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Average Profit Margin for a Food Truck Business

Profit margins for food truck businesses in the United States will vary based on a variety of factors such as labor costs, food waste, seasons, profit share or parking fees at particular activities, and financial reporting issues. Nevertheless, food trucks in the United States earn a median of $250,000-$500,000 per year, or $20,000-$42,000 per month.

The food industry is an especially volatile market, and as a result, the average profit margin is around 2-6 percent. A profit margin is the percentage of income after business expenses. As a basic guideline, most enterprises must aim for a profit margin of 10 percent.

Take into account that your personal earnings will be determined by the type of meals you offer, the location you are positioned, as well as how long your enterprise has been in operation. Food truck profit margins range widely from zero to 15 percent, with the average mobile business owner earning around 7-8 percent.

A prevalent, comfortable, reasonably priced, and (most importantly) delicious food truck will almost always make big money. Consider offering standard fast food items such as bagels, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, French fries, onion rings, fried chicken, burritos, and grilled cheese.

Food truck operators should offer no fewer than six and no upwards of twelve meal options at any set moment. The lesser the nicer, since this enables you to keep a superior level of quality.

Factors That Influence the Profit Margin of Food Truck Businesses

As previously stated, there are numerous factors that influence a food truck’s profit margins. These elements are as follows:

  1. Ingredient and material costs

It suffices to suggest that the expense of preparing and supplying your meals ought not to exceed the value of your menu. However, maintaining an equilibrium between cheap and comfortable food and financial gains can be quite difficult.

Begin by calculating how much each food cost per plateful. After which take into account how much you end up losing because of external variables and incorporate them into your estimations, for instance:

  • Clients who are dissatisfied with their meals and would like a replacement.
  • Different seasonal items that are scarce or perhaps more costly during certain times of the year.
  • Components that already have lost value or do not satisfy your standards and must be discarded.

You can calculate your meal expense percentages after determining an average cost. Typically, this ranges around 28 percent and 35 percent for many food manufacturers, however, the existence of food trucks (quick and easy dining) may carry this nearer to 25 percent.

  1. Overhead costs

Food truck owners face a slew of expenses year-round. Those are your ongoing costs, and they include:

  • The truck’s upkeep.
  • Licenses and authorizations for businesses.
  • Parking charges.
  • Operating expenses, such as fuel.
  • Administration of your official site and social media.
  • Washing materials.
  • Items for takeaway food.
  • Outfits and other promotional materials

Take into account the actual amount you want to invest in your food truck business, and factor them into your profit margin.

  1. Sales volume

Understanding the profit margin of every single component of your cuisine is important. To get a sense of your volume of sales, consider which meals attract more attention at different times of the year. It is beneficial to gain a good knowledge of both your clients and your company. In any case, the value of your meals, as well as their resulting costs, must be mirrored in this.

  1. Prices of competitors

If you aren’t sure whether you’re billing either too much or too little, you may have to look at the competitors in the market. Examine nearby food trucks along with brick-and-mortar facilities. When compared to one another, you should be capable of calculating a bare estimate for each individual option.

Keep in mind that each truck is distinctive, and also what works for one enterprise may not work for another. Therefore, don’t get engrossed in the specifics.

  1. Location

One of the most significant benefits of choosing a food truck over a restaurant is that you aren’t restricted to a single spot. If your regular site is running out of patrons, move to a different place for a day to determine whether you’re able to increase your revenue. Understanding your patrons can also help.

If you primarily serve individuals during their lunch breaks, then parking in a business district may be advantageous. Similarly, if your meal is prevalent with late-night socializers, collaborate with a local bar and establish a booth near them. Finally, watch out for any forthcoming community events or gatherings.

  1. Labor costs

The average food truck company has 1.2 employees, so your mobile venture may likely be a one-man show. It is very necessary to pay yourself a reasonable amount for your endeavors without jeopardizing your company’s profit margins. And besides, your time is precious as well.

As your company expands, you may have to hire more employees, particularly in busy seasons or occasions. But note that the more you spend on labour costs, then lesser your profit margin.


If you want to start your own eatery but do not have the funds, a food truck might be the answer. Food trucks can be a lucrative business if you maintain a competitive advantage. Stay on top of your food truck’s profit margin and modify your prices as necessary. If you are productive in doing so, income may begin to flow in for both you and your company.