How Much Does a Food Truck Cost? A Comprehensive Guide to Expenses and Investments

How Much Does a Food Truck Cost? – A food truck is a mobile kitchen that can be used for cooking, preparing, and selling food. It is a popular option for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business without the high costs associated with opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. However, one of the main questions asked by those considering this venture is “how much does a food truck cost?”

How Much Does a Food Truck Cost

How Much Does a Food Truck Cost?

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the various costs involved in starting and operating a food truck.

Acquiring a Food Truck

Food truck costs

The first major expense you’ll encounter when starting a food truck business is acquiring the truck itself. The cost of a new food truck can range from $50,000 to $200,000 or more depending on the size, features, and customization options. If you’re working on a tight budget, you may consider buying a used food truck which can save you anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000.

Keep in mind that buying a used food truck may require additional repairs and maintenance costs down the line. When purchasing a truck, make sure it meets health and safety standards and has all the necessary equipment and features to operate as a functional kitchen.

Customizing Your Food Truck

Food truck customization

Once you have acquired a food truck, you will need to customize it to meet your specific needs and preferences. Customization options can include installing equipment such as refrigerators, ovens, grills, fryers, and generators. The cost of customizing a food truck can range from $10,000 to $50,000 or more depending on the extent of modifications you require.

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It is important to note that depending on your location, there may be specific requirements for food trucks regarding size, equipment, and design. Make sure to research and comply with all laws and regulations before constructing your food truck.

Obtaining Licenses and Permits

Food truck licenses

Before operating your food truck, you will need to obtain various licenses and permits. These can include health permits, business licenses, parking permits, and fire safety permits. The cost of obtaining these permits can vary depending on your location, with some cities requiring more permits than others. On average, expect to pay around $500 to $1,000 for all necessary permits and licenses.

Equipment and Supplies

Food truck equipment

In addition to the kitchen equipment mentioned earlier, you will also need to purchase various supplies including utensils, plates, napkins, cleaning supplies, and ingredients. Depending on your menu, the cost of these items can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per month.

Commissary Kitchen Rental

Commissary kitchen

Most cities require food trucks to have access to a licensed commissary kitchen for food preparation and storage. This can be a shared kitchen space that you rent out by the hour or a dedicated kitchen that is solely used by your food truck. The cost of renting a commissary kitchen can range from $1,000 to $3,000 per month depending on the location and facilities provided.


Food truck insurance

Like any business, it is important to have insurance coverage in case of accidents or unforeseen events. Food truck insurance can cover liability, property damage, and other risks associated with operating a mobile food business. The cost of insurance can vary depending on the extent of coverage required but typically ranges from $1,000 to $2,500 per year.

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Food truck staffing

Depending on the size of your food truck and the volume of business you anticipate, you may need to hire additional staff to help with food preparation, serving, and cashier duties. The cost of staffing can vary depending on the number of employees, their hourly wages, and whether they are part-time or full-time workers.

Marketing and Advertising

Food truck marketing

To attract customers to your food truck, you will need to invest in marketing and advertising efforts. This can include creating a website, social media accounts, and flyers to distribute in your local area. The cost of marketing and advertising can vary depending on the extent of outreach you aim to achieve.

Ongoing Costs

Food truck operating costs

Once your food truck is up and running, ongoing costs will come into play. These can include fuel for the truck, food supplies, maintenance and repairs, equipment upgrades, and storage fees. On average, expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per month on these expenses.


Starting a food truck business can be a lucrative and rewarding venture for those willing to invest time and money into it. While the costs associated with starting and operating a food truck can be high, the potential for profits and flexibility make it an attractive option for many entrepreneurs. By understanding the costs associated with a food truck business, you can make informed decisions and plan accordingly to ensure success.

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