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.