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How Much Do Food Trucks Make Yearly? (Profit Margin Included)

Calculating Food Truck Cost, Sales, Profit and Loss

A standard food truck business with over a dozen food trucks can make as much as $500,000 in a year or even more. However, you should note that the amount of income a food truck business can make in a year will be dependent on certain factors.

One good thing about the food truck business and other mobile businesses is that once you notice that business is slow in a location, you can afford to change the location by simply moving to a place where the food and drinks you are selling are in demand.

Apart from that, a food truck business can be at different venues within a day, hence they will be able to maximize their earnings for the day.

In this article, we will look at some of the factors that can influence how much a food truck business can make yearly, and also their profit margin.

Profit Margin of a Food Truck Business

The profit margin of a food truck business depends on the type of food the food truck is selling. For example, a burger food truck can expect a healthy profit margin of 10% to 25%.

But generally, mobile businesses including food truck businesses usually average a profit margin of 15%. Even with the 15% profit margin, mobile food businesses are known to generate more profits than brick-and-mortar food businesses like fast food restaurants and the like.

Now if the average selling price per food item of $17.65 and it is sold with a 15% margin; for a food truck to achieve a revenue of $500,000 per year, it would need to sell the following quantity of items:

  • Selling Price per Item: Approximately $17.65
  • Daily Sales Target: About 78 items
  • Weekly Sales Target: Approximately 545 items
  • Monthly Sales Target: Around 2,361 items

Factors That Influence the Income of a Food Truck Business

  1. Location

For a food truck business location is key to how much the business can make daily, weekly, and yearly. Interestingly, the fact that a food truck business is a mobile business means that they can change location at will.

That is why you will usually find food trucks in high-traffic areas like downtown areas, parks, sports complexes, event centers, campgrounds, beaches, or office complexes.

Any food truck that knows how to position itself in such areas will make more money than a food truck business that is still exploring the city.

  1. Your Menu and Pricing

It is one thing to be at the right location, and it is yet another thing to have the right menu and pricing. The truth is that the variety and quality of food you are selling, along with your pricing strategies will determine how much you can generate yearly from the business.

Of course, you know that a well-curated menu that caters to diverse tastes and dietary preferences (vegetarian inclusive), along with competitive pricing, can attract more customers and increase sales volume. Certainly, with increased sales volume comes increased earnings for the food truck business.

  1. Quality of Food

If you are known to consistently serve high-quality, fresh, and flavorful food, you will always retain your old customers, and also attract new customers who may come from referrals from your old customers.

In business, especially food-related businesses, positive reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations go a long way and can contribute to increased revenue.

  1. Your Customer Service

If you serve quality and good-tasting food from your food truck, you will be able to attract customers, but trust me, if your customer service is appalling, you will repel the customers.

In essence, the quality of your customer service will determine how much you can earn yearly from your food truck business.

You must make sure you always provide exceptional customer service, including friendly and efficient interactions with customers, timely service, and addressing customer feedback. Doing this will no doubt help you increase sales and revenue for the business.

  1. Your Operational Efficiency

If there are loose ends in your operations, you will lose money which ultimately will lead to making less money yearly. But if you operate your food truck business efficiently, you will be able to maximize earnings from the business.

To achieve this, you should work towards streamlining your operations, optimizing your workflows, and managing inventory effectively.

Doing this will help you improve productivity and reduce costs which ultimately will contribute to higher profit margins and revenue growth for your food truck business.

  1. Your Marketing and Branding Strategy

For a food truck business, you don’t have to break the bank to be able to market and brand your business. All you need to do is create an online community of people who love your menu, brand your food truck with bright and attractive colors, distribute flyers around the locations where you want to position your food truck, participate in food truck events and festivals, and also sponsor some relevant community events.

Just make sure you do anything that will help enhance the brand visibility of your food truck because you will be competing against several food trucks out there.

  1. Seasonal Demand

One thing with the food truck business is that it is subjected to seasonal variations. This is so because food trucks depend on clement weather.

For example, during winter or stormy seasons food trucks usually struggle to make sales because people avoid staying outdoors during winter and stormy periods.

If you want to make more money from your food truck business, you should be able to capitalize on seasonal trends and events.

For example, offering seasonal specials or catering services for events like festivals, concerts, or weddings during peak seasons can help you boost sales.

  1. The Level of Competition

As a food truck business, you are not only expected to compete with other food trucks, but also restaurants, food kiosks, and any outlet that also retails food.

In essence, if you want to maximize income for your food truck, then you must make sure you position your food truck in a location where you are likely going to face less competition.

With that, you should be able to differentiate your food truck by offering unique menu items, superior quality, or innovative concepts. This will help you attract customers and mitigate the impact of competition on your revenue.

  1. Events and Catering Opportunities

Any food truck business that can leverage opportunities to cater to private events, corporate gatherings, weddings, and festivals will earn additional revenue streams beyond the regular street vending that food truck businesses are used to.

In essence, if you want to make more money yearly, then you must go all out to develop relationships with event planners and also leverage social media to promote your catering services, especially in areas where you know you can get contracts that will boost your earning.