More Food Service Entrepreneurs Are Launching Food Trucks

Jessica Elliott

Jessica couples her 24 years of restaurant and hospitality industry experience with meticulous research to deliver insight into technology, operations, and marketing topics. Her optimized copy helps companies engage their audience while strengthening their communication with clients, employees, and management.

As food trucks continue to go mainstream, this lower risk adventure entices new food entrepreneurs. According to IBISWorld, “over the past five years, the Food Trucks industry has grown by 6.8% to reach revenue of $1 billion in 2019.”

If your dream is to be your own boss, but you don’t want to sink hundreds of thousands into a business, then opening a food truck instead of a brick and mortar restaurant may be right for you.

Group of friends buying food from a food truck.

The advantages of opening food trucks

With a mobile food truck, you’re driving around in a vehicle that also does your marketing. This mobility provides both freedom and opportunity for entrepreneurs.

Low startup costs

Depending on your area, it’s possible to open a food truck with less than $100,000. The low barrier to entry allows people to dip their toes into a foodservice business without the financial risks associated with a traditional restaurant.

Smaller operating budget

Although you’ll pay different expenses, like gasoline and propane, you won’t have huge rent and utility bills. Plus, you’ll pay less in payroll and inventory costs.

Potential for a high return

A high return on investment attracts people to the industry. Inc. reports that food truck operators “earn between $250,000 and $500,000 on average.”

Easy to add onto an existing business

For individuals with an existing event planning or catering company, adding a food truck makes sense. A mobile restaurant adds another revenue stream.

The flexibility of food trucks

Along with low startup costs, flexibility is a top reason that people open a food truck business instead of a brick and mortar restaurant.

  • Location. You can find the highest traffic locations, attend events and festivals, and switch up your surroundings regularly.
  • Menu. With a smaller inventory, it’s easy to change up your menu to reflect seasonal changes or to sell more of what your customers want.
  • Schedule. If something comes up or you want to take a vacation, then it’s simpler to park your truck as opposed to walking away from a full-service restaurant.
  • Learning opportunity. Operating a food truck is a way to expand your knowledge of the food industry by learning on the job at your own pace.
  • Brand. A bonus of food truck ownership is building up your brand in desired locations and leveraging that information to increase revenue from additional income streams or to open a future restaurant.  

Food trucks are considered a low risk venture

Although there’s a lot to consider when it comes to owning and operating a food truck, the facts remain that it’s a less expensive and less risky venture than the traditional brick and mortar restaurant.

As John Levy, a board member of the National Food Truck Association told the Chicago Reader, “You can create your restaurant on wheels for $50,000 to $60,000. You get a little slice of the American dream, pretty inexpensively.” For this reason, experts expect the food truck industry to continue to grow, with successful operators differentiating their brand to stand out from the competition.

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