Do Food Trucks Pay Rent?

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Food Trucks Pay Rent

Do food trucks pay rent like a brick and mortar restaurant? After all, they are a restaurant, they are just on wheels. Right?

A food truck needs to think about a number of fees they need to pay wherever they park their truck. There are fees from parking permits to commissary fees (for a great list of licenses, permits and fees associated with a food truck business, check out our Start Your Own Food truck Business article). Along with these fees, some areas may require you to park your truck at a commissary when not in use. Other forms of “rent” are at events and in public places.


Food Trucks Pay Rent At Events

Other than normal operation fees, food trucks will need to pay “rent” for their spot at events. These fees range in price and depend on the area, event, number of other trucks at the event, and many other variables. At events, you can expect to see costs to claim your spot range from $75+. As stated though, this all depends on the event. A good rule of thumb is to try to not to pay more than 10% sales in event fees. This will help in case there is bad weather or the event does not have a great turnout.


Rental Costs in Front of a Business

Another place food trucks pay rent is a parking space on the street and/or a public place. For example, parking costs in front of another business.

Parking in front of another business can be beneficial for both you and that business. Just be aware that if the business owns that area you want to park in, you will need to get a written agreement that they allow you to park there. That business may also charge a rental fee for that spot. In many cases, as long as your food truck helps benefit the business, the rental cost are usually lower than parking elsewhere. However, this is something that you will need to coordinate with the owner.

If you do well for you and the business, this could be an ongoing opportunity for you both.

Although food truck owners do not pay an actual “rent” for their food trucks, there are many other forms of rent that are applied. Events, public parking and land owner spaces can be all forms of “rent” for a food truck. Looking into the cost of the space you are wanting to park at is needed along with written agreements to stay on top of the cost and stay out of any legal issues. To wrap things up, yes, food trucks pay rent in one form or another.

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4 Responses

  1. I’m have a family event this fall. All day, 9:00 am – 11:00 pm; we are estimating 10,000 people over the length of the day. We want to open the event up for food trucks; how many would you recommend and what would be a fair rate to charge them for the space. We will be providing electric hook ups for the trucks.

    1. Hi Jim,
      Sounds like a lot of fun for everyone!
      Unfortunately, I cannot accurately answer your questions as there is a lot of missing information, but I will try to give you the best ideas I can.

      This will depend on the available space you have to offer trucks. The average food truck is around 16 feet long so you can make a good judgement from there.

      There is no one way to charge trucks. You can charge in a few different ways:
      – FIXED RATE: You charge one fee to the trucks and all is set and done
      – PERCENTAGE: The truck will pay a fixed percentage of all sales for the duration of the event. Average amount is around 10%
      – GUARANTEE: This is a guarantee that the truck will get a set number of sales. This is best suited for large events
      – PERCENTAGE OF SALES & FIXED RATES: You charge a fixed fee to attend along with a percentage of sales.

      As you can see, there are a variety of ways you can charge. Estimating a total of what it will cost you per truck for electric etc. will help you decide the best way to charge to cover your expenses AND make it a great experience for the truckers and public as well!

      Please check back in and let us all know how the event went and what pricing structure you decided on to help others reading this!


  2. Hi, I own a building in San Antonio that is not open for business at this time. I like to lease the parking lot to food trucks. How do I go about connecting with the food trucks in the area and how do I determine the rate I can charge them for my expenses for utilities and restrooms which I will be paying $350/mo for

    1. Hi Manjit. Thank you for reaching out!
      Please refer to my last response on ways you can charge trucks.

      As for Finding and reaching out to trucks, you can find trucks a few ways;
      – Google something like “food trucks in San Antonio”
      – Use a directory like

      If you still need help finding available trucks, please contact us on our contact page asking for additional assistance. We will be more than happy to help find more trucks in your area.

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