How to Start a Food Truck Business Part 3: Sourcing Your Truck
Your food truck will be the driving force of your business, so it's important to choose wisely. Buying a food truck can be an expensive and time-consuming task, so we've created this cheat-sheet to guide you through the process and make it less intimidating. In part 3, you'll learn everything you need to know about sourcing a food truck and equipment to kit it out.
Where to Find Your Food Truck & Equipment
Finding a food truck and equipment requires some serious research, networking, and exploring different options. Here are the best ways to find your dream food truck:
Start by doing some online research to explore different food truck options and equipment suppliers. You'll want to look for reputable websites, online marketplaces, and directories that specialize in selling new or used food trucks and equipment. Here are some popular platforms to consider:
Food truck listing websites: Websites like FoodTruckEmpire.com, UsedVending.com, and RoamingHunger.com have food trucks for sale or lease.
Equipment suppliers: Some well-known commercial kitchen equipment suppliers include WebstaurantStore, RestaurantSupply.com, and KaTom. These places offer a range of items specifically designed for food trucks.
Go to Food Truck Events
- Find local food truck expos, trade shows, and industry events where you can meet food truck vendors and manufacturers in person. These events are a great way to see different types of food trucks and equipment up close and ask questions.
Networking & Referrals
- Reach out to local food truck owners, chefs, or industry professionals for their recommendations. They might be able to connect you with reputable food truck builders, dealers, or suppliers in your area.
Ask Food Truck Builders & Dealers
- Contact food truck builders or dealers directly to discuss your specific needs and budget. They can guide you through the process of selecting or customizing a food truck that matches your requirements. Builders and dealers often have existing inventory or can help you create a custom design.
- Join Food Truck Associations & Forums
- Get involved with food truck communities by joining industry associations or online forums. These platforms let you connect with other food truck owners, ask for recommendations, and get invaluable insights into finding the right truck and equipment.
- Local Classifieds & Auctions
- Check local classified ads, both online and offline, as well as auctions for used food trucks and equipment. Websites like Craigslist, eBay, or local auction platforms may have listings for food trucks and equipment sales.
- Leasing Options
- If purchasing a food truck upfront is not feasible, explore leasing options. Some companies specialize in food truck leasing, allowing you to get started with lower upfront costs. However, carefully review the terms and conditions of the lease agreement before committing.
Verify the Condition and Legal Compliance: Whether you're buying a new or used food truck, make sure it meets health and safety regulations and has any necessary certifications or permits. Inspect the equipment's functionality and make sure it's suitable for your menu and cooking requirements.
Compare Prices and Negotiate: Once you've found some potential food trucks or equipment suppliers, compare prices and negotiate the best deal. Be sure to consider factors like warranties, after-sales support, and reputation when making your final decision.
Dig Deeper: Check out the best places to park your new food truck here.