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Is a Custom Food Truck More Expensive Than A Restaurant?


legionfoodtrucks - October 13, 2021 - 0 comments

Whether building your food truck online or establishing a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant, starting costs will vary depending on size, location, and available resources. Besides, comparing food truck vs. restaurant starting and operating costs can be challenging. So, is a custom food truck more expensive than a sit-down restaurant? Read on to find out.

cost of Food Truck vs Restaurant

Food Truck Vs. Restaurant Startup Costs

Generally, a food business is a profitable venture provided you have adequate resources, space, a business plan, and licenses, among other requirements. However, purchasing and customizing a food truck, including different aspects of a successful food business, may seem expensive. Contrarily, establishing a brick-and-mortar restaurant offers particular challenges like sitting space and tables and qualified staff.

Restaurant Startup Costs

Restaurants accompany a specific set of cost considerations, primarily the type of restaurant you intend to create. For instance, opening a 200-seater eatery can be pretty expensive than establishing a sandwich or pop-up restaurant. Yet, some restaurant startup owners may consider starting as a pop-up restaurant before launching a full-fledged eatery to test their concepts. That said, here is a breakdown of restaurant startup costs:

  • Initial costs: These are often one-time costs that may range between $275,000 and $425,000. Initial costs usually cover several aspects of the business, including lease security deposit, building improvements, kitchen and cooking equipment, legal fees, business permits, licenses, POS systems, tables, tableware, and furniture. In most cases, the costs may be higher depending on the restaurant size, location, and type of restaurant.
  • Recurring and ongoing costs: Besides initial costs, sit-down restaurants require operating costs to keep running more profitably. Typically, it may cost between $30,000 to $100,000 every month, covering elements such as mortgage/lease payments, employee salaries, utilities, food and beverages, marketing and advertising, insurance and permits, and miscellaneous expenses.

Food Truck Startup Costs

Establishing a food truck is often considered less expensive compared to an a-brick-and-a-mortar restaurant. Like restaurants, food trucks incorporate initial and operating costs to create a successful business. Here is a breakdown of food truck startup costs:

  • Initial costs: Since food trucks involve mobile kitchens, it requires a functioning vehicle to move around different streets, towns, or estates to reach buyers. Generally, the cost may range between $75,000 to $300,000, depending on the truck’s size and location. An average truck can cost between $50,000 and $175,000, including kitchen and cooking equipment, permits, business plan, registration, serve ware, and other associated fees.
  • Food truck operating costs: Food truck monthly operating costs are inexpensive than a traditional restaurant. Besides, overhead costs are lower, but food trucks experience several fees associated with day-to-day operations. A food truck requires between $19,750 and $32,000 operating costs each month to run a successful food business.

cost of Food Truck vs Restaurant

The Verdict

Since opening a food business requires specific capital, establishing a traditional restaurant is relatively more expensive than a food truck. Although pop-up, sandwich, and other takeaway restaurants may seem inexpensive, having a fully furnished and spacious sit-down restaurant requires more initial and operating costs than a food truck business.

If you are looking to establish a food business or need to build your food truck online, we at Legion Food Trucks can help you. Contact us to learn more today!

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