Food Truck Average Cost | Important Things To Consider

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Food Truck Average Cost

There are few things in this world more satisfying than the perfect bite of food. Whether it’s a hot dog on the boardwalk, a toasted bagel with cream cheese, or a slice of pizza, food is an integral part of our lives.

Food trucks are an excellent way for small businesses to set themselves apart and create excitement in their community by bringing fresh, local cuisine to hungry customers. With the recent trend of mobile food services it has become easier than ever before for anyone with a love for cooking to make their own business. But how much does it cost? Keep reading to find out.

The Cost of Food Trucks

The food truck average cost varies based on location, size, and equipment. However, there are some general costs to expect when starting a food truck.

In order to set up and launch your food truck, you’ll need about $50,000-$60,000 in startup costs. This includes purchasing the truck ($10,000 – $15,000), the interior of the truck (roughly $5,000), and licenses to operate the business ($1,500). Once you have those initial costs covered by yourself or an investor, you will be able to start selling your food.

Depending on how much you sell each day it could take anywhere from two weeks to six months before you make any money. If you’re looking for instant cash flow then this is not a good option for your business. The best way to prepare yourself for success is to do research into how much income other similar restaurants are making after they’ve been operating for a few years.

Rent for a Space

The most important investment you’ll make when opening a food truck is the rental space. The cost of renting a space can vary greatly depending on the type of business and location, but it’s typically calculated as a percentage of gross revenue.

Look for trucks in high-traffic areas like college campuses, festivals, and public parks to ensure that your business can be seen by more people. If you’re not confident about where you should open your food truck, seek out an experienced consultant who can help you set up shop in your community.

There are many factors to consider when comparing rent prices between cities or regions. What’s important is to find one that will allow your business to grow while maintaining profitability. Here are some factors that you should examine before settling on a specific location:

-What is the cost per square foot?

-Are there ways to cut back on costs like electricity and water?

-How much space do I need?

-Is there any additional requirements? For example, could I need to pay for parking spaces or have deliveries made during certain hours?


It may seem like a little thing but it’s not. If you are going to serve any type of food, you will need to provide adequate refrigeration. Keep your product from spoiling or your business from running out of money.

A basic small commercial refrigerator that can hold around 3-4 cubic feet should cost about $1,500-$2,500. This includes the unit and installation fees for it as well as a three-year warranty on the compressor. The size of the fridge will depend on how much room you have for it and what kind of food you want to store inside (convection ovens also require some space).

If you want to make a bigger investment in your business there are options available that can reach 4 cubic feet and up to 10-12 cubic feet in capacity. These larger fridges typically cost $5,000-$8,000 with installation fees included.

Insurance and Taxes

When it comes to operating a food truck, there are a few things you have to consider. For starters, insurance is a must! It only takes one incident for your business to end up in the red. You’ll also have to consider taxes and other fees involved with running a food truck. If you’re at all unsure of how much money will be required to operate your truck, it’s best to do some research beforehand.

It will require some upfront investment in order to get started, but it’s worth it knowing that you can start earning money right away. With so many people ditching the traditional 9-5 job for the fast-paced life of the entrepreneur, the time is now for your small business dreams!


If you’re considering launching a food truck, it is important to consider the cost of the equipment needed. Food trucks often require specialized tools to cook specialty dishes and some need many more pieces than others.

Most food trucks will require a commercial kitchen large enough to house all the equipment, while some may not need one at all. For example, some food trucks are able to operate out of a backyard or garage and only need a grill and propane stove.

The cost of any given item is dependent on how often it needs to be replaced. Therefore, renting will generally be cheaper than buying but buying can bring in long-term benefits like warranties and customizations.


A food truck is a mobile kitchen, which means running it requires a lot of time and labor. It’s not just the owner who works in the truck every day; it’s also an employee or two as well. The owner will be responsible for managing all aspects of the business, including cooking and marketing.

Labor costs are high because a food truck will require more hands-on work than other types of businesses. This can account for anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 annually in operating costs.

Finding Employees

The food truck average cost can be high, but it all depends on the type of food being made and the quality. While you may need more experienced chefs to run your business, it is possible for anyone to start a business that specializes in street food.

For example, let’s say you want to make “peanut butter & jelly” sandwiches with bread from scratch. You’ll need flour, sugar, butter, salt and yeast. These ingredients are relatively cheap and could add up to $20 per recipe. That would only be one day’s total costs!

If you’re looking to make a variety of dishes or produce quesadillas with tortillas purchased at the store, you’ll spend less money as long as you have access to local sources for some ingredients like cheese and salsa.

Although this is an estimate based on one person’s experience operating a food truck, these costs could range anywhere from $1-5 per meal depending on how much time and energy you put into your dishes.

Training Employees

The first cost of running a food truck is training employees! Many small businesses don’t have the resources to invest in an experienced, hands-on management team. Instead, they can hand over their business to someone who has experience in the food industry and let them handle it from there.

But what if you want to be hands-on? This can also come at a cost. It’s important that your employees know how to run your business efficiently and professionally. This will allow them to be able to take care of customers on their own without constant supervision.

This is especially true when you’re using mobile food services, which often require more frequent visits than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. If you don’t provide your employees with the necessary training they need, they’ll pour money down the drain trying to figure things out on their own and may end up costing you more than it would have cost for you hire another employee who already knows what he or she is doing!

Paying Employees

One of the first and most important steps is to ensure that you have enough staff.

Depending on the size and scope of your food truck, you will likely need a staff of 4-8 people. You can hire employees or commit yourself to a long-term contract with a staffing agency who will help find you workers.

It’s important to pay your employees well. A starting wage for food truck employees varies from truck to truck and from place to place. Your pay scale should be based off experience and qualifications, as this will give more experienced personnel the opportunity to increase their hourly wages. For ideas on what others pay for employees, I suggest joining Facebook Groups where you can ask other food truckers what they are paying or for ideas on good rates to pay your employees. There are a number of groups that can be found.

You’ll need to provide benefits for your team such as health insurance, paid time off (PTO), and retirement savings plans. Even if no one takes advantage of these benefits, it’s worth putting money into them because it shows your commitment to your employees.

Managing Schedules

Running a food truck is not as simple as people think. With the increasing demand for mobile meals, there’s more competition than ever before. The first step to success is finding a location where you can set up shop and gain customer patronage. However, this may be easier said than done.

First things first, it’s important to know what kind of food you want to serve before you start looking for a space. What are your hours? Do you need a permit? What are your projected costs? This will help you gauge how much money is needed in order to get started.

To start out with, food trucks typically require $40,000-$70,000 in startup costs depending on the size of your operation and the scope of services offered. These expenses will mostly include the cost of vehicle and required permits and licenses such as those issued by health departments in each area where they plan to operate. Additionally, these expenses should also include insurance and worker liability insurance that protects both employees and customers.

Tips for Picking the Perfect Employee.

Picking the perfect employee is crucial to your success. But with so many steps in the process, it can be difficult to find the right person for your business.

Here are some tips on how to pick the perfect employee:

  • Be as specific as possible in your job description
  • Make sure you hire someone who can do all aspects of their job
  • Don’t neglect personality and experience when hiring.
  • Ask yourself if this person is the right fit for your company culture, values, and mission.
  • Trust your gut.



I have covered a number of things to consider with a food truck. As you can see, there are a number of things to consider when asking about the food truck average cost and these are not all of them. Overall, you can look at paying $100,000 to start a food truck with the costs of the truck, the equipment, the food and the employees. However, this cost can differ greatly depending on the type of truck you get and the type of cuisine you serve.

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