Profits And Losses: How Much Does A Food Truck Owner Make?

There is nothing better than walking home after a long day of work and stopping by one of your favorite food trucks.

Finally, you can relax and de-stress all because of this convenient restaurant on wheels. But have you ever stopped to wonder what it would be like to work in a food truck of your own? How much can you truly make? And are they profitable?

Profits And Losses: How Much Does A Food Truck Owner Make?

What Is A Food Truck?

A food truck is a vehicle used to both prepare and serves food to the general public. The food served can vary depending on preference, but you can find trucks selling hot foods with Indian cuisines or cold desserts through ice cream trucks.

Food trucks are something that holds a lot of popularity and is a great tourist attraction for those travelling worldwide. Some of the most popular states known for their food trucks include New York, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and many more.

What Makes A Food Truck So Great?

Although there are many places to grab a bite to eat, there is something special about a food truck. It is a place you can get your comfort food, unwind after a long day of hard work, and feel comfortable.

You don’t have to worry about being seated in a cramped area or sitting next to the loud table. All you need to do is line up, grab your food to go, and enjoy!

A Way To Try Something New

With food trucks, you will be trying something you wouldn’t get in a usual restaurant. Many food trucks thrive off their uniqueness and that is what generates their customers. This is a particularly great quality for tourists or for those not from the area.

Supports Local Chefs

Another great thing about food trucks is how it brings support to local chefs. Instead of them being in the background in a sweaty kitchen, you will be able to support chefs face-to-face and take value in their cooking. This encounter becomes personal, the complete opposite of how it would be at a restaurant.

Brings People Together

One of the greatest things about food trucks is how it brings a community together. Food trucks can be located anywhere, whether that be on a street corner or at a festival, but in the end, everyone is able to come together and share some great tasting food.

Strangers can bond over the delicious cuisines, interact with the chefs, and enjoy their time in this comfortable environment.

Is Running A Food Truck Business Easy?

Despite being much cheaper to set up than with a restaurant, this is not enough to call running a food truck business easy. There is a lot of work that goes into the business and this should all be figured out before getting the business up and running.

Some factors that need to be considered include:

  • Cost of vehicle
  • Location
  • Permits
  • Food health and safety
  • License
  • Insurance

Depending on the state, the rules change for what is required, so it is important to look into this before starting the business.

How To Have A Successful Food Truck

How To Have A Successful Food Truck

Although there is much to be considered, this doesn’t mean that food trucks cannot be successful. In fact, food trucks are one of the leading food services in the United States and this is all thanks to their convenience and diversity. This alone is enough to draw in people from all over.

In order to produce a successful business, it is important to go through the steps listed below. Once these steps have been established, any food truck owner will be on the road to greatness.

What Is Your Niche?

Choosing your niche is a vital step. What makes a food truck stand out is its unique quality. Because of its popularity, you are likely to see many food trucks dotted all over and this leads to some steep competition.

This is why food trucks go out of their way to make unique and memorable dishes that bring customers in, get them engaged and leave them wanting more. Choose your niche wisely and make sure you are doing something you love and enjoy.


Advertising is another very important aspect of the business and by doing so you will see an extreme difference in your profit. Create social media for the business on sites such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook and generate a loyal audience.

Let them know where you will be, what events you will be at, let them know of any special offers you have in store. It is important to form a relationship with your customers and social media is a great way to do this.

Purchase Your Truck

One of the fun parts of owning a food truck is the purchase of the truck itself. First, you need to choose what truck you want and whether you want it brand new or used. Once this has been figured out, you can then be creative. 

Design your truck to stand out. Set the tone of the truck with loud colors or mood lights. Make your customers excited to get food from your business and let your personality shine through your truck.

How Much Can You Make As A Food Truck Owner?

On average, in America, you can see food truck owners making as much as $100,000 a year. However, with this being said, there are a lot of variables that can change this average.

In order to make a decent amount of money, a food truck owner needs to be strict and understand everything there is to know about the finances. As well as this, they should also know of the things which could affect their profit.

Some examples include:

  • Weather
  • Location
  • Employees
  • Food Quality

What Food Trucks Make The Most Money?

A big factor when it comes to food trucks is what you are selling. Although unique and foreign food is exciting, some people just enjoy nothing more than grabbing a quick meal that they are familiar with. They are not looking for something adventurous but something that they know they already enjoy and what will give them satisfaction.

Some of the best foods to sell include:

  • Pizza
  • Tacos
  • Burgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Fried chicken

You will typically find these foods on street corners and they are the perfect location for kids coming from school or stressed men and women leaving work. Sometimes the simple options go a long way and are therefore the most profitable.

Is It Possible To Profit As A Food Truck Owner?

Is It Possible To Profit As A Food Truck Owner?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you can indeed profit as a food truck owner. In order to do so, however, you need to know all the variables and your financial output. Once you know what you need to be spending your money on, you will be able to budget and end up profiting from the business.

Food Truck Failure

Although profit can be mad, it is also very possible to fail as a food truck owner. The ones who fail are those who do not know the importance of budgeting and have failed to acknowledge the demand of costs.

As we have previously established, owning a food truck not only takes plenty of dedication and drive but comes with a high price tag too. In order for a food truck business to be profitable, it is essential to manage your cash flow regularly, managing money coming in and out of the business and any financial issues. 

Whilst of course customer engagement, the quality of the food served and a person’s commitment to the business all make up a big part of the success, money is the main focus. Without understanding the value of finance, your food truck business will not succeed.

Final Thoughts

In this article, we have gone through what it takes to be a food truck owner, questioning how much food truck owners make and whether it is possible for them to profit. To summarize, food truck owners can indeed make a substantial amount of money, as much as $100,000 a year. 

But with this said, this is all dependent on a number of vital factors. For starters, it is important to know what you need to be paying for, including your start-up costs and long term finances. An owner of this business also needs to budget and this should be done before the business has even opened.

There are several things that need to be taken into consideration such as the cost of a vehicle, permits, location, insurance, and much more.

However, it is not only about the money. 

What will also earn a food truck owner profit is their customer appeal. It is important as a business owner to make your place of work inviting – decorate your food truck, serve food with a smile, and communicate to your customers through social media.

There is much that goes into being the owner of a food truck, but so long as you can handle your finances and put your customers first, the business will soon grow.

Hilary O’Shea