Food Trucks: Trends, Costs & Consumers


The Food Truck trend is still on the rise. The Statistic Brain Research Institute reports that food trucks are a a $1.2B market with 4,130 food trucks operating in the US. And now established restaurants are taking their kitchens to the street. According to the National Restaurant Association, “19% of fast casual restaurants say they are very or somewhat likely to launch one in the next year or two.”  Paste Magazine shows that National Restaurant Association estimates the market will grow to $2.7B by 2017.

If you are thinking of starting your own food truck, the National Restaurant Association has some great suggestions including:

  1. Have a very clear understanding of your city’s regulations

  2. Rent a truck to try it out

  3. Keep the menu simple and easy to serve with limited cooking and staff space.

The association also quoted “Roaming Hunger founder Ross Resnick, whose company connects entrepreneurs with truck builders” and he suggests budgeting $80,000 to $100,000 for a new build. A retrofit will cost less of course or you could buy a trailer for even less. And, be sure to check out  ROAM 2016 the Mobile Food Conference is coming to Las Vegas in March.

The National Grocers Association consumer survey report shows that customers feel “there’s a free-spirited vibe around food trucks. Among respondents who go to food trucks, the reason they cite most often is “fun” (48.7%). An expectation of “tasty” food (42.2%) is the #2 trip driver. This is followed by: “easy way to try something new” (39.2%), “impulse, I saw it on the street” (27.1%), and expectation of a “quick” meal or snack (25.1%).”

For a look at the 101 Best Food Trucks in America, check out the The Daily Meal 2015 report.