So, you’ve decided to start your own food truck business! Congratulations!
First, you’ll want to be sure your culinary skills are the best that they can be to set yourself apart from all the other food trucks out there. Consider attending an award-winning culinary school like Park City Culinary Institute. You’ll also want to do some research on How to Open a Food Truck so you know what to expect. (Hint: there are a lot of permits!)
But ultimately, you can’t have a food truck without actually getting a truck. So how do you get one?
Buy a New, Custom Food Truck
This is your most expensive option, but also the fastest and easiest way to get a food truck that is customized to your needs. Also, buying new means that you are less likely to experience mechanical problems or pay for repairs. Simply search online for “new custom food trucks” and you’ll find a lot of companies who will manufacture custom food trucks, concession trailers, container kitchens and more. Your new truck comes with all the equipment you need for your business such as sinks, fryers, griddles, prep stations, refrigeration, and storage, as well as a generator/power source and water (or water hookups).
Buy a Used Food Truck
If you’re interested in saving a little more money, consider buying a used food truck. Search the local or national online classifieds for a used food truck that meets your needs. Note that if you buy something locally, you’ll likely have a better chance to inspect the vehicle in person before purchasing. Make a list of the equipment or features you need for your business, and make sure the truck you pick checks most if not all of those boxes. There’s always the danger of used vehicles breaking down, so try to pick newer used vehicles.
Also, remember that you’ll need to repaint or rewrap the used truck to reflect your new brand.
Rent or Lease a Food Truck
It may be harder to find exactly what you’re looking for, but in some cases, it makes sense to rent or lease a food truck. This is not typically a great long-term option, because you will pay much more monthly for a rental than if you purchased the vehicle. However, if you are only going to do a short-term gig or special event, or if you want to try your hand at owning a food truck business for a month or two before committing to the long haul, this might be a good option.
Convert a Truck into a Food Truck
Finally, if you have a lot of mechanical and electrical know-how (or know someone who does), you may want to consider converting an existing vehicle into a food truck. You can purchase a retired U-haul or other box truck, a van, trailer, old school bus, or even an RV and convert it. You’ll need to create a detailed plan of your kitchen for the available space, buy and install all the equipment you need, wrap/paint the vehicle, and install a serving window/pass-through. There are lots of how-to videos and other resources online for doing this but understand that this can be a time-consuming and complicated process – it could end up costing you more than you expect.
Prepare for Your Future at Park City!
At Park City Culinary Institute, we help turn your culinary dreams into reality. Check out our Professional Certificate in the Culinary Arts, Cuisine Certificate, or Pastry & Baking Certificate programs to prepare your culinary journey. Our programs are available online or on campus in Salt Lake City. We welcome people with all experience levels. Contact us or give us a call at 801-413-2800 to learn more.