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Where Do Food Trucks Buy Their Food?

Are you wondering where food trucks buy their food? If YES, here are 8 places food trucks buy their food. Food sourcing as it is mostly called in the food business, is the process of obtaining your foods and other ingredients.

Just like with restaurant businesses, food truck businesses need to analyze their potential volume and buy accordingly. To succeed in this line of business, you always have to plan in advance, to shop or receive orders so that you are never out of necessities.

However, to make or create a detailed food sourcing strategy for a food truck business, you have to first find out the most efficient food storage plan for your truck, track inventory and sales, and align with the most cooperative food suppliers. Have it in mind that one setback for most food trucks is the lack of storage space.

When planning your truck’s layout, it is important to maximize storage and cooler space without distorting the area you’ll need to make and sell food. Note that you can boost your storage layout by minimizing and carefully selecting other equipment, like your POS system, so that these items take up as little room as possible.

Have it in mind that food trucks, unlike restaurants, do not always have permanent addresses. Owing to that, it can be challenging to get a delivery from certain suppliers. For food trucks that do not use a commissary, you will have to align with your supplier and arrange a time and place where you can always have your order delivered or ask if there is an option for pickup.

Once your delivery arrives, take your time to review the invoice and make sure you’ve acquired everything you ordered at the previously disclosed price. If you’ve adequately organized your food truck’s storage space, arranging and storing the order should be easy.

And when it’s time for your next order, ensure to take inventory to know exactly what you need. Also remember to consider pricing, convenience, delivery options, and above all, quality when sourcing for suppliers. Note that if something barely tastes good, it won’t sell. Never compromise on quality to get a good deal. Here are top options available for businesses in this industry;

8 Common Places Food Trucks Buy Their Food

  1. Wholesale Food Distributors

Wholesalers provide about anything a food truck business might need. Aside from just food, they also provide and sell kitchen and bar accessories, utensils, and paper goods at the lowest possible prices. Note that these businesses set up weekly or bi-weekly deliveries and bring all of the orders straight to the business.

According to experts, this is by far the most common and cost effective option available for a food truck business looking to source food. If a food truck can agree on delivery times with a wholesaler and has adequate storage space to store food and supplies in bulk, then this is one of the best fits to support their business.

Also note that they can assist with other aspects of the business by offering tools like menu design, product recommendation, and profitability consultation.

  1. Manufacturers

Have it in mind that a good number of major food manufacturers can easily be reachable and, in many cases, will sell you what you need or point you in the right direction so you can find their products easily.

Note there are plenty of big companies to consider, and there are also many small companies and niche providers that can supply a Food Truck business with a massive number of tasty options. However, always remember to compare prices along with quality as you shop.

  1. Online Retailers

Note that in recent years, the internet has become one of the best ways to source for food. Indeed, food truck owners can easily research products and find items to achieve their culinary aims. Have it in mind that online giants like Amazon can be goldmines for deals on non-food necessities like serving dishes, disposable utensils, and cleaning supplies.

If there is anything needed or a branded item necessary to perfect a dish, food manufactures’ websites are the ideal place to start the search, and just like it was stated above, if they can’t sell an item directly to a buyer, they can genuinely point one in the right direction.

  1. Grocery Stores

Grocery stores are indeed quite a costly option than wholesale options for food truck supplies but can be extremely beneficial for a food truck owner in some situations.

For instance, if an event pops up last minute, and some necessary supplies needed are missing, or a renowned ingredient in a truck’s most popular menu item runs out long before the end of work, an ideal option would be to run to the closest grocery.

  1. Greenmarkets and Farmers Markets

Have it in mind that this is a very popular option for food carts and trucks very eager to sell the healthiest versions of basic food truck favorites. You can get to know the different vendors at a local farmer’s market, or you can easily establish relationships with local farms.

Also note that you can visit the facilities, arrange deals for buying in bulk, and organize a delivery time or a system where the order is picked up during the farmer’s market.

  1. Food Cooperative

A co-op is more or less a group of individuals who come together for their mutual benefit, not unlike a credit union. Have it in mind there are mobile food owners who come together to order foods in bulk quantities to save money. Note that the larger the order, the better the discount.

Howbeit, if you can find some non-competitive truck owners, you can ask if they want to combine resources and place orders with you, and that is how a food co-op is established. You can also research your neighborhood for other truck owners interested in forming a co-op or if you are interested in natural food co-ops (as well as finding plenty of information on co-ops); you can visit the Co-op Directory.

  1. Shopping Clubs

In the United States, shopping clubs or warehouse stores like Sam’s Club and Costco provide products in high volume at a low cost.

However, they always mandate shoppers to pay an annual membership fee, but if the member plans to shop at the store regularly, they can easily make up the money spent on the fee in savings. For a food truck business, some of the wonderful things to buy here are staples like rice and flour, primarily because they will stay for a prolonged period of time.

  1. Commissaries

A local commissary, although not really a food supplier, can help relieve certain issues that come with looking for one. Most cities and states in the United States have laws against preparing food in mobile kitchens. Owing to that, food trucks in these places opt for licensed commissaries that offer storage, preparation, and kitchen space. However, depending on a food truck’s budget, private or shared kitchens are available for rent.


As a food truck owner, it is imperative that you always make a detailed shopping list of ingredients. If you are buying food from wholesalers, endeavor to understand how much you need, how much you can safely keep fresh, and how much you can sell before the food or ingredients spoil.

Have it in mind that it is always better to run out of food on a busy day than to offer customers something that isn’t fresh.