Starting a food truck is a good idea for entrepreneurs who are interested in culinary endeavors. It will take some start-up money to get going, but it does cost a lot less than maintaining a restaurant. The main reason it’s so much cheaper is that you don’t have to pay to lease a building. You just need a spot in town big enough to park your the truck on, and the streets become the dining room.
Different cities have different codes around what you can sell in public. For example, Portland, Oregon is a food truck paradise. But you’re not allowed to sell on public property, which includes sidewalks and streets. You have to pay a little bit of rent to lease a space in a private parking lot and sell from there. Since there are so many in Portland, it’s common to see 20-30 trucks grouped together in a pod. If you can find an area that has other food trucks, you can benefit from increased foot traffic. We included this on our Side Hustle Master List because it can be a profitable endeavor.
So how much does it cost? Well, the main costs upfront are the truck itself and the equipment inside. The cost varies depending on what location you’re in but can start at $50,000. Another thing to note is that many food truck businesses rent out time in a commercial kitchen to prep items for sale. Again, the cost for this can vary by location, but you can expect to pay at least $30 per hour per team member.
You also might have to pay to refinish the outside of your truck to match your branding. If all this is sounding pretty expensive, you could look into the option of starting a food truck cart or trailer. These can significantly reduce your upfront costs, provided that you already have an SUV or truck you can tow it with. There’s a lot of good information on starting food trucks online, check out some examples below.
- A Guide to Starting a Food Truck Business
- 50 Food Truck Owners Speak Out
- 10 Step Plan for Starting a Food Truck
- Here’s How Much it Really Costs to Start a Food Truck
- The Complete Breakdown of Food Truck Operation Costs