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Can You Prep Food at Home for a Food Truck?

The appropriate answer to the above question will have to depend on the statutes in your state and local laws and regulations.

This simply entails that the requirements for cooking food to sell from a food truck in the United States will vary depending on local regulations. In certain locations, you will be permitted to prepare the meals in your home kitchen, while in other places, you are expected to make use of a commercial or professional kitchen.

Food trucks pre-cook some of their food the day/night before to ensure that they are ready, especially for large events. This can be done at home or in commercial kitchens.

For instance, the chicken might be precooked the night before and then reheated with a sauce the next day. Nevertheless, this cannot be done with many other products such as burgers and hot dogs, since they will have to be cooked fresh.

In a good number of states, regulations for operating a food truck necessitate that the food be prepared in a commercial or professional kitchen rather than a home kitchen.

This is mainly for health and safety reasons, as commercial kitchens are built to conform to higher sanitation standards and will possess the appropriate equipment to take care of large-scale food production.

Home kitchens may lack the same level of cleanliness, space, and equipment needed to appropriately prepare and handle food for the public.

General Requirements for Starting a Food Truck Business

1. Buy the perfect truck for your needs

Regardless of how you intend to come about your truck, it is very important that the truck you pick is designed in a way that makes it conducive to what you need. Note that your decisions here will more or less depend on the content of your menu as well as the demographic you intend to serve.

Nevertheless, you will want a refrigerator, deep fryer, freezer, heat lamp, and storage space. Once you realize the exact equipment you need, you will then have to figure out which setup will work most efficiently on your food orders.

2. Find a commissary

In a good number of places in the United States, you will have to show your contract or alignment with a commissary before you can be permitted to offer your services. Commissaries are necessary because this is where they will store and prepare food.

This could more or less be a catering kitchen or a restaurant kitchen. Aside from the platform to prep food, it is the appropriate place to dump dirty water and load food into the truck without exposing it to the natural elements. Ensure to reach out to your local food truck community for recommendations.

3. Obtain the appropriate licenses and permits

One thing to understand in this line of business is the fact that states and cities tend to possess their own regulations and statutes, and it’s necessary you understand them as well as conform with all of them. You will be expected to obtain certain licenses and permits.

Although the ones you need will vary from one place to another, they are all necessary and should be treated with great concern. If you are unsure about these regulations, reach out to the right authority or refer to other food truck owners in the area.

4. Long hours

The only way to attain success in this line of business is to put in the work and also to be smart while doing that. You have to understand that food truck owners work 10 hours a day and barely get a day off. Aside from the long hours needed, you will have to shop and prepare your food while also making time to properly market your business.

You will also have to invest in finding viable locations coupled with paying bills and handling your permits and licenses. All of this will take up a good chunk of your time and a good number of food trucks are being managed by the owner alone.

5. Parking and location

To guarantee success in this line of business, you need to know the most viable places to park your food truck and the appropriate time to leverage the massive foot traffic the location offers.

You also have to understand that different states and cities possess regulations when it comes to where you are allowed to park and where you cannot. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce or the SBA to ensure you get the right information.

6. Truck inspection and permit renewal

When applying to obtain the requisite license and permits needed to start your food truck business, note that you will be expected to make available information regarding yourself and your food truck, and in most places submit yourself for health inspection.

In a good number of cities, this inspection tends to be done periodically and will most likely involve analyzing the temperature of your truck storage areas, making sure that you utilize gloves as well as other safety gear, or even verifying that you possess the appropriate sink and food prep areas.

You will also have to renew your permit, and this will have to be annually or bi-annually, depending on where you are conducting business.


Just as was noted above, the appropriate answer to the question will have to depend on the statutes in your state and local laws and regulations. This simply entails that the requirements for cooking food to sell from a food truck in the United States tend to vary depending on local regulations.

As such, if you’re looking to start and run a food truck business, it’s very important to stay in line with the local regulations in your area. This might involve finding a certified commercial kitchen to prep your food or renting a shared kitchen space.