The Cost Of Selling From A Food Truck: Boon or Bane?

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Before food trucks became high end and all-over-the-place, they were the places to go to buy a dollar sandwich. Today, food trucks charge as much as $9 for a hamburger or $17 for a sushi plate. In fact, the number of food trucks in the country has doubled since 2007 and bringing in revenues of over $716 million annually. This is one of the reasons why food trucks have become a popular investment for new chefs and established restaurants alike. The food truck craze has brought all kinds of cuisines to the street level making it very convenient for the meal on the run.

One should ask though: “Why the food prices?” Is the cost of operating a food truck high or is the potential revenue simply mind blowing? These are valid questions for people interested in finding an alternative source of income by starting a food truck business.

Food costs and the cost of running a business has not jumped tremendously high to warrant the steep prices. That is, unless you are using expensive ingredients or you already have an established gourmet brand. As a matter of fact, the costs are lower than running a traditional restaurant since you do not need to employ waiters, bus boys, cashier, accountant, and a manager to run your business. Your major costs would be the license to operate, equipment, truck, and ingredients.

The common sentiment about food trucks among those who patronize them (and they are many) is that food trucks are a novelty and represent something new and fresh. “It’s part of the city scene and something that has to be experienced.”

Thus, even if an ice cream bar costs way more than if you buy an ice cream bar in a grocery, people are willing to spend. However, the price is justified only if you offer something that isn’t available anywhere else – like an ice cream bar with unusual flavors and toppings.

You also have to consider that people accustomed to eating in pricey restaurants may want to spend their money on street food instead. They not only save money, they also do not have to pay tips or service charge. Plus, they can choose from a wide variety of menus with affordable to very high prices.

At the current trend in food trucks, opening one is definitely something worth considering provided you have something spectacular, delicious, flavorful, and unique to offer since the high prices are not a deterrent – not at all.


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