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Does Your New Food Truck Business Need Financing?

Does Your New Food Truck Business Need Financing

Food truck financing can help you take your dream to reality.

With a market size of more than one billion, and nearly 35,000 food trucks operating in the United States, food trucks are on the rise.

This is a great time to begin a food truck business, and if you’re ready, there is one important thing to think about first: how will you pay for it?

In this article, we answer the question, “Does your new food truck business need financing?” First, let’s look at what it might cost.

Food Truck Costs

You have a menu and a concept, and you’ve decided to open a food truck. That’s a great idea as it’s less expensive to open a food truck than a restaurant. The startup costs are relatively low, but you will have them. (tweet this)

You want to be aware of what you’re looking at before deciding if you need financing.

First, you can expect a food truck to cost you $50,000 on the very low end up to $200,000. The higher end gives you a completely customized rig.

Next, you want to consider staffing, permits, licenses, renovations, utilities, equipment, food, and more.

Another cost you might incur is a commercial kitchen. Some food trucks use a commercial kitchen to store and prepare their food before they hit the road. If you are going to use a commercial kitchen, be sure and factor this into your total cost. You can count on spending between $20 and $40 per hour.


One more expense may be parking. Depending on where you are going to park, you’re looking at $100-$1500 per month. This all depends on where you live.

Health permits and licenses are going to add up, so be sure and check your local and state rules.

Staffing costs add up as well. They are generally hourly. Because tipping is extra in the food truck industry, you can expect to pay at least $15 per hour for quality staff.

Your food costs generally run between 25-40%, so plan on this cost, too.

Finally, you want to add in some costs for marketing. Depending on your network, these can run from several hundred dollars per month to several thousand.

Now, let’s look at the kinds of financing you might look at for your new food truck business.

Equipment Loans

With this type of loan, you can not only purchase a food truck or a second food truck, but you can also purchase new or used equipment such as kitchen appliances and cooking utensils.

The equipment loan can help you pay your costs over time instead of upfront.

It’s worth knowing that equipment loans most often cover about 80% of your equipment cost, so you will need to pay the difference. This is similar to the down payment you would put on a car.

You’ll find this loan from banks and other online lenders, some of whom deal with equipment loans only. Your collateral is the equipment you are buying, so if you were to have trouble paying for the loan, they’d simply take your equipment and sell it.


You’ll find crowdfunding can be an option for food truck financing. While a relatively new way to raise money, it is debt-free financing.

With this financing, you won’t have to repay anyone for the loan. This is an option for those who may not meet the requirements for a regular type of loan.

The hard part of crowdfunding is convincing people to give you money. You might want to consider giving people something for their donation. For example, you might give them a certificate for a certain amount of food at your restaurant in exchange for their donation.

Many crowdfunding sites will take a percentage of your funding and credit card processing fees. And don’t forget, if you don’t meet your goal, your food truck doesn’t get funded.

Food Truck Business

Finance your new food truck, and you’ll soon have regulars lining up every day.


Another type of financing you can look for is the microloan. This is a smaller type of loan, and you’ll find these generally target specific markets.

For example, it might be for small businesses, low-income applicants, or female entrepreneurs. In addition, those with little credit or little operating history might qualify for this type of financing.

Food truck owners can use this financing on anything from equipment costs, food costs, working capital, and more.

You can find these loans from nonprofit groups, government agencies, and even private financial institutions. One type of microloan is the SBA loan. It’s another great option for new food truck owners.

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans

It takes away much of the risk for small business owners when starting food trucks. The SBA helps you find lenders to start your food truck business. SBA loans are especially helpful for those who can’t find more conventional small business loans or personal/business loans.

The SBA microloan usually provides loans up to $50,000 for new food truck owners to buy equipment, supplies, and inventory, and working capital loans.

You may also be required to provide some collateral for this loan. Since banks like larger loans, the SBA loan can help you bypass that requirement.

Business Line of Credit

Obtaining a business line of credit is another option for food truck business financing. This lets you access a large pool of funds you can draw from to use on whatever you need for your food truck.

The best part for you is that regardless of the amount of your line of credit, you only have to pay back with interest what you spend.

What’s more, after you pay back what you borrowed, you open up your credit to use again and again and again.

Lines of credit range from $10,000 to well over one million. You’ll find terms from six months to five years. Interest rates can be quite high, so shop around to find the best rate possible.

A line of credit is perfect for working capital, it’s quite flexible, and there are no limits on what you can use it for. (tweet this)

Final Thoughts

So, does your new food truck business need financing? Generally, the answer is yes.

How much you need to ask for depends on your needs as well as how much of your own money you want to spend.

Financing your food truck doesn’t have to be complicated. Decide which options will work best for you, put together your business plan, and get out there, and grab that financing.

You’ll then be on your way to a successful food truck business.

At Restaurant Engine, not only do we create great, responsive websites, but you can count on us to create a website that works for your new food truck business. Let us help you by creating the perfect site for your food truck! Ready to take the plunge and create a new website? Get your free website consultation today!

Images: Paula Vermeulen and Nathalia Segato on Unsplash

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