance. As a member, you will receive guidance and support from other mobile vendors who have already started and know the local market. The GLVMFA can also guide you to sources of information and even possible sources of funding from local non-profit economic development groups.

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