What Does it Cost to Start Up a Food Truck?

Posted on Jan 9, 2023

What Does it Cost to Start Up a Food Truck? 

Starting a food truck business is an exciting prospect, but it’s important to know what the costs associated with starting one are. There are many factors that go into starting up a successful food truck, including licenses and permits, equipment and kitchen needs, labor costs, and marketing. Let’s take a look at the financial considerations for starting up a food truck business. 

Business License and Permit Costs for a Food Truck 

The cost of obtaining business licenses and permits can vary greatly from one location to another. Depending on where you live, you may need to obtain permits from your local government in order to operate your food truck. In addition, some cities have laws that regulate the size of vehicles that can be used as mobile food vendors. Make sure to research the local laws in your area before purchasing any equipment or applying for any permits. 

Food Truck and Equipment Costs 

The cost of purchasing or leasing a vehicle as well as outfitting it with all of the necessary equipment will vary depending on what type of menu items you plan to serve. It’s important to consider all of your options when selecting a vehicle since this will be the foundation upon which your entire business is built. In addition to purchasing or leasing a vehicle, you’ll also need to purchase kitchen equipment such as refrigerators, freezers, grills, fryers, storage racks, sinks, and tables. The cost of these items can range anywhere from several hundred dollars up into the thousands depending on how much equipment you need. 

Food, Kitchen, and Serving Costs 

In addition to purchasing all of the necessary kitchen equipment for your food truck business, you’ll also need to purchase ingredients for cooking your menu items as well as disposable plates and utensils for serving customers. Be sure to factor in these costs when budgeting for your business since they can add up quickly! Additionally, if you plan on offering catering services in addition to regular service from your food truck then you will also need additional supplies such as chafing dishes and buffet trays. 
Labor Costs                                                                                                                            

Labor costs include not only wages but also payroll taxes such as Social Security taxes and Medicare taxes that must be paid by employers who hire employees in the United States. You may want to consult with an accountant or financial planner before hiring employees in order to ensure that you are properly managing all aspects of payroll taxes related expenses. Additionally, if you are planning on working in your own food truck then be sure to factor in wages for yourself or any other family members who intend on helping out with day-to-day operations. 

Marketing Your Food Truck  

Last but certainly not least is marketing! While it may seem like an afterthought compared to everything else involved in running a successful food truck business, marketing is absolutely essential! Without proper marketing efforts such as developing relationships with local businesses and media outlets or creating social media accounts dedicated solely toward promoting your brand there is no way potential customers will ever learn about what makes your mobile restaurant unique! Make sure that when budgeting for startup costs that you set aside some money specifically towards marketing because without proper promotion nobody will ever know about what amazing things await them at your window! 


Starting up a successful food truck business requires careful planning and consideration of all financial aspects involved including license fees and permits; vehicle/equipment purchases; ingredient/serving supply purchases; labor costs; along with marketing efforts required too reach potential customers. Researching each element thoroughly prior beginning will help ensure success while setting realistic goals along the way facilitates growth over time too! With hard work & dedication anyone can launch their own dream food truck adventure! Good luck!