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Buy New Food Truck

On average, most food truck entrepreneurs spend between $70,000 and $80,000 on their food truck. The total price of buying a food truck can amount anywhere from $50,000 to $250,000 depending on how you acquire the truck, customize it for your needs, and your local permit and licensing requirements. To help you narrow down how much you should expect to spend on your food truck, we break down the average cost of new, used, and leased food trucks below.

buy new food truck


The first step in owning a food truck is assessing the financial obligation by writing a food truck business plan. Begin by researching your target market, local ordinances, licensing and permit demands, parking permit regulations, and what type of equipment your menu requires.

Most food truck entrepreneurs need to apply for financing or a loan to offset food truck startup costs. Before heading to your bank, know your credit score and, based on your food truck business plan, know how much owning a food truck business will cost you.

One of the biggest decisions of buying a food truck is deciding whether to purchase it new or used. While there are advantages and disadvantages of each choice, it ultimately comes down to what your budget is and how much you can afford upfront. We'll go over the pros and cons of buying new and used food trucks, so you can make the best decision for your financial status.

If you have the money, buying a new food truck is a worthwhile investment that will help you avoid costly repairs down the line. Discover the advantages and disadvantages of buying a new food truck below.

If you want to own your food truck but are hesitant to invest in a brand new vehicle, buying a used food truck is a great alternative. Learn about the advantages and disadvantages of buying a used food truck below.

Purchasing a kitchen-equipped truck is the most expensive part of becoming a food truck operator, so many entrepreneurs circumnavigate this major up-front cost by leasing their food truck. Making smaller payments over time allows you to get a brand new, high-end food truck without a large initial fee. The leasing route might be right for you if you're new to the foodservice industry or want to see if your brick and mortar does well as a food truck.

The website Food Truck Empire provides a list of reputable dealers and helps you find a dealer in your state. Also, many entrepreneurs ask the owner of their favorite food truck where they purchased their vehicle. Asking food truck owners for recommendations provides the opportunity to inquire about how well their truck runs and if they had a positive experience with its vendor.

Additionally, we've created a list of reputable food truck manufactures below. These dealers offer a selective inventory of food trucks, and most offer leasing options. You can fully customize your food truck when purchasing from any of these sites.

Decide whether you want to go with a gas or diesel engine for your food truck, determining your fuel cost. There are many pros and cons to each type, so it comes down to preference. Most food truck owners choose diesel engines for their power, but you have to be prepared for that slightly larger initial investment.

Portable diesel generators are the typical power source for food trucks and trailers. Diesel-powered generators withstand constant heavy use and have long lifespans. If you live in a sunny location, you can sustainably power your food truck by installing solar panels to the roof. Another food truck power supply option is to use Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders.

Flat Panel TV - Add a flat panel television to the exterior of your food truck so you can market your menu, specials, locations, and other important information. You can also use it to play music.

Misting System - This feature is perfect for the summer months or for food trucks in areas where the climate is hot year-round. Food truck operators usually install misting systems above their exterior serving window to keep customers cool while they wait.

Vinyl Wrap - Many businesses have designers who work with clients to create a personal logo or image. They then transfer the logo onto a vinyl wrapping that goes around the entire truck for branding. These wrappings can include graphics, menus, business names, and any other advertising materials, and they will include the proper cutouts for windows and serving windows.

Owning a food truck frees you from the physical and financial tethers of a storefront. However, buying a food truck involves a lot of research, time, money, and communication. Use this guide to make an informed purchase. With careful planning, you can buy the ideal food truck for your business and take your delicious menu on the road.

One precaution you should take is to run a free vehicle history report; doing so can alert you to odometer tampering, prior damage, and other potentially costly red flags. It could also be a good idea to consider looking into food truck insurance in order to account for, and be prepared, for these unexpected problems.

Food truck kitchens are small spaces and you want every inch to be as functional as possible. A new kitchen creates an opportunity for every appliance and work surface to support your food concept and maximize sales.

When you provide the bank with receipts from the builder, they will show the total cost and value of the kitchen. These receipts coupled with the fact that used commercial trucks are bought, sold, and financed every day means that banks are comfortable with this situation. For more financing options, check out Kiva, a company that offers loans to food truck entrepreneurs.

While they are solid trucks, regulations and permitting requirements are constantly changing, which means entrepreneurs should buy a truck that meets the strictest of standards to avoid costs down the road.

In the food truck mecca of Los Angeles, for example, a regulation now requires 2009 or older diesel trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 14,000 pounds (most weigh anywhere from 12,000 pounds to 16,000 pounds) to either install a $10,000+ converter kit or replace their existing engine to comply with reduced emissions standards. This law will be phased in over the next six years, with the final phase ending in 2023.

This warranty can save you thousands compared to the repairs you face with even a well-maintained used truck. The warranty on a new chassis can easily make up for the cost difference between a used truck and a new truck.

According to some food truck-friendly banks, you can finance new kitchen builds for as low as 4.5% and a new truck for as low as 3%. The 1.5% difference in interest can add up to big savings on your monthly payments.

Prices range from $3,600-$3,800 a month for a new fully built truck, plus a Roaming Hunger benefits package to help you build your brand and business once your truck is on the road. For more information go to our Food Truck Lease Page.

Choosing a truck (and figuring out how to pay for it) are important business decisions that should be made with your overall business plan and strategy in mind. So as you consider your options and weigh the costs, here are a few of the many items to review before buying a food truck.

Another way you might want to consider to get funding for your food truck is to borrow money from friends and family, offering them a portion of the profits as you start to earn or a payment schedule with interest. Or you could reach out to the wider community by crowdfunding your startup costs. Sites like GoFundMe and Kickstarter can be successful in helping small businesses to get off the ground.

If cost is a major factor for you, a used food truck may be the way to go. Just make sure you budget for the inevitable repairs and maintenance that you may be responsible for with any food truck purchase.

For new trucks, there are a number of well-known manufacturers to consider, like Custom Trailer Pros or Chef Units. Conduct your own research to find the best manufacturer for your situation and needs.

When buying a used food truck, make sure to do your due diligence. If possible, bring someone with food truck expertise with you to do a thorough inspection of the truck before buying. Ideally, this would be the person who will be doing any remodeling work on the truck, so they can provide a cost estimate.

Regardless of your particular truck, you may need a three-compartment sink for washing dishes and a dedicated hand sink. You might need refrigeration for your food and you may need a freezer. You may consider a hood vent over your stovetop, and you may need some kind of fire suppression system. You may also need a freshwater tank, a greywater tank, and possibly a generator.

After the design is approved, the fabricator can begin building. For a custom build, it could take up to six months for the truck to be complete. Or it could be longer, if the fabricator runs into issues.

There are quite a few food truck owners/operators among the alumni at Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts who could be helpful sources of information.* Graduates of our Food Entrepreneurship program (and all other programs) can join the Escoffier Alumni Association where they may be able to connect with others to learn from their experiences.

Find out how a Food Entrepreneurship education at Escoffier can provide valuable marketing, food business essentials, and operational education to help you create a business plan and approach your food truck the smart way!

Even if food truck owners aspire to one day open brick-and-mortar locations, starting out with a mobile operation is a smart way to try out different neighborhoods, test and tweak dishes, and build a following before taking the plunge with a physical location.

The types of permits and licenses required to operate a food truck fall under these five categories: administrative, health/menu/food safety, vehicle requirements and safety/hazard prevention, employment, and zoning. 041b061a72


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