Test Driving Your Food: Why You Should Get a Food Truck Before Owning a Restaurant

Happy pink haired chef grills bacon on a food truck

Food is universal. There’s always a market for food, and there will be customers at every price range or cuisine whether it’s fancy French dishes or simple home-made dumplings. There are people with a passion for cooking and wishing to make a living out of their dream of having a restaurant, filled with satisfied customers. But before you get that loan or pour your savings into a restaurant, maybe consider starting small just to test the waters.

You could always opt to start with a catering service, but that’ll take a lot of manpower, marketing, and a significant investment. Not to mention it takes an amount of effort and time to find the best supplier for your catering equipment. So, what requires less of “everything” that we’ve listed above? The answer: a food truck.

On that note, here are a few reasons why you should begin your foray into the food business with a food truck:


Starting small subsequently means smaller risks. But that doesn’t necessarily mean smaller rewards. There have been restaurateurs that have built their name and reputation in food trucks before opening their successful restaurants. With the right food and the right market, you could be next. The cost of starting up your own food truck business could range from $28,100 to $114,100 depending on the equipment, ingredients, staff, permits, and level of a digital marketing campaign. In contrast, the median cost of owning your restaurant could cost you$275,000 to $425,000.00.


Smiling waiter taking order from customer at counter

One of the major perks (and the main feature) of food trucks is its mobility. While restaurants are restricted to their physical structure, your food truck can go anywhere. Whenever there’s a festival or event, you can just take a drive and be where the action is. While restaurants worry about foot traffic, all you need to deal with is actual vehicular traffic — which isn’t even a bad thing when you think about having a food truck in the middle of a major traffic jam or highway shutdown. By being where your customers are, you get to learn what they want, and you can decide which target market you’ll cater to.


As mentioned earlier, some successful restaurants started and built their brands as food trucks. If you started with a restaurant and made some fatal faulty decisions affecting its reputation, it’ll take you a lot of time and money to rebrand. Having a food truck allows you to modify your brand just as quickly as going to a new location — if it doesn’t work in one area, you can go to another location and improve it then. This goes the same with your menu and recipes. You have more leeway to experiment and improve. Once you’ve finally built your brand and customer base, people will follow you into your restaurant venture.

A food truck business certainly has its perks (even over traditional restaurants) and lets you test the waters. It’s your training ground and stepping stone before you finally dive into the competitive world of restaurateurs. But more than that, it lets you travel, meet new people, and try out new things freely. So don’t hesitate, take the wheel, and see where your food truck takes you.

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