Food trucks can be located on virtually every bubbling street corner in most American metropolitan areas. For each food truck out there, many more exist in the minds of food creators who are eagerly waiting for the right time to start the business.

Food trucks are a popular food trend in the United States, with approximated 35,000 operating today. They are quite popular among chefs and restaurant owners owing to their low operating costs.

People establish food trucks for a diverse range of reasons, including a passion for cooking, the adaptability and enthusiasm of a constantly changing location, the opportunity to share fantastic food with the world, and the belief that a food truck is an appropriate model to accomplish all of this.

Nevertheless, success in the food truck industry is more difficult than people believe. Food trucks, like several food businesses, have a significant failure rate, with 60% closing within three years of establishment.

Food truck failure can be caused by a number of elements, the most common of which is oversimplification. People who make choices based on their emotions believe they can conveniently start a food truck while disregarding numerous essential aspects.

Optimists believe that offering excellent food and raising cash to acquire a truck will open the path to success. And although starting a food truck is much less costly than initiating numerous small businesses, note that it does not absolutely assure financial independence.

Cracking into the food truck industry necessitates a tremendous amount of work, a strong financial plan, and a patient, enduring quest.

Average Success Rate of Food Trucks in the United States

To be honest, an accurate number of food truck success rates is unavailable; nevertheless, available statistics from average restaurant figures indicate that 40% of food trucks are still in operation after three years. With an average income stream of $250,000-$500,000 a year, food trucks when started and managed well can be a financially rewarding undertaking.

It is critical to recognize that getting through the first few years and creating a flourishing brand requires some effort. Nonetheless, here are some tips for running a successful food truck to ensure you are among the winners:

  1. Put Together a Business Plan

Similar to any brick-and-mortar business, you must create a viable business plan for your food truck, obtain all required permits, and select a good spot.

You should consider all expenses, including that of the truck itself, in order to devise a strategy that significantly increases profits. Possible future expenditures, such as equipment replacement and repair, should always be factored into your business model.

  1. Get Your Finances And Menu Prices In Order

Examine your anticipated operational costs, such as wage bills, cooking and equipment costs, rental prices, and anything else that could be an additional cost. Price your menu so that you maximize profits while attempting to cover your costs.

  1. Develop a Marketing Campaign

Marketing is critical for attracting patrons to your business. When it comes to advertising your food truck, you should focus on a few core components.

  • Use all the resources at your disposal to establish a clever social media campaign. This is as simple as using platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business, and Yelp.
  • Create a street identity with eye-catching posters and clear instructions for your trailer.
  • Interact with the community by offering neighborhood discounts or loyalty programs.

Average Failure Rate of Food Trucks in the United States

Because data on food trucks is still scarce, restaurant industry failure rates are mostly used as a proxy. Note that 60% of fast food places close within three years of opening.

Unlike fine dining restaurants which can serve people in harsh weather conditions, food trucks are most successful when the weather is pleasant. Business owners must consider this prior to starting a food truck business. Keep in mind that food trucks customarily fail for one of these causes.

  1. Zero Budgeting

Food truck margins are exceptionally low, and operators must carefully monitor their financial affairs. Without a financial plan or comprehensive accounting, you might appear to be generating money when you’re truly losing money. Fortunately, technology makes it very simple to keep count of your economic state.

You can pick the margin on all items on the menu with contemporary point-of-sale software, guaranteeing that each sale actually creates profit. Similarly, you can continuously monitor all refunds or lost stock to uncover hidden costs.

  1. Ineffective Management

Even though the owner-operator ought to be the company’s main face, they shouldn’t be responsible for all of it. You will find it difficult to manage all parts of your food truck without assistance, resulting in poor outcomes. Similarly, employing too many people will hurt profits and cause difficulties.

  1. Poor Customer Service

Hardly anything beats a decent brand image when it comes to launching a business. Diners will gladly share images on social media or inform their acquaintances about your food truck if you provide exceptional service to them.

You will instinctually increase the number of customers and continue to expand as a result of this word-of-mouth marketing. However, it only takes one terrible impression to indefinitely infuriate a client. If this client communicates his or her interaction with others online, you risk severely harming your public image.

  1. Inadequate Planning

A business plan is required for all food trucks in order to fully comprehend the customer base, mission, and tactic. Failure to establish achievable objectives and evaluate your market will doom your company.

  1. Ineffective Advertising

Numerous food trucks park in high-traffic areas in the hopes of attracting hungry members of the public. Nevertheless, this should not be your primary business strategy. After all, someone could stop by and savor your food, but overlook your name.

They probably don’t know what they should do if they want to purchase from you again or tell their acquaintances about your truck. Just like every other service business, your food truck must be unforgettable and instantly recognizable. Customers must be aware of what you offer and build a good reputation with your brand in order to become truly devoted.


As you can see, operating a food truck involves some vulnerability. You cannot guarantee the success of your mobile food business, however, you can take steps to decrease your likelihood of failure. Begin with a viable business plan and a great marketing strategy, and then give customers what they want.