A common question we are asked by our readers relates to food truck start up cost. Due to varied factors that can be used to determine this answer, we typically provide a broad range of $40,000 – $250,000. While it technically answers the question, it’s still a bit broad for someone trying to determine if opening a food truck business is something they can afford, or something they need to get a loan for. Because of this, we have generated this chart to help those interested in joining the mobile food industry.
In the chart, you’ll find three areas; one time start up costs, re-occurring start up costs and costs that vary from area to area. Each of these sections is subdivided by three price ranges; $ = low, $$ = average and $$$ = high for each area.
While this guide should be used as a general group of ranges, it is helpful for those interested in finding how much starting up a food truck business can cost.
Food Truck Business Start Up Costs
|One time start-up costs|
|Purchasing your food truck||5000||25000||125000|
|Retrofitting and/or bring the truck up to code||25000||40000||50000|
|Initial food purchases||500||1250||2000|
|Utensils and paper goods||500||1000||3500|
|Initial office equipment and supplies||200||500||1000|
|Initial advertising and PR||500||750||1000|
|Professional, legal and consulting fees||500||2000||5000|
|Reoccurring start-up costs|
|Commercial kitchen/Commissary rent||500||1500||3000|
|Credit card processing equipment||50||150||500|
|Start-up costs which vary by location|
|Permits and licensing||50||500||10000|
- Prices shown are not set in stone, and can change without notice.
- Prices shown in the reoccurring categories are for 1 week.
- Prices shown which vary by location are for 1 month.
So what do you think about the cost to start a food truck?
While is may seem like a steep price to start a food truck business, try to compare these costs to that of a brick and mortar restaurant. The high end prices in this chart don’t come close to comparing to starting a small quick service restaurant.
Be sure to keep an eye open for contests. In season three of The Great Food Truck Race, they gave away a food truck to the eventual winners. Talk about a great way to cut your food truck start up cost.