Food Truck Economics: Breaking Down the Revolution

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Food Truck economics check out. Not only do Food Trucks churn out awesome and unique food, they are also extremely economical; helping both chefs and patrons everywhere. Don’t believe me? Let’s break it down.

Food truck economics broken down.

A modest food truck (fully decked out with cooking equipment) will run you anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000. Let’s call it $75,000. Fixed cost, done.

Now, let’s say that the average cost of a meal on Economical Chef’s Awesome Food Truck cost $10. Typically, food cost will be about 33% of that, and another 33% is tied to utilities, paper ware, labor, etc. Leaving 33% in profit.

Let’s assume ECA Food Truck gets 75 customers for lunch and 75 customers for dinner (the average number of customers for a successful Food Truck, which we would be). This would generate $1,500 in revenue per day, or $7,500 per week if you work 5 days a week. In other words, you’re raking in $375,000 a year. Which is about $123,750 in profit. Not a bad chunk of change if you ask me.

Food Truck Economics 2
Photo by: Nan Palmero

Obviously, this is a perfect scenario. The main point is that food trucks have substantially lower fixed costs, which allows them to start up and operate on a leaner model compared to a brick and mortar restaurant. A restaurant could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to open, and a food truck can be opened for less than $100k. This lean start up allows chefs to easily bring their delicious food to patrons while avoiding a lot of the typical hurdles that come with opening a restaurant.

There are also countless experienced chefs entering the food truck scene, it’s not just greasy Bob whipping up some grease burgers with a side of grease fries. Talented chefs are often behind the wheel (and stove) making it easy for customers to eat great food for only a fraction of the cost that great food should be. Which brings me to my next point…

Food truck economics check out, for all of us.

Going to a restaurant for a quality meal can cost $15-50 per person depending on who you are. I am more of a $15 guy, but the great thing about food trucks is that you can get the same quality meal for only $6-12! Bottom line, the consumer gets to eat convenient food at an affordable price and the chef gets to live out their dream in an economical way. Win win.

Food trucks around the U.S.

I suggest you check out the list of some of the tastiest food trucks operating around the U.S. below. It’s a small sample of what the food truck world has to offer, but gives a sense for the variety of great food that is available.

Check them out, and support the Food Truck revolution!

Header Photo by: Ted Eytan

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