Food trucks are a highly profitable business that offers customers a variety of meal options out of a mobile truck. This basically operates inside a large vehicle equipped with kitchen and food products.
The basic expenses to start a food truck business are as follows:
- Food truck: In general, a commercial truck can cost between $50,000 to $90,000 on average. However, to save cost, you can also buy a second-hand commercial truck.
- Kitchen equipment: You will need to invest in some good quality & functional kitchen equipment such as an oven, fryer, grill, sinks, etc.
- Licenses & Permits: To start a food truck business you will need to get some licenses and permits. The cost of license and permit and other fees may vary from state to state.
- Staff: The average salary of a food truck cook can vary from $21,000 to $39,000 for an experienced chef.
- Marketing: It is important that you use social media channels as a marketing tool to get the word out about your business. Plus, you can also use pamphlets and also advertise in the local newspapers.
In order to start a food truck business in a particular city, it is mandatory to check what kind of food trucks are already operating, identify a gap, and bring in some new experiences.
Here are some real life success stories of starting a food truck:
1. New York Food Truck Association ($2.4M/year)
Jen and Ben Goldberg (from New York, NY, USA) started New York Food Truck Association almost 6 years ago.
My name is Ben Goldberg and, along with my wife, Jennifer Goldberg, we founded and run the New York Food Truck Association (NYFTA) and Food Truck Promotions. We focus on mobile culinary solutions for private and large events (everything from weddings to Comic Con), as well as experiential marketing for top brands such as Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Califia Farms, Match Group, Google, Viacom, and Twitter.
Within our first year of business (2016-2017), we did >$1M in revenue with consistent and every year we have had 50%+ YoY growth.
2. Roll Up Food Truck ($600K/year)
Bryce Dillingham (from Colorado Springs, CO, USA) started Roll Up Food Truck ago.
In 2018 we had the idea of starting a food truck. The inspiration came from my lifelong goal of being my own boss and running my own business. I had no idea this goal would land me in the food business but it did and I am forever grateful that it did.
Running ourselves seemingly to death trying to set the trailer up for a lunch, then packing up to run a night shift at a brewery paid off in the best way possible and we now have a five-person staff and insanely busy days that always keep us on our toes.
3. Tap Truck USA ($360K/year)
Corbin O'Reilly (from San Diego) started Tap Truck USA almost 6 years ago.
Hi, My name is Corbin with Tap Truck. I co-founded it with my buddy Taylor Steers in August of 2016. It has been a great journey that began here in San Diego. Our initial goal was to service local weddings, corporate events, and private parties, with an occasional festival or two! We quickly learned and tapped beer, wine, and cider to be served from the side of classic trucks. It was a major hit so much so that starting September 2017 we began licensing the brand nationally beginning in Boston, Massachusetts, and San Luis Obispo, California.
We enjoy refurbishing classic panel trucks and pick-up trucks, installing the taps so it is a turnkey money maker for a new licensee to launch their own business. This is a revenue stream for the business, along with brand royalties.
4. The Vet Chef ($417K/year)
Kyle Gourlie (from Seattle, WA, USA) started The Vet Chef about 7 years ago.
Kyle Gourlie is the proprietor of the Vet Chef food truck business in the Seattle area. In 2008, after being forcefully retired due to brain injury, he was looking to start his own business.
Mexican food was something he was passionate about and decided to open his own food truck serving Mexican food.
Kyle's father-in-law helped him with the recipes and his wife Amanda supported him on this journey.
Vet Chef is on a mission to help veterans transition back into the civilian workforce. The business is completely established, operated, and managed by veterans.
He now earns more than $400,000 annually from his food truck business and the business is expanding.
Read the full story on upflip.com ➜
5. Onit Coffee ($630K/year)
Onit Coffee is a Sacramento food truck that serves coffee, protein shakes, and other beverages.
Shadi Khattab (from Sacramento, CA, USA) started Onit Coffee over 2 years ago.
In January 2020, founder Shadi Khattab launched Onit Coffee - a coffee food truck.
This Sacramento-based food truck offers coffee, tea, protein shakes, and other hot & cold beverages. They also serve a range of vegan & planet-based drinks for guilt-free consumption.
This young CEO, Shadi Khattab, came from Syria to Sacramento with the purpose of building a business and impacting his surrounding community in a positive way.
Customers can feel good about getting coffee from Onit because a portion of the food truck's profits is donated to neighborhood organizations.
Watch the full video on youtube.com ➜
6. Aybla Grill ($648K/year)
Saied Samaiel (from Portland, OR, USA) started Aybla Grill over 18 years ago.
- Saied Samaiel moved from Syria to Lebanon, Cyprus, Turkey, then Greece. Finally, he arrived in the United States to settle down in Portland and open a business of his own.
- Chef Saied’s first Aybla Grill location was in Alder St. in portland and he served the local community with delicious greek and Mediterranean delicacies. Currently, Aybla Grill is present in three locations across Portland and also offers catering services.
- Saied started the business with $20K, and now the company has 3 trucks with average monthly revenue of more than $50K.
Read the full story on youtube.com ➜
7. Fair Food Treats ($350K/year)
Mariah Monetize (from ) started Fair Food Treats over 2 years ago.
- I Started A Food Truck Business In Cali At The Age Of 20 By Myself.
- I am always passionate about food. I decided to open a food truck business when I am in college.
- My hobby is baking food and my friends always like my baked food so I decided to start a food truck and convert my hobby into a great business opportunity.
- At my peak of food truck business success, I am generating $350K revenue per annum.
Read the full story on youtube.com ➜
8. Food Fleet ($18M/year)
Jeffrey Mora (from Los Angeles, California, USA) started Food Fleet over 10 years ago.
I started my career at the world-famous Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles Apprenticing under Certified Master Chef Raimund Hofmeister.
Food Fleet’s growth Year after year has been at an at over 30 %. From 2017-2018 we had an unprecedented 160% growth spurt. With a team of 6, including my partner and I, we managed over 20 million in sales for our clients. As an example. We took over a convention center 3 years ago managing their food truck business. For their largest event of the year, we were up 53% over the previous year. I honestly would have to equate some of that success to the under-reporting of sales by the previous operator. But the following year we were up 19% from that figure and again close to that this year. That is due in large part to our understanding of transaction times, menu mix, the equipment in each truck or pop up and other factors.
9. Shake Shack ($740M/year)
In less than 20 years, Shake Shack has transformed from a small hot dog stand into a gourmet burger and milkshake chain that operates in over 270 locations around the world.
Daniel Meyer (from New York, NY, USA) started Shake Shack over 18 years ago.
Daniel Meyer established Shake Shack in 2004. When it started, he used to just sell hot dogs from a cart in Madison Square Park.
Meyer has gradually transformed the hotdog cart into a kiosk-style restaurant that serves gourmet burgers, hot dogs, milkshakes, and crinkle-cut french fries.
In less than 20 years, Shake Shack has grown from a single hot dog stand to a global fast food chain with over 270 locations.
Shake Shack offers a lively & fun community hangout place with wide appeal thanks to its fresh, high-quality, and delicious food at an incredible price.
Read the full story on successstory.com ➜
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