Food truck businesses have grown fourfold in the last five years
Food trucks have always been around on a limited basis, from the ice cream man who drove through your neighborhood when you were a kid to the corn dog truck at the state fair. But when food trucks started to become popular as a mobile restaurant option in mainstream everyday life back in 2012, it was a $650 million industry.
In 2017, by contrast, food trucks are projected to be a $2.7 billion industry. Growth in the food truck sector is outpacing growth in the brick-and-mortar restaurant sector by 1.1%. Food trucks may have been considered a fad at one time, but this is a fad that shows every sign of sticking around.
What are the advantages of owning a food truck business?
There are numerous advantages to owning a food truck business, not only because of their soaring popularity, but also because of the extreme flexibility that comes along with them. Some of the major advantages include:
- Low startup costs - Less than $100,000 can get you started in this business
- High return potential - Earn between $250,000 and $500,000 on average
- Location, location, location - If you're in a bad location today, you can be in a new location tomorrow
- Low payroll costs - Food trucks can be run by just one or two people typically
- Social media advertising - Millennials use social media to find out food truck locations
- Immeasurable flexibility
- Don't like your menu? Change it!
- Want to go on vacation? Park your truck!
- Want to move to a new town? Take your business with you!
There can be challenges along the way
It's important to know the laws where you live, because there are still a few places where food trucks either aren't allowed or are heavily regulated. Even parking can be an issue in the least regulated areas. Food truck business challenges include:
- Challenging mobile vending laws
- Need for parking permits
- Health codes
- Rules about distances from other businesses
- Needing a commissary for food preparation
- Insurance costs and challenges
- Fire codes
- Rival food trucks