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How to Lease Food Truck Parking Space at a Bar

Do you want to lease food truck parking space at a bar? If YES, here are useful tips to get parking space at a bar and how much it will cost.

Flocks of street food lovers line up at food trucks across the United States in record numbers, eager for local, fresh and unique menu offerings. While food trucks and food carts aren’t new to America, they are exploding in popularity. Since most food trucks can connect with their customers via social media, what keeps these food trucks in business?

In the real-estate business, the location of a property is one of the biggest factors influencing how much a property will be rented or sold for regardless of condition and size. This same rule applies in the food truck business as well. If you are able to find profitable locations to park your truck consistently, even a mediocre food and menu can yield profits.

However, finding the right place to park isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are so many factors that must be considered before rolling up on a new site such as: Learning if there is a permit or fee required; finding a large enough space to park and if there’s enough foot traffic in the area to make the trip worth the time and money invested in getting there.

As a mobile food trucker, you may find a bar with enough space to rent out to an established food truck, while also charging a set fee based on the day or the month. Alternately, you may negotiate a custom arrangement with the bar manager or owner who is eager for extra income or wants a food truck to satisfy the hunger cramps of his/her customers.

In most cities, you can’t just park your food truck on the street in front of a bar. You will be expected to apply to the transportation department to ensure that the space where you intend to operate aligns with local guidelines such as not obstructing traffic or taking up precious retail parking.

Some spots have already been vetted and approved while others will require you to take initiative and petition for their use. Nonetheless, one of the best strategies is to position your truck within eyesight (and smell sight) of the entrance.

This way bar patrons will smell the delicious fare when entering and especially exiting the building. It is a winning formula for a successful location. Introduce yourself to the bar/nightclub owner, frequent his establishment and build your relationship to ensure he allows you on his property to earn these night time profits.

How Much Does It Cost to Lease Food Truck Parking Space at a Bar?

Negotiating the fee to pay when parking at a bar can often be the biggest pain point. Many establishments have strict procurement procedures. If you want a long-term contract, liaise with the bar owner or manager. However, you will pay for this privilege.

Expect to pay around $500 – $1000, but this will depend on the bar and your lease agreement. Nonetheless, the exact amount you pay will depend on these factors below;

  1. Local Truck Park Rates

Most large scale bars and nightclubs will agree to offer a host of options including monthly parking for food trucks in the area.

However, there can be waiting lists if the area is busy and prices tend to be sky-high. Rental rates for a food truck in these areas could rise above $1,000 per month and you can make the most of your investment by vending as often as possible.

If you find a bar that is profitable for your food truck, do everything you can to stay on good terms with the owner of the business as this type of relationship can yield profits for years to come.

  1. Different Trading Hours

In this industry, the duration food trucks have to serve customers also factor in how much they pay to park. For example, it is ideal to expect a food truck to make fewer sales over a 5-6 hour period than it would over 14 hours (nightclub vs. festival).

  1. Different Types Of Traders

Also, have it in mind that the type of food or drink products a food truck sells will also affect the exact amount they pay in pitch fees to park. For instance, a food truck selling cold products such as smoothies or ice cream would expect to pay less than a truck selling hot food like buyers or hotdogs.

Note that this is because the price per unit for a smoothie is much lower than that of a burger. It also means food trucks who sell cold products have to sell double the amount in the same time frame to cover costs.

  1. Different Lease Agreements

Note that the terms and proposals of lease agreements tend to differ from one bar owner to another. Nonetheless, when you negotiate with someone to lease space to park your food truck and vend, you will have to do due diligence to make sure the property has the amenities you will need to operate legally and profitably.

Permitting and regulation vary across different areas so make sure to contact your local health department and transportation authority before entering into an arrangement with a property owner.


There is more to your food truck success than just parking somewhere and hoping people will show up. Finding the right place to park your truck may involve some experimenting. As a small business owner, always keep your eyes open for new and profitable locations to park your vehicle.

Also, ask other mobile entrepreneurs where they feel the best spots are. People get hungry after a late night in town. Target your city’s entertainment district or your local, popular night spots.