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Food Truck vs Restaurant: Breaking Down Start Up Costs


legionfoodtrucks - January 13, 2021 - 0 comments

The food and beverage industry is very profitable, but you need to consider food trucks vs. restaurants and what makes the difference. Here is a breakdown of the cost involved in starting a food truck vs. a restaurant.

The Survival Rate of Food Truck vs. Restaurant

With a 40% chance of succeeding in the first year, starting a restaurant can be a high-risk venture like any other business considering the investment involved. However, starting a food truck is an option that costs less and has a higher survival rate.

Food Truck Expenses

If you have a financial plan covering all the bases, you will have your food truck running. You need about $50,000 to start a food truck business, including the following expenses

Kitchen and Food Supplies

When Purchasing food and inventory supplies you will need about $1000 to $2000. You can also buy kitchen equipment that costs $25,000 to $100,000.

Vehicle Maintenance

The cost of fuel will be $500 depending on your location, and if you are moving from one place to another, you need to consider the distance. Oil and tire changes and other routine maintenance will cost you about $1,000 to $5000. Other requirements that you must have, like a fire extinguisher, can range from $100 to $300.

Business Licenses, Permits, and Insurance

Depending on your State, County, or city, your business license can cost about $100 to $500.  Getting a health permit will cost you from $800 to $5000.  Insurance coverage is essential for your business, and you will need to consider the insurance cost on your property, vehicle, and even business liability. You could spend from $2000 to $4000 yearly, and it can vary depending on the level of coverage.

Staff and Other Expenses

Some businesses can choose to work with family members or hire staff. If you decide to hire staff, you need to consider staff wages, benefits, and other compensation. 

The cost of the internet needed to run the POS is from $100 to $200. The cash register can cost from $200 to $1000.

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Restaurant Expenses

Starting a restaurant can cost $100,000 to $300,000, depending on your concept. Here are the expenses involved:

Rent, Utility, Improvement, and Decor

The rent cost will include a one-month security deposit plus the first month’s rent estimated at $10,000 to $12 000. Utilities like the internet, water, gas, electricity will run to about $2,500. If you decide to remodel your restaurant and kitchen, it can cost $25000 to $35 000. Restaurant decor and furniture will depend on the size of your restaurant. Now you can spend up to an estimate of $40,000.

Kitchen, Food and Beverage

Kitchenware, including utensils and dishes, can run up to $80,000 while food and beverage estimates at $8000.  If you include a bar in your restaurant, the cost will increase.

Insurance, Licenses, and Permits

Depending on your insurance coverage, the cost estimates at $6000. This can include property, injuries, and general liabilities. Health permits and liquor and business licenses can run about $5000 to $20000.

Marketing and Advertising and Other Costs

If you are using signage, it will cost you up to $15000, printing $5000 to $10,000, menus $5000, and the opening event $15,000. Depending on the size of your restaurant, you may need more than one POS system. This will cost you about $20,000.

Make the Right Move for Your Business

The decision to open a food truck vs. a restaurant can be determined by the costs involved. Starting your food truck business is cheaper, but you need to count the cost involved to prepare adequately. At Legion, we manufacture the best food trucks in the nation. Contact Us.

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