Average Costs for a Food Truck Startup: What You Need to Know

If you have no past expertise in the food industry, the average cost for a food truck is necessary if you want to launch your own physical restaurant and this can seem very overwhelming.

Choosing the Right Payment Solution for your Business

A food truck, however, might be the ideal way to break into the catering industry. It can be a good idea to start your new business today since there are numerous new food truck owners entering the market.

The industry as a whole is currently estimated to be worth $1.2 billion. You don’t want to get wrong with it or rather make the wrong decision.

We’re taking a closer look at the average cost related to operating a food truck to help you turn your culinary ideas into reality.

Writing a Business Plan

The greatest obstacle preventing entrepreneurs from pursuing their goals is typically money. Writing a business plan is the first thing a new business owner should do. 

This should concentrate on your financial predictions, covering your initial financial needs, a thorough examination of the anticipated expenditures for food trucks, and how you anticipate your company will develop over the next few years. 

It should be simpler for you to launch your firm the more initial research you conduct and the more thoroughly you research.

Resources and Equipment

The food truck itself will be your major outlay; these specialized trucks may be very expensive to purchase. 

At the low end of the spectrum, you might be looking at paying roughly $50,000; however, costs for new food trucks can be significantly more, especially if they are fully furnished and decorated.

You should also account for the following expenses:

  • Website – $0 to $5,000
  • Insurance – $2,000 to $4,000 per year
  • Uniforms – $0 to $1,000
  • Paper products (napkins, plates, etc) – $200 to $300
  • Initial food costs and inventory – $1,000 to $2,000

Hiring a Team and Finding Vendors

Owning your own food truck has its advantages, one of which is that it only requires a small staff to run them. 

Therefore, you won’t need more than one or two workers if you intend to operate the vehicle yourself. States will have different typical wages that you can anticipate paying your staff:

  • Federal minimum wage – $7.25 per hour
  • The average wage for a food truck manager – is $12.11

If you want your food truck startup to be successful, you’ll need to find trustworthy vendors in addition to employees. 

Remember that you’ll be marking up by roughly 300% when you look at the cost of the ingredients, so consider your profit and loss at this point.

Getting your Paperwork in Order

An essential component of starting any new business is paperwork. Despite the fact that your food truck will be movable, you still need to obtain a number of licenses and permits before you can start doing business.

These consist of:

  • Fire Certificate
  • Health Department Permit
  • Vehicle License
  • Food Safety/Food Handler’s Permit
  • Seller’s Permit (some states only)
  • Business License
  • Employer Identification Number

Choosing the Right Payment Solution for your Business

average cost for a food truck

Customers who patronize food trucks typically want their orders filled as soon as possible. The majority of customers will also value the choice of payment options.

You must therefore spend money on a point-of-sale system that can process payments quickly and effectively and that takes all widely used payment options.

Your POS system’s price will change depending on the bundle you select. Some service providers charge a flat fee, while others tailor each transaction based on a number of variables.

Invest in Marketing

Although many business owners spend a lot of money on marketing, there are several strategies to keep these expenses low.

Social networking is a powerful marketing tool that many operators of food trucks employ. It’s also a great method to spread the word about your brand and attract customers.

Here are just a few strategies for drawing clients:

  • Post food and enticing content.
  • Cheap or free advertisements
  • Provide rewards or promo codes to have people contact you
  • Join forces with other food trucks in your neighborhood.

Food Truck Stats

The food truck sector expanded at an average annual rate of 8.4% between 2007 and 2012. 

The typical cost to start a food truck business is between $28,000 and $114,000, while the average annual revenue is around $300,000.


It’s tremendously fulfilling to launch your own business, especially if it succeeds. Accurate financial forecasting is the most crucial step in beginning any new firm. 

To avoid any surprises along the way, make sure your expense breakdown is as exact as you can. 

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