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The Cost of Starting a Food Truck

fast food truck business plan sample

The food truck industry is booming, and a lot of people are interested in getting started with their own food truck. There’s a lot to consider. Do you want to join a mobile food truck franchise, or start your own concept? Are you interested in used vending food trucks or new? You have to choose a concept, decide on the food you want to serve, pick an area, and of course – get a truck. What is the cost of a food truck? Here’s what you need to know.

The Cost of the Truck Itself

Of course, you can’t do much until you have the vehicle you’ll be working in. From mini food trucks to huge rigs, a food truck will cost you between $25,000 and $100,000. That’s obviously a huge range, and as with most things it’s helpful to not be on either extreme. The cheapest truck you can find will probably be used and may be prone to mechanical problems. The costs for repairs and missed business opportunities can make this a very expensive option.

On the other hand, the most expensive truck is not a wise investment until you’re sure that your business really needs it. Instead, choose a truck that you can afford and still have money left for the cooking equipment.

Cost of Cooking Equipment

Similar to the truck, you’ll find that you can buy very cheap or very expensive equipment, but it’s better to be in the middle. Choose high-quality equipment that will last – and yes, used is an option. Exactly what equipment you need depends on what food you plan to serve. Expect to spend at least $10,000 to outfit your truck with cooking equipment and a couple thousand more on smallwares like plates, utensils, napkins, condiments, and more.

Licenses and Permits

The licenses and permits you need from your state and city need to be considered as well. You’ll need clearance from the health department, and you’ll need to meet the requirements of your local area. If you don’t already have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), you’ll need to invest in the training to get that as well. This will allow you to get your truck to where you want it to be each day. Count on several hundred dollars for permits and licenses and another few thousand for driver’s license training.

Food truck insurance can be expensive, because they are highly visible and make great targets for theft and vandalism. Of course, you can also have auto accidents as you’re driving. You’ll also want insurance that covers employees, the risk of food poisoning, and other possible concerns. Insurance will vary significantly depending on where you live and where you will be operating your food truck.

Ongoing Costs

Once you’ve gotten your business started, you’ll have a variety of costs that will come up on a regular basis. These include salaries for employees, ongoing purchase of ingredients and smallwares, and even parking – especially when the truck is not in use. Participating in events may cost you a bit of money up front, so keep that in mind. You’ll also need to invest in marketing so you can stand out from other food trucks and competitors. Food truck sales will benefit a lot from great marketing. These costs will vary over time, but don’t scrimp – especially on marketing and ingredients. You need a great, high-quality menu that others know about in order to be successful.


fast food truck business plan sample

fast food truck business plan sample

Food Truck Business Plan Template

Food truck business plan.

You’ve come to the right place to create your food truck business plan.

We have helped over 100,000 entrepreneurs and business owners create business plans and many have used them to start or grow their food trucks.

Food Truck Business Plan Example & Template

Below is a template to help you create each section of your food truck business plan.

Executive Summary

Business overview.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is a new food truck located in Portland owned by local critically acclaimed chef, Zane Benedict. The menu will consist of popular food options that consist of burgers, sandwiches, gyros, and tacos uniquely made with the creativity and uniqueness that Chef Zane can offer. Chef Zane’s eclectic style and consistency make him a favorite among Portland foodies and his food truck will garner a loyal following amongst young professionals and college students.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be located in the immensely popular food truck pod known as Cartopia. Chef Zane will receive lots of exposure by being a part of this community as there are plenty of neighboring food trucks, bars, nightlife, and entertainment options nearby. With the popular location of Cartopia and an impressive Instagram social media following, Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is destined to become a local go-to dining destination for anyone craving delicious, interesting fare at an affordable price.

Products Served

The following are the products to be offered by Zesty Zane’s Food Truck:

Customer Focus

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will target customers in Portland who live, work, or socialize near Cartopia. This area is frequented by numerous young professionals, college students, and the late-night crowd who regularly eat at food trucks. Anyone seeking trendy dining options are the target customers of Zesty Zane’s Food Truck.

Management Team

Chef Zane has worked in the culinary industry for over ten years and is accustomed to the long, demanding hours of operating a kitchen. He attended culinary school in San Francisco and returned home to Portland to be a part of the world-renowned food scene that Portland has built for itself. After working under three award-winning chefs, Chef Zane is ready to venture out on his own and start his own business as a food truck.

Chef Zane Benedict will be the owner and operator of his food truck. He will operate the food truck Tuesday through Sunday from 11:00 am until 1:00 am. Chef Zane will also employ two part-time cooks to assist him during peak hours of operation.

Success Factors

The following success factors will set Zesty Zane’s Food Truck apart from the competition:

Financial Highlights

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is seeking $40,000 in debt financing to open its food truck. The funding will be dedicated for the purchase of the food truck, cooking supplies and equipment, working capital, three months worth of payroll expenses and opening inventory. The breakout of the funding is below:

The following graph outlines the pro forma financial projections for Zesty Zane’s Food Truck:

food truck financials

Company Overview

Who is zesty zane’s food truck.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is a startup food truck business located in Portland, Oregon. The menu offerings are eclectic, made-to-order, bistro-type dishes served fresh and fast in the entertainment district of Portland. The ingredients are locally-sourced from independent food growers and artisans in and around the Portland region. The dishes are incorporated with an ingenious twist to commonly known popular food menu items. The menu options are simple dishes commonly seen at food trucks, but Chef Zane adds his own spin to the typical fare – sandwiches, gyros, burgers, and tacos all made his way unlike any other food establishment.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is owned and operated by Zane Benedict, a local Chef classically trained in culinary school and under the most prestigious chefs in Portland. Chef Zane is known for his creativity, consistency, and quickness in the kitchen and his dishes receive multiple positive reviews in the restaurants Zane has been employed. Chef Zane specializes in fine French, Italian, and Mediterranean cuisine with a creative twist not typically found in other restaurant establishments.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck History

After graduating from culinary school in 2008, Chef Zane Benedict worked as a sous chef in three different restaurants in Portland. All of the chefs Zane worked under were award-winning, locally-acclaimed chefs that frequently trained their apprentices to prepare dishes up to their expectation and standards.

Chef Zane learned a great deal from these chefs and garnered a reputation himself for his creativity and consistency. Now that Zane feels he has learned as much as he can from the senior chefs, he would like to venture out on his own and start his own business. Due to the large amount of capital required to open a full-scale restaurant, Chef Zane decided a food truck business was the most cost-effective option for his operation.

Since incorporation, Zesty Zane’s Food Truck has achieved the following milestones:

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck Products

The following are the types of menu items Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will produce:

Industry Analysis

Food truck vendors will continue to perform well over the next five years, benefiting from consumers with deeper pockets who are able to spend on pricier gourmet food options. Revenues are expected to increase to $1.4 billion during this time period.

Industry operators are expected to continue to experience growth, as generally positive economic conditions and momentum from the gourmet food movement propel growth.

Consumers nowadays demand higher-quality food, a wider variety of styles and tastes, better presentation and, most importantly, more healthy menu options. Therefore, operators that include healthy options on their menus will be best situated for success over the next five years. Vendors that continue to offer unique food options will also be in a strong position by carving out a niche and developing a loyal customer base.

The industry will also benefit from an increase in the urban population, which is expected to comprise the majority of the US population in five years. The industry benefits from agglomeration because it relies on high foot traffic. Additionally, urban dwellers are also more likely to purchase meals rather than cooking at home due to their above-average incomes and limited spare time.

Customer Analysis

Demographic profile of target market.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will target the population of Portland that frequently dines in the entertainment district. There is a large food truck area of Portland known as Cartopia, where Chef Zane will set up his business. This area is home to numerous dining establishments, nightlife, bars, clubs, and food trucks. The target market of this area are usually young professionals and college students who have disposable income.

The precise demographics for Portland, Oregon are:

Customer Segmentation

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will primarily target the following customer profile:

Competitive Analysis

Direct and indirect competitors.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be competing with other local food trucks in the Portland community. A profile of each competitor is below.

Potato Champion

Potato Champion is a local favorite of Portland foodies that is also located in Cartopia. Started in 2008, Potato Champion quickly established itself as a fan favorite for late night food. Potato Champion serves a limited menu of hand cut, twice fried Belgian style fries, a variety of dipping sauces, and their own version of the Canadian classic Poutine, as well as other fry related dishes. They pride themselves in using the highest quality ingredients and focus on an inventive menu that combines tastes from all over the world with one of the most popular foods found on the globe, the french fry.

Potato Champion is open for lunch, dinner, and late-night. They are available for catering and delivery through Postmates. Followers of Potato Champion are also able to purchase swag from their store that includes music, bags, pins, and hoodies.

Started by John Eads in 2009, Pyro Pizza was built out of a 8’x16’ food cart that he custom-built with a cast iron wood fire oven. Aside from wood fired pizza, John also makes his own sodas using all real ingredients and natural cane sugar. John’s belief is that good ingredients make good food. His crew makes many components in-house and sources regional flour, pepperoni, sausage, blue cheese, soda ingredients, and seasonal produce all from Portland businesses and farms. In 2015, Pyro’s expanded to a new sandwich cart, Pyro’s Wicked Wiches – a scratch-made sandwich, soup, chips and cookie food cart.

Pyro’s serves an assortment of wood fire pizzas made from scratch. Their choices are margherita, marinara, arugula and mushroom, pepperoni, quattro formaggi, fennel sausage, veggie bianca, breadsticks, salads, and sodas.

Chicken and Guns

Chicken and Guns is another local favorite among Portland foodies. Also found in Cartopia, Chicken and Guns serves up Latin American chicken, wings, tacos, salad, soup, and their “guns” are crispy seasoned potatoes. The chicken is served by the quarter, half, or whole bird. Another item they are acclaimed for is their peruvian aji sauce, habanero carrot sauce and chimichurri sauce. They have been named the best fried chicken in Portland by the PDX Eater.

Chicken and Guns is open everyday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm for takeout and delivery options. With a large Instagram and social media following, there is always destined to be a line at the Chicken and Guns food truck.

Competitive Advantage

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck offers several advantages over its competition. Those advantages are:

Marketing Plan

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will offer a unique value proposition to its clientele:

Promotions Strategy

The promotions strategy for Zesty Zane’s Food Truck are as follows:

Social Media

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck’s main source of marketing will be through social media, primarily their Instagram page. Chef Zane has become adept at taking appealing photographs of his dishes. He will post pictures of his menu and add details on the location and hours of operation. His food truck account already has over 3,000 followers and he posts daily “Coming Soon” teaser photos.

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be parked in the immensely popular food truck hub known as Cartopia of Portland. There are dozens of food trucks located in this pod and there is always a crowd of people. Cartopia hosts bands, art shows, shopping events, and other social gatherings to enhance the entertainment vibe of the pod. By being part of Cartopia, Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will receive lots of exposure and traffic.

SEO Website Marketing

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck plans to invest funds into maintaining a strong SEO presence on search engines like Google and Bing. When a person types in “local food truck” or “top food trucks in Portland”, Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will appear in the top three choices. Zesty Zane’s will also invest in their website also to ensure that it is user friendly, always up to date, and displays professional photographs of its menu items and location.

Third Party Delivery Sites

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will maintain a presence on sites like GrubHub, Uber Eats, Doordash, and Postmates so that people looking for local food with the option of delivery will see Zesty Zane’s listed.

The pricing of Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be moderate and on par with competitors so customers feel they receive value when purchasing their menu items.

Operations Plan

The operations plan for Zesty Zane’s Food Truck is relatively simple as its overhead and cost is small. The functional roles for its employees are as follows:

Operation Functions:


Zesty Zane’s Food Truck aims to open in the next 3 months. The following are the milestones needed in order to obtain this goal.

4/15/202X – Purchase food truck

5/1/202X – Finalize menu

5/15/202X – Social media and advertising campaign begins

6/1/202X – Finish cleaning up the food truck and prepare it for operation

6/10/202X – Purchase food and drink inventory, stock truck, and park it at Cartopia

6/11/202X – Grand Opening of Zesty Zane’s Food Truck

Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will be owned and operated by Chef Zane Benedict.

Chef Zane Benedict, Owner

Chef Zane Benedict is a Portland native who attended culinary school in San Francisco and returned to Portland to become a part of the world-renowned food scene Portland is uniquely known for. Zane was trained under three different chefs at fine dining establishments in downtown Portland and was awarded Best Sous Chef of Portland in 2017. Chef Zane has won two local culinary competitions, placed runner-up in a statewide competition, and participated in a cooking competition show on the Food Network.

Chef Zane has received numerous awards for his creativity and consistency of his food while being able to prepare dishes in a short amount of time. His ability to prepare food under pressure allows him the unique skill of serving numerous customers without having them undergo long wait times. This will keep customers happy and coming back for more.

Financial Plan

Key revenue & costs.

The revenue drivers for Zesty Zane’s Food Truck will come from the menu items being offered daily.

The cost drivers will be the ingredients and products needed to make the menu items (oil, bread, meat, chicken, produce, drinks) as well as the cooking materials (pots, pans, bowls, plates, utensils, etc.). Other cost drivers will be the overhead expenses of payroll for the part-time employees and propane for the food truck.

Funding Requirements and Use of Funds

Key assumptions.

The following table outlines the key assumptions required in order to achieve the revenue and cost numbers in the financials and in order to pay off the business loan.

Initial Number of Customers Per Day: 50

Average Menu Item Cost: $9.00

Average Order per Customer: $15.00

Annual Cost for Maintenance of Truck: $10,000

Financial Projections

Income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, food truck business plan faqs, what is a food truck business plan.

A food truck business plan is a plan to start and/or grow your food truck business. Among other things, it outlines your business concept, identifies your target customers, presents your marketing plan and details your financial projections.

You can  easily complete your food truck business plan using our Food Truck Business Plan Template here .

What Are the Main Types of Food Truck Companies?

There are a variety of types of food trucks, each specializing in a specific type of cuisine or food item. There are food trucks that sell burgers, cookies, ice cream, tacos, pizza, sandwiches, salads and more.  

What Are the Main Sources of Revenues and Expenses for a Food Truck Business?

The primary source of revenue for food truck businesses is its food and beverage sales. 

The key expenses for a food truck business are the food production cost, salaries, and transportation expenses. 

How Do You Get Funding for Your Food Truck Business Plan?

Food truck businesses are typically funded through small business loans, personal savings, crowdfunding and credit card financing.

What are the Steps To Start a Food Truck Business?

Starting a food truck business can be an exciting endeavor. Having a clear roadmap of the steps to start a business will help you stay focused on your goals and get started faster.

1. Develop A Food Truck Business Plan - The first step in starting a business is to create a detailed food truck business plan that outlines all aspects of the venture. This should include potential market size and target customers, the services or products you will offer, pricing strategies and a detailed financial forecast.  

2. Choose Your Legal Structure - It's important to select an appropriate legal entity for your food truck business. This could be a limited liability company (LLC), corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship. Each type has its own benefits and drawbacks so it’s important to do research and choose wisely so that your food truck business is in compliance with local laws.

3. Register Your Food Truck Business - Once you have chosen a legal structure, the next step is to register your food truck business with the government or state where you’re operating from. This includes obtaining licenses and permits as required by federal, state, and local laws. 

4. Identify Financing Options - It’s likely that you’ll need some capital to start your food truck business, so take some time to identify what financing options are available such as bank loans, investor funding, grants, or crowdfunding platforms. 

5. Choose a Location - Whether you plan on operating out of a physical location or not, you should always have an idea of where you’ll be based should it become necessary in the future as well as what kind of space would be suitable for your operations. 

6. Hire Employees - There are several ways to find qualified employees including job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed as well as hiring agencies if needed – depending on what type of employees you need it might also be more effective to reach out directly through networking events. 

7. Acquire Necessary Food Truck Equipment & Supplies - In order to start your food truck business, you'll need to purchase all of the necessary equipment and supplies to run a successful operation. 

8. Market & Promote Your Business - Once you have all the necessary pieces in place, it’s time to start promoting and marketing your food truck business. This includes creating a website, utilizing social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, and having an effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. You should also consider traditional marketing techniques such as radio or print advertising. 

Learn more about how to start a successful food truck business:

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fork and pencil

How to Write a Food Truck Business Plan

Food trucks are at the forefront of influencing upcoming food trends and can be a very profitable business. But before you can start your own food truck business , you’ll need to plan out your concept and how you’ll fund that dream. Writing a food truck business plan helps you lay out the details of your new endeavor and address the questions of potential investors. Because this is such an important step, it should be completed before you even buy a food truck .

Food Truck Business Plan Template

We've outlined how to format your business plan and listed the key topics you should cover. Below you'll find some food truck business plans suggestions to give you an idea of what to include when writing your own.

1. Executive Summary

Customers buying food from a food truck

The first section of your food truck business plan is the executive summary. Think of this as your introduction to the reader. To make a good first impression, you should be concise and interesting without explaining too many granular details. You can cover the finer points of your business in the following sections. This is your chance to highlight who your company is, how you expect it to grow, and why your food truck will be successful.

In the executive summary, you should identify the gap in your target market that your company can fill. It's also a good idea to cover how your knowledge and background will benefit you as you pursue your company goals of opening a food truck business. Although the executive summary is the first section your potential investor will read, you should write it last.

Food Truck Business Plan Executive Summary Considerations

These are the key topics to include in a food truck executive summary:

2. Company Description

Use this section of your food truck business plan to explain the details of your company. Describe your food truck business and convey how it will be a valuable addition to the existing market. Essentially, this is the section where you can expand upon the topics you briefly mentioned in the executive summary.

Food Truck Company Description Considerations

Think about these food truck company description questions as you write your business plan:

3. Market Analysis

food truck menu for specific demographic

The market analysis section of your food truck business plan is where you will explain and detail how you'll fit into the existing market. It's important to do extensive research on starting a food truck business before writing this section so you can include solid research findings to back up your conclusions.

Food Truck Marketing Analysis For Business Plan

Cover these topics in your food truck market analysis section:

4. Organization and Management

food truck staff and managment

The next step of your food truck business plan is to outline your organization and management plan. Explaining your organization and management structure may not seem that important if you're hoping to open up a food truck manned by two people. However, outlining responsibilities from the start helps to avoid confusion as your business grows and develops.

This section should include a detailed profile of your management team, information about the ownership of your company , the salary and benefits you'll offer your workers, and growth opportunities for people within your organization. Creating a chart that shows the organizational structure of your business is a great way to illustrate that all the bases are covered, from the cooks in your food truck kitchen to the accountant who balances your checkbook.

Food Truck Ownership Information

Include this ownership information in the food truck organization and management section of your business plan:

Profiles of Your Food Truck Management Team

The following details should be included in the management section of a business plan for food trucks.

5. Service or Product Line

Food Truck cuisine being served on food truck product line

Use the service and product line section to describe your food truck menu items. What unique flavors are you offering and how will your products entice passersby and convert them into die-hard fans? This is the section where you can display your innovative ideas, describe your products, and explain how you will keep customers coming back for more.

Food Truck Menu Description for Business Plan

Here are some questions to consider when creating a profitable menu for your food truck:

Food Truck Product Line

Next, you'll want to explain where your products are in terms of life cycle by answering the following questions:

Food Truck Intellectual Property

Discuss any intellectual property that might be included in your food truck menu items to protect them:

Food Truck Projections

Show that you have considered the future of the menu for your food truck with these questions:

6. Marketing and Sales

Food Truck Marketing with a food truck festival

The marketing and sales portion of your food truck business plan is focused on building customer loyalty. You will need to define your overall marketing and sales strategies , but how you do so is completely up to you. One important thing to remember is that customers value originality, whether that means adopting a recognizable food truck design or creating a unique selling point for your food truck.

Food Truck Marketing and Sales Questions

Provide answers to these important questions in the food truck sales and marketing section:

How will you compete with other food trucks in your area?

How will you grow your business?

How will you distribute your products?

How will you reach your customers?

How many sales are necessary for your food truck to be profitable?

7. Funding Request

financial projections for a food truck business plan

Not every food truck business plan has a funding request section, but it's something to consider including. It can be tricky to map out how much a food truck costs, but it is a necessary part of securing a startup loan .

If you do plan to request funding, you should clearly explain how much funding you need, what you need it for, and how you'll repay anything you owe. Make sure to include the cost of food truck insurance , the cost of fuel and any permits or licenses you'll need to start doing business.

Funding Section of Business Plan for Food Trucks

Think about these important questions when you create your food truck funding request:

8. Financial Projections

It's difficult to know what realistic food truck financial projections are when you're starting your food truck business from scratch, but to allocate funds efficiently, it's important to analyze your target market and set clear financial goals.

If your business has already been in operation for a few years, this is the section of the food truck business plan where you'd include historical financial data. However, if you're just starting out, you will need to calculate how much your business will potentially make over the next five years using realistic assumptions. Make sure that these food truck financial projections align with the funds you asked for in your funding request.

9. Appendix

The appendix section isn't necessary in every food truck business plan, but this is a great place to include information that didn't fit anywhere else, from product photos to building permits to letters of reference.

Starting your own food truck is overwhelming at first, but writing a business plan is a great first step. It will help you get organized and cover details that you may not have originally considered. Once you have completed your business plan, you’ll be ready to put your dream into motion.

Related Resources

fast food truck business plan sample

Everything You Need to Know About Catering Weddings with Your Food Truck

With their unique flavors, made-to-order selections, and ability to be mobile, food trucks are rapidly becoming one of America's newest guilty pleasures. Oddly enough, the popularity of this street food craze has also won over the hearts of many brides and grooms looking to add something unique to their big day. More and more couples are now using food trucks to cater their weddings instead of hiring a traditional catering company. Couples are looking for more inexpensive ways to serve food to their hungry guests, and food trucks are emerging as a new leader. If you want to set your business apart, you can easily use your food truck to cater to brides and grooms looking for your contemporary fare. Creating wedding services and generating ne

fast food truck business plan sample

Food Truck Equipment Checklist

Once you buy a food truck or sign your food truck lease , your next step is to choose what kind of equipment you’ll put in your new food truck. Unlike other forms of mobile food businesses like food carts, food truck kitchens are large enough to house various equipment and supplies. The extra space allows you to get more creative with your equipment setup and menu items. Whether your food truck has existing equipment or you’re launching your food truck from scratch, it can be hard to know exactly how to start a food truck and find the correct equipment. Quality food truck equipment is vital to your business, and filling your food truck with all the equipment needed for business is a requirement for success. Below, we have provided a compreh

fast food truck business plan sample

Leasing a Food Truck

Whether you’re just getting started in the food truck business or looking to expand your current operation, leasing a food truck is an excellent way to achieve your goals. Leasing opens up a variety of options and opportunities to grow your business and develop a successful business model. Below, we’ll explain what it means to lease a food truck, the different types of leasing options available to you, and how to negotiate your own food truck lease. Click any of the tips below to read the section that interests you: What Is a Food Truck Lease? Food Truck Leasing Companies Types of Food Truck Leases How to Lease a Food Truck What Is a Food Truck Lease? A food truck lease is an agreement that allows you to rent a food truck for a specific tim

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Make money with our recipes - The World's Leading Business Plan Template Directory

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Food Truck Business Plan Template

Food truck business plan.

If you want to start a successful food truck business or expand your current mobile food business, you need a business plan.

The following food truck business plan template gives you the key elements to include in a winning food truck business plan.

You can download our food truck business plan template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Sample Food Truck Business Plan

Below are links to each of the key sections of a sample food truck business plan template to help you write your own business plan.

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Food Truck Business Plan Outline

food truck business plan template

fast food truck business plan sample

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Food Truck Business Plan

Are you thinking of starting a food truck business We have prepared a solid food truck business plan sample that guides you on every stage of your business plan writing

fast food truck business plan sample

If you like cooking and often receive compliments for the food you make, then you might have thought of getting into the food business at least once.

But restaurants require large funds and are not for everyone. If that is the case with you too, go savvy and minimal with a food truck.

A food truck is one of the most financially viable ways of getting into the food business.

So if you have great cooking skills, the right resources, help, and a food truck business plan you are ready to get going. Here we’ll discuss a few things you should keep in mind before getting started.

Industry Overview

The food truck business stood at a massive value of 1.4 billion dollars in the US in 2019. It takes close to $55,000 to set up a food truck and it generates an annual revenue between $250,000 and $500,000.

As per the survey, 34% of the mobile chefs experiment and create new menu ideas & concepts for their customers. The expansion of the food truck market has happened due to the increased consumption of fast food, flea markets, and urbanization.

The increase in the working population who find food trucks more accessible for grabbing a quick snack has also contributed to the growth of the food truck business.

Comparing the food truck industry growth in 2019, it grew by 20% in 2020. The food truck industry is going to grow by 2.4% by 2021.

It sounds like a great business idea, right? Let’s look at how to jump into it with a successful business plan .

Things to Consider Before Writing a Food Truck Business Plan

Choose the right vehicle and location.

The right size and type of vehicle will decide how convenient or inconvenient it would be for you to function every day.

Do your research and choose the vehicle that fits your needs the best. Apart from that, a good location is crucial to the success of a food truck business. The main source of attraction for a food truck is its accessibility. Hence, make sure you choose a super accessible location for your food truck.

Know your target audience

Knowing what kind of food your target audience prefers, what marketing message they can relate to, what are their preferred hang-out spots, and what qualities matter the most for them when it comes to food helps you build a customer-centric and profitable business.

Hence, before you do anything else try to figure out who your target audience is.

Get kitchen equipment and raw materials

The right ingredients and kitchen equipment are important, both to make your work easier and get the desired result with your food. Hence, it is important to get the right equipment before getting started but at the same time, you should ensure that you don’t go overboard with it.

Also, figure out a good source for acquiring your kitchen ingredients and raw materials to maintain consistency in the taste of your food. It is also a good practice to have a backup resource in case things don’t go as per the plan.

Get the required permits and licenses

Lastly, it is important to figure out all the legal formalities before you start planning. According to various resources, it takes up to 30 days to get all the required licenses for your food truck business.

Also, it is good to keep a checklist of all the necessary documents to make sure you don’t miss any.

Chalking out Your Business Plan

Despite the growing industry, not every food truck business can stand successful. A business plan is a guide to direct your efforts into a successful food truck startup. Let’s look at why you should have a food truck business plan.

Your income sources and budgeting your procurement require planning. The end-moment cash crunch and interrupted supply of items may hamper your smooth operations of the kitchen. The food truck business has never been a one-person job.

Your roadside adventure becomes enthralling when you standby nearby your favorite food truck. Being a food junkie, the sound of a favorite food truck on your street brings joy and a feeling of happiness. A restaurant on wheels at your place with your favorite food is mesmerizing.

Hungry during lunch hours? You just wanted to bite something soothing or something never tried before? Street food is the answer to all, and when it all comes to bringing your favorite kitchen on wheels at your place, then it’s a foodies heaven. Modern entrepreneurs are putting their kitchens to serve the best creations of their chefs.

If you are planning to start a new food truck business , the first thing you will need is a business plan. Use our sample  Burger Boon – Food Truck Business Plan created using upmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.

Before you start writing your business plan for your new food truck business, spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of food truck and restaurant business plans .

Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for and also it will show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.

We have created this sample  Burger Boon – Food Truck Business Plan for you to get a good idea about how a perfect food truck business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.

Food Truck Business Plan Outline

This is the standard food truck business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.

How to Write a Food Truck Business Plan?

Understanding the ecology of the food truck business is essential to plan out activities for implementation.

Approaching someone else to write the business plan for you may create a gap between your idea and write-up. A food truck business plan template provides the necessary structure to go on step-by-step in your business startup .

Your business needs such as goals , license, investment, recruitment, and financial management are all covered in synchronized format to go through smoothly. A business plan software is designed and structured by considering the needs of modern business requirements.

The business plan template provides you with seamless ease of writing and customizing your business plan .

By following the steps in the business plan, you become aware of how your business startup should go.

What to Include in the Food Truck Business Plan?

As a business person, you might be very concerned about the things considered in the business plan. It has a brief introduction of your business to the readers from starting scratch to cashing in profit.

The executive summary section covers the business plan summary in a short format to provide a quick glimpse. It contains a brief overview of the business, mission statement , products , marketing plan , operation plan , and management plans.

Company overview covers the key people in management and advisory board appointed for the business.

The main element of the food truck business is the mouth-watering menu. Experimenting, designing, and creating a unique menu for street food carving people is the key sales point.

Entering into something new without knowing the industry increases the chances of failure. In such a case, industry analysis of the business may bring clarity about the happening in the industry and keep yourself stay ahead in the industry. The industry analysis section covers the industry aspects, including risk factors and success factors too.

Managing a kitchen at a physical location and on wheels are two different things. Operational challenges like limited spaces, cleaning protocol, cleanliness & hygiene, and order processing are the topics covered under this section.

Beating the competition is hard when you are entering into a new industry. A well through knowledge about competitors and their strengths, weaknesses, and competitive advantages they established so far are covered under the competitor analysis section .

Understanding your target market and customer food habits may help you to stand with the creative food menu. The customer analysis section covers the market type and key success actors of the business.

A successful marketing plan for the business will lead you up all the way. Being available and letting people know that you are available are also important things. Designing a marketing strategy plan based on the target market provides the necessary ground to play boldly.

Sourcing funds for initial investment, careful spending, and budgeting for the smooth operation of the business is a key worth considering. An initial appraisal of the financial health of the business helps in the smooth transition of funds. All such financial data are covered and mentioned in this section with supportive lookouts.

Food Truck Business Plan Summary

A business plan template is an easy way to put your business planning in sequence to proceed step by step.

Modern business applications and ways of doing business evolved, and technology transfer helped in business transformation. Taking maximum helps from technology may help in reducing human efforts and ringing more outputs.

Writing an effective business plan through a business plan template is the technological advantage to replace the traditional way of writing a business plan.

After  getting started with Upmetrics , you can copy this food truck business plan example into your business plan and modify the required information and download your food truck business plan pdf or doc file. It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.

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Business Planning Resources

We have plenty of  free business planning resources  available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.


Not found what you are looking for? Explore our 200+ sample business plans to find match for your business.

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DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and upmetrics makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.

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9+ Food Truck Business Plan Examples – PDF

Basic Food Truck Business Plan Example

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Essential Components of a Food Truck Business Plan

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Food Ideas for Your Food Truck Business

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Minimal Food Truck Business Plan Example

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Template for Food Truck Business Plan Example

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4. Fried Chicken

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How to Write a Food Truck Business Plan

woman operating a food truck with desserts

The street food industry experienced 7.5% growth, on average, for each year between 2015 and 2020 , with an overall valuation of more than a billion dollars in the US alone. It's time to find out how to start a business  that makes mouths water! The first step is writing that business plan!

For those with aspirations of culinary greatness, a food truck is the perfect setting to develop new recipes while building a fan base, or even an online business, without the expense and risk of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. There is even a street food chef in Singapore with a Michelin star, proving that you don’t need a giant kitchen and 50 sous chefs to build a reputation for quality, innovation, and deliciousness.

With the increasing popularity of food trucks, it’s essential to prep your operation before you start prepping your mise en place. A solid food truck business plan puts you at the front of the grid when the race begins.

How to write a food truck business plan

Starting a street food business is subject to the same challenges and pitfalls as any other startup operation. But there are special considerations for food trucks to address before you open the window to start slinging sandwiches (or tacos, or barbeque, or …)

You may want to open up our handy business plan template so you can take notes, or jot down your brilliant ideas as they come to you. We also talked to seasoned food truck operators Natalie Basile and Mikey Wheeler-Johnson of Eats Amoré Mobile Italian Cuisine , who share their knowledge and experience throughout this guide.

eats amore team in field

From the executive summary to the financial details, we’ll show you how to build a food truck business plan for savory success.

1. Set aside a page for your executive summary

Even though this is the first section in your business plan, it’s the last section you should write. Your executive summary captures all the highlights from the rest of your business plan, so get those sorted out first. 

Screenshot of Shopify's business plan template

When it’s time to write this section, think about your audience. If you’re writing a business plan for yourself as a way to stay organized, motivated, and focused on your goals, this summary can be quick and dirty.

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Don’t worry too much about style or flair—instead stick to the most important elements of your business plan. You might even use bullet points to create a checklist of the major tasks that you’ll need to complete before you can start dishing out Korean fried chicken.

If your business plan is meant to secure a loan from a bank, your executive summary will need to focus on profit, reliability, and the fact that you know what you’re doing —so your food truck feels like a safe bet.

While it’s important to mention what makes your food service model unique, spend plenty of time showing that you also understand the realities of running a small business.

2. Write an overview of your company

This section is your opportunity to explain what is going to make your vehicular vittles different and more successful than every other food truck on the road. 

An ice cream truck stopped in the middle of a downtown city street

As part of this section you’ll need to tell your audience what makes you capable of running a profitable food business. Do you have professional cooking experience? Have you managed a commercial pantry before? Do you have an existing reputation for creating delectable meals? Banks might invest in you based on the strength of your idea, but experience will improve your chances.

At Eats Amoré, even though neither Mikey nor Natalie has professional cooking experience, they do have a proud family history of producing delicious food. “Natalie learned to cook from her grandmother, who’s from Naples, Italy. And then her mom is an organic farmer, so she learned traditional recipes with fresh ingredients, which is the backbone of Italian cooking.”

In addition to your own position in your food truck business, this section is the place where you’ll outline the types of employees you have or will need to hire. Food trucks are small, so chances are you won’t need a lot of staff out on the road, but you could consider hiring prep staff, cleaners, etc.

The company overview is also the best place to set some goals. As a short-term goal, most food truck owners (and restaurateurs for that matter) aim to pay off the bulk of their startup costs (licensing fees, insurance, supplies, food, website, branding, etc.) within the first year, though this will depend heavily on your anticipated margins.

Other short-term goals may include building a social media following, finding predictable parking spots to encourage repeat traffic, or securing a spot at a big event.

Your largest capital investment is, of course, the truck itself. Although food trucks cost a lot less to set up compared to brick-and-mortar locations, they can still set you back between $50,000 and $175,000 , depending on what kind of food you’ll make and the equipment required to do it. Paying off your food truck is likely to be your major long-term goal, which you can fulfil with your own funding or Shopify Capital .  

3. Conduct a market analysis

A huge factor in setting your business up for success is understanding the market where you will operate.

A person looks at charts and graphs with a pencil in their hand next to a laptop computer


Since food trucks are mobile, you’ll enjoy some flexibility compared to a restaurant, but many cities still restrict where, when, and how you can serve your customers as part of the license that allows you to operate (which costs an average of $1,800 ).

If your ideal customers live and work in an area or at a time when you can’t sell to them, you could be in for some difficulty. For example, if you were to open a food truck in Vancouver, you would find that restrictions include:

In some cases, you may find that food trucks have not yet been considered in city regulations, and you may have to blaze a trail for your business, like Mikey and Natalie did. “We had very limited locations that we could pick from. The zoning in Kamloops was absolutely terrible. We were not looked very favorably upon. So after many council meetings and lots of emails with counselors and going back and forth, we finally got the city to give us a pilot project location in the downtown core.”

Every city has different restrictions that affect food truck owners, so be sure to consult the city hall website in your area. And start early—licensing can take time, especially in locations with high demand.

Local conditions

Beyond the restrictions imposed by municipalities, each city is subject to conditions that could help or hinder your business. If you’re planning an ice cream truck for Edmonton, you might only have the warm, sunny weather you need for four months of the year, severely limiting profits. Conversely, the same ice cream truck in San Diego, with 266 days of sunshine on average, might be a sensation with lines around the block.

You should also take into account population in your city, demographics, foot traffic in your preferred neighborhoods, and the number of events that host food trucks, in order to establish an estimate of how many days per year you are likely able to operate.


Lastly, consider competition. Are there already a lot of food trucks in your city or in the area where you would prefer to park? Is there a robust restaurant scene driven by owners who don’t want food trucks diverting their customers ? Too much competition and you might have trouble finding customers or a place to park. Too little and you may find that there is a reason no one is running a food truck.

4. Lay out your products and/or services

This section is your opportunity to outline your creative food vision, so keep in mind that there are some limitations and considerations when it comes to the meals coming out of your truck.

Someone touches a black and red colored menu

Go out and study the existing food truck scene in your area to get an idea of what might work. “We made a point to go to Vancouver to talk to as many owners as we could. What are your hardships? What’s going on? But then we also went to Seattle and Portland and a lot of those trucks gave us a lot of advice,” says Natalie.

Alternate revenue

This section is a good place to consider additional revenue streams such as online sales of things like bottled sauces, spice packs, baked goods, etc. Selling online can be a lifesaver during quiet winter months, when festivals aren’t happening, or even during a global pandemic.

Eats Amoré has found that online sales and catering bookings via its Shopify website are becoming increasingly important to its bottom line. “It’s to the point where we have to turn it on and turn it off because it’s so busy,” says Mikey.

We came up with this idea called the Ravioli Club, which is essentially a membership that you buy from our online store, and you get three mystery deliveries of ravioli delivered to your house every two weeks.

delivery from food truck

Mikey wasn’t always an ecommerce expert: “I was very green in learning how to do all the online sales, and I’m still learning a lot,” he says.

"And even with the small increments of learning that I’ve done, sales are going up exponentially. Not only has it boosted our sales, but it decreased the amount of time that I have to spend doing back and forth work with people. Because once you have all your information laid out on the website, you get a lot less tire kickers and you get a lot more people that call you and want to hire you [for catering]."

5. Create customer personas

This area of your food truck business plan is where you’ll outline your ideal customer. Where do they live? How old are they? What kind of foods do they like? How much disposable income do they have? You’ll need to do some serious demographic research to fill in this section, since every city and neighborhood is different. Then use it to inform your menu and pricing. 

One person hands another person an ice cream cone out of the window of an ice cream truck

If you plan to set up outside rock concerts and baseball parks, caviar and foie gras could be hard to sell, while home-cooked barbeque might not do well on the street in front of your local opera house. Ask questions to determine what your potential customers want.

6. Put together a marketing plan

You can make as much delicious food as you want, but if no one knows about it, you’re going to have a hard time making a profit. Your marketing plan is essential to the success of your business and this section is where you’ll outline it for yourself or your loan officer.

Branding and communications

Start by detailing where you’ll park and what your truck will look like , since these are the two biggest factors in attracting walk-by customers. Next, show how you’ll raise the profile of your business beyond passersby using traditional marketing techniques and, especially, social media.

Sugar + Spoon in Seattle has done an amazing job of coordinating the look and feel of its food, trucks, website, and excellent Instagram account to reinforce its brand recognition wherever customers may encounter it.

If you intend to park in different locations on different days, having dedicated followers on Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook is a great way to let people know where they can find you. Social media is also the perfect place to update your followers on new menu items. Remember to take great photos of your food for maximum impact.

Your marketing plan should also account for what makes your offerings different from everyone else on the road. In the Products and Services section, we discussed how your menu should fill a niche, whether it is the type of cuisine, quality, or cost. In this section, you’ll need to provide details on how you plan to communicate those differentiators to your customers.

women carrying basket of local ingredients

For example, Eats Amoré publicly refers to its cuisine using the acronym S.S.O.L (seasonal, sustainable, organic, local), which sets it apart from other food trucks that may be serving Italian dishes without the care, ingredients, or legacy that go into everything Mikey and Natalie cook.

Natalie finds that “people are so liberal with mac and cheese. … There’s other trucks that put mac and cheese on a hot dog or they put mac and cheese on a grilled cheese.” Not particularly authentic.

Mikey agrees: “I think there’s so much room in the culinary world for creativity that if you are not being creative and you’re just trying to mimic someone else, customers will see that. Would you want some Italian food from the Italian truck or the one that kind of looks like a burger or hot dog truck?”

Online ordering

Speaking of technology, this is a good time to explore the possibility of having your customers interact with you via smartphones and computers.

You may want to offer online ordering with delivery or pickup, which can be accomplished using third-party services like DoorDash , Skip the Dishes , Uber Eats , or any number of apps preferred in different markets around the world—be sure to find out which app most restaurants and delivery services use in your area.

Not having to wait in line could be a boon for hungry, busy office workers and increase the amount of business you’re able to do in a day.

A less obvious facet of your marketing plan is your start date. If you plan on opening right when the good weather hits, you’re likely to be too busy to spend a lot of time building a brand identity and online presence, though your cash flow will probably be in good shape.

Conversely, opening during a slower time of year may result in fewer sales but will allow you to get organized and accustomed to the pace of running a food truck. If you live somewhere with proper winter weather, you may want to consider taking some time off through the darker months.

“A huge mistake that we had in our first year’s business plan was that we were going to work through the winter,” says Mikey. “But what I forgot was that the people in Kamloops are very fair weathered. They’re used to nice weather. So a little bit of cold and they’re like, No, we're out of here. It wasn't until last winter that we actually did become a year-round business when we opened our Shopify account."

7. Create a logistics and operations plan

This section is where you’ll need to dig into the nitty-gritty, day-to-day operations of your food truck.

Supply chain

You need ingredients in order to sell food. But where will you get them ? Let’s look at your options.

Restaurant wholesalers

Example: Sysco

Pros: Reliable and cost effective.

Cons: Large volume-packaged products could be hard to store on your truck.

Wholesale clubs

Example: Costco

Pros: Convenience—shop whenever you want.

Cons: Prices may be higher than restaurant wholesalers.

Grocery stores

Example: Trader Joe’s, local greengrocers, specialty markets

Pros: The greatest variety of ingredients, including local, organic, and specialty items. Smaller package sizes.

Cons: High prices.

Many food truck operators use a combination of suppliers to achieve their goals, so look at what is available in your area that fits into your menu and budget. Also consider your menu: if you have a fixed set of meal offerings, will you be able to reliably get the same ingredients throughout the year? If your menu rotates frequently, will you have time to source new ingredients on a regular basis?

Mikey has found that the sources of their organic and local ingredients are part of the appeal of their truck.

It is a slightly more expensive route to go because locally grown food is better. But our menu changes all the time. It’s seasonally rotating. And I think that creates a bit of a supply and demand thing too, where if you want that [ingredient] and it’s in season, get it now because it won’t be here in two weeks.

Your truck is your facility. So think carefully about what kind of vehicle you decide to buy.

Mikey says, “We got this HandyDART bus for a steal, and we spent the beginning of 2013 turning it into a food truck. We learned so much. It’s a fiberglass vehicle, which wasn’t ideal compared to a big stainless truck. But we made it work.” Retrofitting a vehicle that isn’t perfect may be an option considering your budget and skill set, or you may want to purchase a vehicle that was purpose-built to be a food truck.

But your facility requirements may be substantially more than just putting four wheels on the road. This is the place to outline the physical equipment and maintenance requirements for your business, such as:

Many cities also dictate that some aspects of food preparation, such as chopping vegetables, making soups, baking bread, or preparing other ingredients, be done in an off-site commissary kitchen outside of sales hours, rather than in the food truck or in your home. This is to ensure food safety, and you’ll need to factor the cost and logistics into your plan.

It’s also a good idea to determine if you can store additional ingredients at your commissary kitchen location.

roast meat in a food truck

Production capacity

How long does it take to make an item from your menu, on average? This is a major consideration that could limit how many customers you can serve in a day. And unlike brick-and-mortar restaurants that can bring on more staff during busy periods, a food truck is likely limited to just a few people, no matter how many hungry folks are waiting.

How do you intend to cope with changes in pace and demand over the course of a day, week, month, or year? Mikey notes, “I go home and do dishes for two hours. It's far more labor intensive than people realize.” So don’t forget to factor in how much work you can realistically do yourself.

If you plan on offering products for sale online, you’ll need to sort out a plan to ship them to customers. Fortunately, shipping can be accomplished quite easily at reasonable prices .

8. Write out your financial plan

Like most businesses, yours will likely live or die on the strength of your financial plan. You have to know how much money is coming in , how much is going out, and how those numbers are likely to change in the future. So be sure to dig deep into your prospective balance sheet to truly understand how profits and costs will affect your operation. 

A person with headphones on works on the computer during sunset

Profit margin

Fortunately for you, startup costs on a food truck are a lot less than a brick-and-mortar restaurant, so your break-even point could come a lot sooner. That said, your profits could be limited by the food truck model.

Many municipalities don’t allow food trucks to serve alcohol; traditional restaurants tend to assume a 30% profit from alcohol sales, which you probably won’t be able to access. Instead, food trucks can expect to average about 8% profit , which means they are a volume business. You’ll need to work fast to serve a lot of customers in order to earn a profit.

In addition, certain cuisines, like burgers, have a perceived upper price limit in the minds of consumers. Regardless of how much it costs to make, it could be tough to get people to shell out $25 for a food truck hamburger, depending on where you set up shop—menu pricing is critical to your financial plan.

You’ll also need to outline your cash flow scenario . Since food trucks can’t store a lot of inventory (ingredients and supplies), you’ll need to sell and restock more frequently than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

Additional costs

This section is also the place to factor in other costs, such as licensing, maintenance, and staff wages, if you have employees. And if you don’t plan on hiring help, remember that you probably can’t work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, which will limit your profits too.

Now write that business plan

Now that you’ve had a chance to think about how your food truck dreams will shape your food truck business plan, it’s time to actually sit down and write it.

Need a little push in the right direction? Check out some examples , then start filling in your template once you’re inspired.

Ready to create your business? Start your free trial of Shopify—no credit card required.

Food truck business plan faq, is a food truck a good business.

Yes, food truck businesses have generally lower overhead costs than a traditional restaurant and have the advantage of mobility, meaning they can re-locate easily to high-traffic areas.

How profitable is a food truck business?

Food truck businesses can be very profitable in comparison to a traditional restaurant business, since you don’t have to pay building fees (like rent) and they can be managed with fewer employees. You also have the advantage of being able to move locations in anticipation of high-traffic events.

What types of food trucks are most profitable?

What are the disadvantages of a food truck business?

Food truck businesses may be subject to local zoning laws, so you’ll need to check the laws in your city concerning where you’re allowed to operate. Food trucks also lack the space of a tradional restaurant kitchen, so it may get crowded at times.

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