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Product Category: Business Plan

Product Code: 00005656

No of Pages: 26

No of Chapters: 8

File Format: Microsoft Word

Price :


Table of Contents

Executive Summary


Industry Analysis

Overview of the Industry



Industry Growth

Industry Trends

Major Consumers

Target Market

Competitor Analysis

Competitive Threats

The Venture

Product/ Service






Physical Evidence


Environmental Analysis (PESTEL)







Marketing Plan

Operational Plan

Financial Analysis and Projection




Appendix 1: Detailed Projections

Appendix 2: Management Resume















Executive Summary

This proposal tends to draw on an original idea and create a practical business plan drawing on various aspects such as business environment, financial sustainability, legal requirements, marketing and operational plans.

In this context, very first step has been taken by conducting a comprehensive industry review. While doing this, various sub aspects such as target market, industry growth, industry trends, opportunity in the industry have been described in detail.

Business environment has been scanned with the help of established tools such as PORTER’s Five Force Model of Competition and PESTEL Analysis.

Financial sustainability of the business has been verified by evaluating available startup capital against various expenses such as purchasing a food cart, stationary, getting legal licenses etc. Breakeven point and profit calculations have been made on a per month basis.

Finally, a plan to market the service and its operability has been drawn by deploying the marketing mix of the service.


Food carts more closely resemble mobile kitchens that are capable of being set up on the street and facilitating street food for pedestrian traffic (Baumol 2012). These food carts are extremely common among all major cities and towns and make ample profit as they offer a great variety of food at an affordable price (Baumol 2012). In earlier days, the concept of food carts brought ugly images of standard grey trucks that sold extremely unhealthy food full of calories. This concept however has completely taken a back seat with popular restaurants and chefs adding these carts to their service menu for added revenue (Baumol 2012).

Drawing inspiration from this concept, we got motivated to provide this service within our school premises and facilitate food products such as chicken burgers, beef burgers, fish burgers, fries, hotdogs and fresh salads. We acknowledged the fact that our biggest competitor is the school cafeteria which already has these varieties on board. However, the school cafeteria is operational only during certain hours and makes these food items available only during its lunch hours. Also, since the cafeteria serves a large population, we have often heard negative reviews regarding quality if food served.

In this context, mission of our organization would be to comply with highest professionalism standards by promoting high customer satisfaction. This would be fuelled by our urge for constant innovation, providing top quality products and excellent service.

This mission would be complimented by our vision to be soon widely recognized as a food cart that offers quality food and excellent service at an affordable price. We also see ourselves as upholding a constant profit margin and being known for our performance.

Our organization would seek to foster a performance based culture. Since, the organization would only have three employees (me along with two other friends) we would comprehensively read up on norms of professionalism and customer service. We would also rely on our existing knowledge about dealing with individuals.

Since this is a start-up venture, our first step would be to get licensed. We would need certificates from the health department in order to prove that the food we provide is hygienic and compliant with health standards. We would also have to overcome parking restrictions and avail permissions from our school authorities. Other legal requirements would include getting the cart registered with the state department and filling out tax regulations.

Industry Analysis

Overview of the Industry


A database for the number of mobile food handlers was accessed with the help of school authorities in order to map the total number of active carts serving customers in the San Fernando Valley. Drive through coffee carts and other inactive carts were not considered for the purpose of mapping. We were unable to determine the precise location for a number of carts due to incomplete address information. Mapping with the help of Google Maps revealed a total number of 195 stationary and mobile food carts in neighboring areas.  


Secondary data was collected regarding perceptions of people about these mobile food carts with the help of school databases. Data analysis revealed that food carts were considered as an economically and commercially viable alternative by pedestrians. Data also revealed that these carts promoted livability and economic development in their neighborhoods and thus were profitable to the community as a whole.

Industry Growth

Last two years collectively have witnessed huge amounts of growth in the Food Cart Industry. According to the ‘Intuit Research Report’ 2020, the industry is expected to generate combined revenue of $2.7 billion by the year 2017 (NRA 2004). Reports also suggest that this is a four times increase from the current estimated figure of $650 million in the year 2012 (NRA 2004). Estimates for the current year have been provided by National Restaurant Association. Emergent Research in collaboration with National Restaurant Association interviewed 272 regular food cart customers in order to reach the estimated figure (NRA 2004). Food cart owners were interviewed with the help of phone or email. These interviews were conducted in the San Francisco area and nearing suburbs.

Industry Trends

Many powerful trends are reflected in ongoing growth and success of the industry. Following is a representation of these trends (NRA 2004):

·         Value, Speed and Quality- According to research data, these three are the most sought after attributes by any customer seeking service at a fast food or quick serve restaurant. Survey results of the year 2012 as published by the National Restaurant Association suggests that food carts often succeed in outperforming traditional food restaurants when it comes to delivering these attributes. Food offered by these carts is fresh as most carts cannot afford to store food products over a period. Also, since their operational procedure is standard (with a fixed menu), their speed of delivery is great.

·         Local and Fresh Food- A research conducted by the Hartman Group suggested that these food carts have caused a national shift towards the usage of fresh food materials. Unlike traditional fast food restaurants which have an inventory of their own, these food carts bank on fresh everyday purchases of raw materials. Also, menu provided by these food carts is highly localized and flexible unlike chain fast food restaurants.

·         Local Affinity- Research reports also suggest that these food carts foster economic developments in their neighborhood thereby increasing livability of the area as a whole. Part of this is facilitated by customers who extend their full support to local businesses in their area. This according to customers increases their sense of belonging to a local neighborhood. Customers also believe that their interactions with local food cart owners on everyday basis foster fruitful and long term relationships thus making the entire community a more livable place.

·         Sustainable and small- Food carts present a considerable challenge to a popular belief that quality depends on size of restaurant. Modern food carts have outperformed chain fast food restaurants in providing quality despite their compact size. These food carts also stress their sustainability as their USP. Taking inspiration from the food cart business model, chain restaurants have acknowledged the fact that being small in size provides flexibility without having to compromise with quality.

·         Speed- Quick service segments (for example Chipotle) have registered the maximum amount of growth in past few years. The quick service segment in the restaurant industry has also established its reputation for providing a better atmosphere and food quality than traditional restaurants. Food carts which form an important part of this segment provide an extremely viable alternative for customers who are time challenged and need easy accessibility. Speed of service provided by these food carts also enables them to serve wider customer segments than traditional restaurants.

Major Consumers

Major consumers of the industry are students and lower and middle level corporate employees. These consumers are commonly characterized by being short of time to go to an established restaurant and having leisure time to spend on a meal. Since these consumers are short of time, they are not willing to travel to great distances in order to grab a meal and hence are looking for options that are easily accessible. In addition, these consumers are not willing to spend a great amount on their meal. Average spending of these consumers per meal is believed to be between $5-10.Lastly, most of these consumers are single or living away from their families. As a result, they do not have the time to cook and bring their meals from home.

Target Market

Target Markets segments are groups of individuals who can be characterized on the basis of common factors such as age, demographics, sex etc (Sandberg 2008).

Our target market comprises of on campus students of our school as well as faculty members and administration staff. Our service would also be available to perspective students who come for a campus visit and visiting faculty members. At this point in time, our services would exclude local pedestrians from outside the school and neighboring areas. Following are the characteristics of our target market:

·         Age groups: 17-30, 45-60

·         Demographics: On campus students, faculty members and administration staff members i.e. individuals with access to the San Fernando Campus

·         Spending ability: $ 20-$30 per meal

Competitor Analysis

Following are the major direct and indirect competitors of our food cart:

·         School Cafeteria

·         Hot and Tasty Food (sells food products right outside school)

Despite tough competition from within and outside the school, our service would be able to sustain itself and generate profits due to the following factors:

·         Competitive Pricing- Our food offerings are priced lower than the school cafeteria (For example a chicken burger at the school cafeteria is available for $25 while we price it at $20). This is possible because of our streamlines supply chain.

·         Ease of Access- We would like to locate our food cart so that it is located closer to classes and the administrative block. This would encourage students and staff members to quickly grab food supplies in between classes.

·         Timing- Unlike the school cafeteria and our outside school competition, our service would be operational from 9am until 9pm and all items on the menu would be made available at all times.

·         Quality and Service- We would strive to comply with highest quality and professional standards.

·         Local contacts- since we are a part of the school, we have local contacts that we would deploy in order to gain a competitive advantage.

Competitive Threats

These can be explained with the help of PORTER’s five force model of competition that was originally drawn by Michael Porter (Baumol 2012). According to this model, competitive threats to any business can be placed in five major categories (Baumol 2012):

·         Threat of Substitutes

·         New Entrants

·         Rivalry among existing players

·         Supplier Power

·         Buyer Power

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