Food truck income is a topic everyone starting out or looking into starting a food truck business asks about. There are a variety of reasons a food truck can be either successful or fail.
You can make a living from a food truck business as long as you pick your niche, create your business plan, get your licensing and do the proper research for your area. With these areas in place, your food truck income can be as high as you want it to be.
If you are really interested in starting your own business, I strongly urge you to visit our Food Truck Beginners Guide article for a complete detailed understanding of the whole process. The article explains everything from the start to the everyday business of making food truck income.
Type of Truck and It’s Details
New or Used?
One of the biggest playing factors behind how much your food truck income will be is your truck. There are a variety of trucks to choose from, but the biggest choice here is whether you are going to buy a new or used truck.
A food truck can vary in price from $50,000 to well over $150,000 depending on the age and the equipment you have in it. For example, when buying a used food truck, you may not find some of the troubled areas the truck may have. A problem with the engine may allow you to use it for a short time before it fails and leaves you stranded or even worse…. unable to make it to an event. Imagine what reviews you might get if your truck did not show up to a catering event for a wedding!
Planning for unforeseen events is something to consider when purchasing a used truck and considering your food truck income. Always make sure you have a backup plan.
For a great article that goes into new vs used food trucks in more detail, visit our friends at Roaming Hunger.
Another area to be cautious of is the equipment if buying a used food truck. The used equipment like coolers, refrigerators, freezers, stoves, grills or ovens are a concern. They may be cleaned up and look great but not function or function for a short time leaving you stranded. Used food truck equipment is no different than when buying a house. The stove or refrigerator may look great, but then not work as well as it should when you first go to use it.
Always keep this expense in mind as part of your food truck income. It could really add up when things fail and will eat into your overall profit. Don’t forget, you not only have the cost of the equipment, but the cost to have it replaced too.
No Rust Buckets Please
Food truck body condition is another thing to watch for. It will make an impact on your overall food truck income. The worse the body condition, the more the cost to repair. Although body work can be on the less expensive side in the overall picture of things, it is still an expense you will want to keep in mind.
One last area to be concerned of with your food truck is the design. Have you ever really paid attention to the wonderful artwork on some of these food trucks? Owners pay a lot to have the trucks wrapped in vinyl with all their logos etc. on it. However, how much does it cost to have vinyl removed from a food truck and new vinyl wrap applied? This price can range anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 and should be replaced on a routine basis.
Type of Menu (everyday or gourmet)
Food truck income is not only determined on whether the truck is new or used. The type of food you offer also play a role.
Food trucks are no longer selling just hot dogs and sandwiches to factory workers. They now sell gourmet burgers, gluten-free and vegan sandwiches and a variety of other foods. The type of food you sell is something you will need to think about. The price you charge for your food will have an affect on your overall food truck income. A truck which has a delicious gourmet burger like this one form Prowl Food Truck can charge more for their food than a truck that sells a plain sandwich.
How the Right Locations Affect Your Food Truck Income (link to What are the best locations for a food truck)
Having the right locations can help make or break a food truck. After all, how much do you think a truck in a location with few customers will make as compared to a truck where there are a ton of customers? I think you can see how a location can make a big difference.
Finding a good location to park your truck on the street is not always the easiest thing to do. However, there are many places you can go which can be profitable. For example, there is a food truck that parks next to the grocery store where I live. This truck is there all the time and always has people waiting in line. This is a smaller town and next to a grocery store!
There are many places you can park your truck that can be profitable. You just need to look around and talk to people. See “Can a Food Truck Park Anywhere” for more information on how to find good locations.
Wrapping It All Up
The overall cost of the truck along with your menu and your locations will all contribute to what your food truck income will be. The more you need to pay back every month for loans, the less profit you are making from locations and how much you charge for your food are all contributing factors. With these in mind, you can start to determine whether a food truck business is worth it or not.