Food Truck Business: How to Start Making Money

Have you ever considered making money from a food truck business? A food truck is a large motorized vehicle designed for cooking, storing, serving, and/or selling food, such as a bus or trailer.

Some sell frozen or prepackaged food, like ice cream trucks; others have on-board kitchens and cook food from scratch or heat up food prepared in a commercial kitchen made of bricks and mortar. It is fashionable to have tacos, hamburgers, fries, and other local fast foods on these trucks. Food trucks selling gourmet cuisine and a variety of specialties and ethnic menus have become increasingly popular in recent years, along with the pop-up restaurant trend.


You need a competitive and attractive concept, viable business and financial plan, a fully equipped food truck, and a strong marketing strategy to build your customer base to start a food truck business. To start a food truck business, here are some steps you need to take carefully. 

Food Truck Business
A food truck is a large motorized vehicle designed for cooking, storing, serving, and/or selling food, such as a bus or trailer. Photo credits to:

Research Your Target Audience

Typically, preparation is the crucial difference between the right food truck and a short-lived attempt. A preventive ounce could make a ton of difference in your business’ profitability. It is essential to ensure that you fill a hole in the market or supply demand when starting your food truck business.

Research about your competitors and think of ways to compete with them. Study the location of your food truck and see if it’s the proper location for your business and what you sell. 


Choose a Unique Name for Your Food Truck

Make sure that the name of your food truck is unique; if there is another restaurant or food truck with the same name, you risk infringing a trademark. Your name will reflect your product, theme, and philosophy so that your potential customers know what to expect immediately.

Consider the name as something that needs to be memorable and easy to pronounce. This is particularly important for food trucks because, for much of their business, they rely on word-of-mouth. Avoid long, complicated names − four or fewer words is a decent rule of thumb for the name of your food truck.

Get a License

In the small business world, nothing is easy, and you can’t just drive a food truck or set up a cart anywhere you want. Cities have different requirements, including licenses from the health department, truck permits, and limits on parking.


Many towns have their own policies, so to get the facts, contact your local government. Many neighborhoods do not permit parking in public spaces for food carts or trucks; you will need to find private parking with access to a crowded area, which is a challenging task. It will be smoother sailing once you’ve figured out how to get the licenses and permits you need.

Get a Truck

Health departments have the same rules for food trucks as they do for restaurants, so expensive specialty equipment will be needed for your vehicle. You can probably find a fully prepared used truck between $20,000 and $40,000 if you want to get a truck without shelling out the six-figure cost.

Create Your Business Plan

As with any other company, your business plan will need to be dedicated to time and research. Once you’ve got your loan squared away, look at permit expenses, cleaning equipment, materials, and other costs, and figure out how much you’ll need to sell each month to make a profit.


Starting a business can be tough. However, if you love what you do and you’re passionate, these tips will help you get there. For more business tips in the food industry, click here.