How to Start a Mobile Canteen Business

There are lots of locations strategic and potentially profitable in which to operate a Mobile Canteen Business. These locations include disaster relief areas, conventions, sport centers and stadiums, universities, amusement parks, and more!

But before you even start a Mobile Canteen Business, there are important things that you need to know.

People just love to eat! They look for the most convenient way to grab their food. Be a blessing to these hungry people by placing a Mobile Canteen Business right where it’s needed.

Essentials of a Mobile Canteen Business

You don't need formal education on business or food preparation to put up a Mobile Canteen. However, make sure your converted vehicle and cooking appliances are ready. Eye a strategic spot for your Mobile Canteen. Make sure that there is a good level of human traffic within its vicinity. Conduct a feasibility study and an interview with potential customers to know their buying preferences. Licenses and permits must be obtained before you can legally operate your Mobile Canteen. Each municipality or city may collect varying amounts for licenses and permits. According to the Business Revenue Department, $300 is paid for License Fee which is non-transferable or refundable. A Trustee Tax is collected for the 5.5% monthly tax on prepared food. A registration with the Health Department is needed. No Zoning Approval is required if the canteen is constantly changing locations. Hence, you must decide whether to make your Mobile Canteen stationary or regularly moving. A Solicitor’s Permit is required with a non-refundable fee of $25. Note that a Solicitor's Permit may not be readily obtained. You will then be given a license to operate and a wagon sticker from the Commissioner of Revenue. In the City of Muskogee, Oklahoma, the Clerk collects $55 annually for each Mobile Canteen. There is also a schedule of collectibles for advertising such as playing loud music.

The Menu and Offerings

Typically, people favor burgers, sandwiches, juices, sodas, among others. As you go along the business operation, you will gain insights from your actual customers and staff. Establish a relationship with a supplier(s) of your materials and ingredients. Select those that give you high quality products at low prices and have extensive inventory. Having a dependable supplier is important in ensuring a smooth business operation. Always look for opportunities to improve your products and services. One of the basic advertising means is having a highly accessible and visible location. Think of ways to perk up your Mobile Canteen. Lively and upbeat music are powerful marketing tools. Other head-turners are colorful banners, attractive uniforms, eye-catching racks, containers, packages. Maintain a desirable level of cleanliness and hygiene. Keep your food fresh and delicious. Always give your best service to customers because their opinion good or bad told to their friends would bring dollars either in or out of your cash box.

91 Comments

  • D said on April 30, 2009
    Is it costly to operate a canteen and what type of equipment is needed to operate a canteen and how many staff?
  • G. Arjun said on May 12, 2009
    Hello i finished my MBA, i am planning to do business. i got an idea to keep Mobile Canteen. so give me some suggestions about the Mobile canteen.
  • jude alexander said on June 23, 2009
    i have a canteen in secunderabad and i want to start a mobile canteen so please do give me suggestion...... like how to start....... thank you
  • jude alexander said on June 23, 2009
    And i even want to know what type of equipment is needed to operate.......
  • Dileep Edula said on August 3, 2009
    one of my friend needs to start this business. what is the maximum budget that is required for this? Please let me know
  • Raju said on August 26, 2009
    I am planning to start a mobile canteen in hyderabad, for this canteen what are the requirements & what kind of license we require from local authorities. Regards, Raju, 9704040578
  • alan alindogan said on August 30, 2009
    please give me advise on the daily operation of canteen. i am planning to focus on lugaw with other rekados like tokwa, and lumpiang prito. thanks
  • ice berri said on September 28, 2009
    hi good day, i am a fourth year student, Bs Entrepreneurship i would like to ask some help on how to start a small canteen in our school. please help me thanks
  • Jacob Abraham said on November 19, 2009
    Hello Sir/ madam, I would like to start a mobile canteen, (fast food), can you tell me what are the types of licenses we will require in India, at Chamrajnagar karanataka. What the complex situations, we may face while having a mobile store.
  • sandeep said on January 6, 2010
    Hi, I would like to start a small 20-25 seater chinese restaurant. Can you pls tell me what types of licenses are required in kukatpally hyderabad, India & also what would be the cost of procurement of these licenses and where in hyderabad do we need to approach.
  • winnie said on January 16, 2010
    hello Sir/Madam, i would like to open a small canteen in a school(London). I would like to know what is the maximum budget and what kind of things i need to do first to open a small canteen?
  • shittu lateef olorunfemi said on February 8, 2010
    hello Sir/Madam, I would like to start a mobile canteen, (fast food), in my school( ile-ife, Nigeria)
    1. Is it costly to operate a canteen and what type of equipment is needed to operate a canteen and how many staff?
    2. can you tell me what are the types of licenses we will require in Nigeria?
    I am planning to have it running for 24 hours and it will only sell food in a take away container which will also include ice-cream and drinks, everything will be take away. Cooking will be done elsewhere and transported to the place of sale. please help me to answer the questions above and any necessary advice would be welcomed
  • ruchika saluja said on February 16, 2010
    Hi! i am planning to start a mobile canteen business, what are the opportunities, investment, equipments, target customer, main recipe
  • Rajesh Gandhi said on April 5, 2010
    Hi! i am planning to start a mobile fast-food business in Gujarat (kutch). so please do give me suggestion. thank you. mob no. 9898036894
  • Alexandra said on May 7, 2010
    how do i start a mobile canteen business in Chios Greece postal code 82-100
  • Linda Haines said on May 14, 2010
    I want to start a mobile canteen in Stanley New Brunswick and need to know what all I need. Please let me know.
  • kashif said on June 1, 2010
    hi, this is kashif from pakistan, i want to open a mobile cart in university located in the city. there i want to offer potato fries, nuggets and noodles with juices and cokes. can you send me some details like attractive cart design, disposable glasses and plates design, serving styles. i want to use all items to be very good quality with low cost. best regards
  • sudheera said on June 20, 2010
    Hello, I am impressed by your article because even I am having similar kind of idea that is opening a mobile dhaba in hyderabad. Please let me know what all permissions I need to take. Anticipating your reply. Thanking you.
  • thrishita said on June 21, 2010
    i am planning to start a mobile canteen in hyderabad, for this canteen what are the requirements, what are the opportunities, investment, equipments, target customer, main recipe & what kind of license we require from local authorities.
  • Milagros T. Alcaraz said on September 19, 2010
    I want to start a small canteen business. The location would be infront of a Municipal Hall in the Philippines. What would be the most appropriate food that I will include in the menu. How much would be my capital.
  • Mahlatse said on October 14, 2010
    I'm in South Africa in a city called polokwane i the limpopo province.I would like to know how much it costs to open a mobile canteen business,and the equipment needed to operate.Just a breakdown of everything needed.
  • naveenreddy said on December 2, 2010
    i am very impressed ur article after viewing pls tel me some business ideas and equipments and how much cost we invest in the business? at hyderabad
  • Indra said on December 8, 2010
    I want to start a small mobile canteen business in andrapradesh by using a small truck moving from college to college based on their timings,so pls tel me some business ideas and equipments and how much cost we invest in the business?
  • Deedee said on December 29, 2010
    looking for info on mobile canteen buisness in Winnipeg, MB got any ideas i can use to get started.
  • Prithvi Bhardwaj said on February 11, 2011
    Hi, I am an MBA an i am keen in opening a food business in New Delhi (South Delhi), India. Please suggest me what kind of a canteen/mobile business can i start on a low scale and what would be the business requirements for the same? Your earliest revertal is highly appreciable. Thanks & Regards
  • rajesh said on March 28, 2011
    hi i am rajesh. i want to start mini mobile canteen business in andrapradesh, hyderabad madhapur area by using a small truck based on night timings, so tell me some business ideas and equipments and how much cost we invest in this business
  • Jagadish said on May 22, 2011
    Hi i want to start the mobile canteen business in hyderabad but i dont know how to start the procedure for acquiring licenses and permits by whom i had to take so Please suggest me to how to start my business.
  • sudhir said on July 15, 2011
    i got a chance to open a canteen in college,shimla. serving hostel students also,pls guide me about the expenses to done,equipments,menu & type of contract with managing director. i'm not financially much strong but much dedicated so pls advice me according to that........thnx
  • oyetade christiana oluwaseun said on August 16, 2011
    i just graduated from University of lagos and i have so much interest in cooking and most people who had tasted my meals loved it and encourage me to start a cooking business of my own. i do not want to make any mistake and regret starting a canteen of my own, that is why i seek your advice on how i can start a canteen and also manage it with little capital that will earn me enough income and i also want you to advice me on ways of satisfying my customers needs
  • Rajath.v said on September 4, 2011
    what is the minimum capital required for start a mobile canteen in city like having population 1 million. Davangere, karnataka, India
  • FETUGA OMOSHALEWA said on September 7, 2011
    i am a fresh graduate from fountain university, nigeria. i have always wanted to have a canteen of my own and after reading this article , my fears about owning one disappeared. my hobby and my dream has always been cooking for people and making sure they enjoy it. as a young graduate at 20, most of my friends and family dont think i can cope but am willing to show them i can. finally i got a friend who is willing to help and support me but he wants to see a good business proposal before he can do that. i need help from you to prepare a good proposal that would be very convincing. am awaiting your response. thanks
  • Jim Carriere said on October 5, 2011
    Montreal Quebec Canada Looking for help on how to start a mobile restaurant We would like to go from coast to coast
  • ntebo said on October 13, 2011
    Hi, thanks for a beautiful article. Im in RSA, 1st yr BBA and i just bought the mobile canteen from someone with good price, well furnished and hoping to start in an month time, all legalities done. I would like to get into an agreement with him to continue using his license in order to catch on xmas sales until at least next year, do you think this is a wise move?
  • Ravi Prakash said on November 30, 2011
    Sir/Mam How to Start a mobile canteen in Lucknow & How much minimum capital required for mobile canteen. so ple guide me , Thanks With regards
  • snehal said on December 10, 2011
    I would like to open a perfect nonveg destination at pune .so how much money will require for that.
  • Shailok Roy said on January 11, 2012
    Hi, I want to start a dhaba beside highway in kharagpur, west-bengal. Please let me know how much minimum investment required including its area and how much would it cost for the license. Please give me some other info about formalities related to this...thank you.
  • s a basha said on January 13, 2012
    Hi I like to start a mobile canteen in Hyderabad Hitech city . Let me know what are the legal permissions should be obtained from whom and where. for canteen what are the necessary thing to be purchased, and the four wheeler(gas vrction). Please give me some more info about formalities related to this. thanking you s A Basha
  • Erwin said on March 12, 2012
    Hi, please advice, I want to establish to have mobile canteen somewhere in philipppines, I have a plan to purchase a small truck such as NPR or NKR elf and convert in to canteen. thank you
  • sony said on March 19, 2012
    hello friend i want to start mobile canteen ,so tell me the what are the difficulties to face and how much we have to invest for truck and 5 varieties of food and 4 juices what type of precautions we have to take for the truck
  • Anand kumar.j said on March 26, 2012
    I'm willing to open a mobile canteen in road side, what type of vehicle is suitable for that and what type of license needed for that. BANGALORE, KARNATAKA,INDIA.
  • Joys said on May 4, 2012
    Hi! I'm running catering business in one of the famous industries. I need to change my canteen menu because our staff needed different items on day to day basis. So i need list of south indian dishes which is not exceed to high budget. .
  • Samuel said on May 15, 2012
    Sir/Mam How can i Start a mobile canteen in Lagos, Nigeria. What is the minimum capital required for mobile canteen in Lagos. How can i go about the license? What are the challenges? Please guide me. Thanks.
  • christopher said on May 19, 2012
    Hi! I am planning to start a canteen in college i just need a brief plan what things are essential and how can i set-up the canteen so that i can provide a best service to the students pls do give me some suggestions and also how to tackle the changes
  • Raj.Vemu said on June 13, 2012
    Hello, This is raj.vemu from hyderabad, andhra pradesh, india.. Me & my friend are planning to open a canteen in a degree college which is in sec-bad.. Right place and right time we've even talked to the chairman and got the legal permission even.. The management has provided a small place for us.. Can anyone please suggest us how can we make it look attractive both with the food and with the decorations?? How can we maintain it better?? Any suggestions from anyone would be really grateful.. Thank you!
  • Christouda Karolina said on July 10, 2012
    Dear Sir/Madam, We are Greeks and we would like to start a business in Barcelona. Our purpose is to open a coffee kiosk in Ramblas square. We would like to inform us about the whole process, meaning the application forms, permission and any other papers. What we want is a mobile canteen for coffee sale. We are a married couple and there will be no other workers. Sincerely yours, Karolina Christouda
  • peru said on August 13, 2012
    Hi I would like to open a mobile canteen selling burgers, hotdogs and roti rolls. Please advise as to what is required to start a business like this.
  • Ganesh.G.Pai said on September 6, 2012
    Hi I would like to open a shack kind veg outlet selling burgers, grilled sandwiches, roti curry etc. Please advise as to what is required to start a business like this in terms of necessary equipments and permissions/licenses. Mangalore, Karnataka, Iadia.
  • David said on September 9, 2012
    Lagos nigeria plz i need a business proposal on how to operate a canteen for companies
  • Eru said on October 14, 2012
    I need a good proposal (feasibility study and cost implications) for setting up a Canteen (Mobile or not) at Maitama (one of the well-developed Districts in Nigeria's Federal Capital Territory, FCT - Abuja.
  • veenesh said on November 3, 2012
    Hi I had done Msc in Hotel & Tourism Management I would like to know how to get food license & what are the procedure?
  • Manoj Patel said on November 27, 2012
    i want to start Mobile Canteen at athwagate, adajan & Udhna, which area is best and how much cost for canteen
  • Sreenivas said on December 1, 2012
    Sir i am starting a mobile canteen in hydarabad in ap india pls give good suggestions
  • rashed hussain said on December 8, 2012
    dear sir/ madam i wanna to start Mobil canteen service in Hyderabad AP India in hitech city area by taking van so how can i start pl suggest me
  • vanitha said on January 22, 2013
    Hi friends M FROM ANDHRAPRADESH ,INDIA....I would like to start my own business and be as n Women Entrepreneur. My only suggestion to all of you is Maintain a strond attribute, decision making and Determination ,Dedication towards our interest is our Investment. All the Best to all of you
  • acqueline kwaramba said on January 25, 2013
    is it costly to operate a canteen and what type of equipment is needed to operate a canteen and how many staff what is the maximum budget that is required for this.
  • Ravikiran said on January 25, 2013
    Hello @vanitha Garu ! Thanks for the support ! What u said above is applicable for every business ! Thanks a lot once! If u dnt mind what type of business your going to start! Invite me when ever you start your business for the opening ceremony ! Am also from Hyd but settled At Bangalore ! We have chain restaurants here
  • Ravikiran said on January 25, 2013
    Any body wants to join as a partner in restaurants business ! Monthly upto 20% profits on your investment ! Need people from Bangalore ! Interested people send their interest to babbuchow@gmail.com
  • swamy said on April 27, 2013
    how can i start mobile canteen and what is its expense. Shimoga. Karanataka, India
  • manoj said on May 10, 2013
    Dear sir/madam, I am manoj i would like to start a mobile canteen at mumbai maharashtra india. pl. suggest me which license require from the muncipal, and its getting easily or not. thanking you , manoj
  • rajesh said on June 11, 2013
    Dear sir/madam, am untreated to start a mobile canteen in karimnagar, andrapradhesh. plz suggest me which license require from the municipal corporation. tell me total details about that business thank you.
  • manisha said on June 15, 2013
    i am planing to start a canteen in school. how to start give suggestion please
  • alliu said on June 22, 2013
    I am a Nigerian by name Iyabo Alliu interested in canteen business in a university campus but i will appreciate if you forward the same response you send to lateef olorunfemi from Nigeria because it is the same country but different campus.
  • Gladson PV said on October 8, 2013
    I would like to start mobilecanten kindly sent me the details
  • CaterFreak said on October 22, 2013
    Like u said "i want to be a blessing to apetite maniacs" so how can i start a mobile canteen and make it convenient for them?
  • shivakumar said on November 29, 2013
    dear sir /madam, my name is shivakumar am hotel employee planning to open a canteen in bangalore please suggest me any one how to go for it please
  • Piyush Mohan said on March 11, 2014
    Dear Sir/Madam, I want to open a canteen in a Para Medical College located in Koderma, Jharkhand, INDIA. I am a B.Sc.(Hotel Management of % yrs experiences)
  • mahesh.s said on March 24, 2014
    hi i want start in hyd mobile canteen so please suggest me any start mobile canteen and what is its expense i want to use all items
  • Kumar said on April 19, 2014
    Hello Sir, I thank you for the above article. I have a budget of 5 lakhs and i want to open a Mobile restaurant for both Veg and Non- Veg Items . Kindly suggest me if the budget is ok to start. Where can i get the fabricators for these kinds of requirements in Chennai. And also suggest me what is the best offer of fabrication per square feet . Eagerly Awaiting for your reply.
  • princess nomvula luthuli said on May 20, 2014
    Hai I am Nomvula from Durban i like to open a canteen around Durban may you email me a list of companies who don't have canteen.
  • nani said on June 11, 2014
    your article is good. i want to start mobile canteen in east godavari AP please give me some idea about license required
  • samuel musoke said on June 13, 2014
    i want to start up a mobile canteen business. what do i need to accomplish this
  • BUJJIBABU.CH said on July 1, 2014
    I START MOBILE CANTEEN DWT DO U WANT ITEMS TELTHEM SUGGESTIONS
  • d.akhile kumar said on August 3, 2014
    i am going to start mobile canteen in hyderabad,madhapur and hitechcity area , what are the requirements and license required for it, regards, bhagavanthu 9949170962
  • gaurav negi said on September 13, 2014
    Hi sir/mam, my name is gaurav negi. i want to run an canteen in school and colleges in delhi and other cities and states of India. i want to start this business so plz tell me that what type of license do I need for that... Kindly do the needful...Thanks
  • g saravanan said on September 30, 2014
    Hi i am planning to start a mobile canteen near IT companies in chennai please tell me what type of license have to be obtained.tell me any key ideas about this business. Thank u.....
  • D Ramana reddy said on November 14, 2014
    I am planning to start mobile canteen, can u tell how to start ?how much capital required?
  • shiva_kumar said on December 10, 2014
    i want to start my new mobile canteen with man power by cycles and what kind of foods i required?
  • akansha singh said on April 28, 2015
    I have no idea to start a mobile canteen and what kind equipment and manpower need to start mobile canteen
  • anil said on April 28, 2015
    I want to start mobile canteen ple give me information for vehicle. (Village&mandal)-kothur (Dist)-Mahaboobnagar. Telangana
  • M.Kiran Kumar said on June 3, 2015
    Hi, I like the article you have posted. My primary intention is to serve my best service to customers. I like to start a mobile canteen which will be an easy way to directly approach customers. Can you please suggest me what are pros and cons. And also the capital, manpower and licenses required in Hyderabad, India.
  • anod said on July 17, 2015
    hello sir, i would like to start 20-25 seat kerala restaurant in mysore karnataka, india. can you please tell me what types of license are required in mysore, karnataka, india and also what would be the cost of procurement of that license and where in mysore do we need to approach.
  • charan raju undurthi said on August 17, 2015
    HI Good day to you, I Would like to start mobile canteen in Hyderabad, hitechcity so please help me to get types of licenses required
  • Rakesh said on October 26, 2015
    Dear Concern, Greetings for the day, I Have a similar idea of putting up new mobile canteen setup, as all members asked, just wanted to know the Legal, financial obligations and suggestions for that. hoping for swift response. Regards, Rakesh
  • Raj said on February 8, 2016
    Hi, any one want to invest in mobile canteen in Hyderabad, call me 7674004689. I want one partner.
  • Jagadeeh said on February 12, 2016
    Hi. This is JAGADEESH from VIJAYAWADA,A.P,INDIA and willing to start a mobile canteen at HYD/VJA. Can anyone send/suggest what are the pros and cons. capital investments ,licenses required, and other etc.catch me @ 9985399552. Thanks to all who are going to help out.
  • devan said on April 8, 2016
    Hi I am from durban RSA and would like a list of companies in my area that require a canteen.thank you
  • Anudeep said on September 18, 2016
    Hi this Anudeep how to invest mobile canteen and how to attract people in my way please help me 7569594744
  • Deepti Mayur Koli said on January 10, 2017
    I am planning to start a mobile canteen in Kolhapur , for this canteen what are the requirements & what kind of license we require from local authorities. Regards, deepti, 9819281751
  • chiranjeevi said on January 13, 2017
    i am planning to start mobile canteen business in narsipatnam, can u tell how to start?how much capital required?
  • sajid said on January 17, 2017
    Hello All, Generally to start the Mobile Canteen Business you must require BBMP License(Trade License), Food License(Fssai),if you're using Swiping VAT is required. and other thing before starting this business go and search the crowd places and look at the place like there is no bargain so that how muche ever u put the price they will take. in one word Hi-fi Place. and main important thing is first search the area to place the vehicle and take the permission from the concerned person otherwise after placing vehicle will come and tell u remove the vehicle from this place. so better keep more options. this is what i can suggest. instead of starting Mobile canteen start a small Outlet ,maintain the food quality and develop it slowly this what i suggest u.
  • Ravi said on June 3, 2017
    Brand new mobile canteen vehicle for sale. Its a new vehicle and there is no need to invest single penny on the vehicle. Vehicle which includes Water Tank, Branding, Painting & kitchen equipment's. Call me for more information @ 9951382802

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