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Food Truck vs. Restaurant: Breaking Down Start Up Costs

legionfoodtrucks - June 13, 2024 - 0 comments

The question of food truck vs. restaurant has been top of mind for a while now. But ever since the pandemic, more and more businesses are seeing the benefits of starting a food truck. If you are currently weighing your options to decide which one is better for you, this article will break down the associated start-up costs so you can determine which is the right move for you.

Food Truck Equipment

A significant portion of your budget should be allocated to equipping your food truck. With proper equipment, you will be able to prepare quality food both quickly and efficiently. Generally, start-up expenses for a food truck will vary depending on the type and quality of equipment you choose. Common items you need to start your food truck business include cooking equipment, refrigeration equipment, holding equipment, washing equipment, safety equipment, a ventilation system, and a payment processing system.

How Much It Typically Costs

Depending on the size of your truck and the type of cuisine you plan to be serving, you can spend between $50,000 and $200,000 to equip your food truck. Kitchen equipment alone will cost you anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 while safety equipment will set you back $1,000 to $3,000. However, if you are working with a tight budget, you can buy more affordable equipment and upgrade it as your business grows or lease the equipment.

Typical Price for Building a Food Truck

Every truck is different. You can choose to buy a brand-new food truck, buy a used one, or build a food truck from scratch. A new, fully-fitted food truck will cost between $50,000 and $175,000 while a pre-owned one can go for $30,000 to $100,000. If you opt to buy a vehicle and convert it into a food truck, you can expect the cost of building it to be at least $50,000. The good news is that building one allows you to design and build every aspect of the food truck to your liking.

Other Equipment Expenses

Equipment makes for one of the major start-up expenses for a food truck. Apart from the cost of purchasing these items, there are several other expenses associated with the equipment. They include the cost of:

  • Converting the vehicle into a quality mobile kitchen
  • Installing the equipment in the vehicle
  • Running costs and expenses related to repairs and maintenance of the equipment

Restaurant Equipment

Most of the appliances and equipment needed in a food truck are also required in a brick-and-mortar restaurant. However, food trucks have less equipment owing to the limited space. Oftentimes, traditional restaurants will feature commercial kitchen equipment.

How Much It Typically Costs

Restaurant equipment costs can vary extensively depending on the size of the restaurant as well as the size and capacity of the equipment. Other factors that will affect these costs are the brand and quality, energy efficiency, and additional features of the equipment. Lastly, the expenses will be determined by whether the equipment is new or used. Typically, the average cost of kitchen and bar equipment for a restaurant is $115,655

Equipment Expenses You Can Expect

Once you have acquired the necessary equipment for your restaurant, there are a few additional expenses you need to plan for such as:

  • Design and equipment installation costs
  • Maintenance costs
  • Replacement costs

Make the Right Move for Your Business

Here at Legion Food Trucks, we are a food truck manufacturer located in South El Monte, CA. In addition to building top-of-the-line food trucks, we also provide you with the information, guidance, and mentorship needed to ensure you start your business on the right foot. This includes explaining the different start-up expenses for a food truck so you can plan better. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you achieve success in your food truck business.

Download Your FREE Food Truck Start Up Guide Here!

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