Starting a food truck business can be a unique business opportunity. Now more than ever, food trucks are super trendy and people love shopping local.
It’s also a great way to keep overhead down when compared to a full blow dine in a restaurant. Learn exactly what you need to do to start a food truck business and what it takes to keep it up!
Related: The Importance of Market Research for a Successful Business Plan
What You Need To Do Start a Food Truck Business
If you’re wondering how to start a food truck business, there’s definitely more to it than you might think. Before you start selling great food hot off the grill, you’re going to need a few things to get started.
You should start by creating a business plan that explains what you’re selling, who you’re selling it to, and how you’ll make money. This is the most important part of starting your business and should explain every detail of your operation. This includes inventory, pricing, marketing, hiring, and anything else related to your business. After that you need to get funding to make that business plan come to life! This can be money you’ve saved up, cash from investors (friends and family can be investors too!), or a loan. Once you’ve got some dough to invest (no pun intended) you can start purchasing everything to run your food truck…including the truck itself!
Food Truck Startup Costs
The startup costs for your food truck will vary depending on your business and what you need to operate. We’re assuming that you’ll have 1-2 employees, a fully operational truck (including gas), inventory (food, paper products, etc), marketing dollars, a POS system, and other basics. There are also business permits and taxes you must pay when hiring employees and simply operating legally. With all this covered, the startup costs for your food truck will be anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 to get the business up and running.
How Much Does it Cost to Run a Food Truck Monthly?
How much it’ll cost per month to run a food truck depends on a variety of factors such as number of employees, amount of inventory restock, and more. For most food trucks, a well estimated monthly cost for doing business is anywhere from $4,000 to $15,000. Like we said, this can vary and you should find as accurate a number as you can when creating your business plan.
License and Permits Needed To Run a Food Truck
Licenses and permits for running your food truck business vary from state to state, but there are a few staple documents you’ll need. These include a business license, vehicle license, seller’s permit, food handler’s permit, health department permit, and fire certificate. Your state laws will most likely require all of these and possibly more, so perform your due diligence and check the laws in your state before opening up.
Related: 50 Non-Food Truck Businesses
Where Can You Find Food Trucks for Sale?
Finding a great food truck might just be the hardest part of starting your food truck business. We recommend checking platforms like roaminghunger.com or usedvending.com, as they offer equipment related specifically to food. It won’t hurt to check out Facebook marketplace, Craigslist, or OfferUp in your local area either.
How Profitable is a Food Truck?
The profitability of your food truck depends on a lot of factors. It’s probably going to be much different than other food trucks depending on your expenses and revenue. However, it’s nice to know that the average food truck earns around $300,000 per year in revenue. Depending on your expenses, this can lead to a nice profit margin at the end of the year.
Can Food Trucks Sell Anywhere?
Although you’re mobile, you can’t just park anywhere and start slinging out meals. Most cities limit food trucks to specific locations and have restrictions such as two-hour parking. Before you start selling, you can find a list of where you can and can’t park from your county clerk. Keep in mind that finding the locations you’re allowed to operate on is a big part of whether you’ll be successful or not. Always be aware of your limitations and operate so that you maximize your success.
We can’t wait to see what type of food truck business you start!