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Should You Buy, Rent or Lease a Food Truck?

January 22, 2021

The food truck industry is flourishing! Established restaurateurs and burgeoning chefs alike are getting into the restaurant-on-wheels scene. Looking to start the next big food trend out of a mobile kitchen? Want to know if you should buy, lease, or rent a food truck? Our wholesale restaurant supply company outlines all the pros and cons to help you get started on your culinary adventure.

How to Start a Food Truck Business

Chefs are flocking to food trucks for a few reasons. Mobile kitchens require lower investment upfront than a brick-and-mortar. Plus, food trucks allow for more menu experimentation. However, starting a food truck empire still takes planning. To build a reliable food truck business plan, you should ask yourself a few critical questions before buying or leasing your food cart:

What Size Food Truck is Best for You?

Think of your food truck in a similar way you might approach buying a car. If you have a family of six, a two-door sports car might not be the best decision. The same is true for your restaurant on wheels. You never want too much truck or too little. Will you have an expansive menu and therefore require a lot of space? Does your city have any size restrictions you should be aware of? Don’t forget to contact your city’s motor vehicle department for size regulations and specific food truck laws

Do You Want an Outfitted Truck or a Clean Slate? 

Like any professional kitchen, outfitting your food truck cooking space is one of the most important decisions you will make. Some food trucks come equipped with the essentials: sanitation stations, cooking equipment, and storage. Other chefs may prefer to customize every aspect of the cooking space and therefore opt for a custom design and build.

To Buy or Not to Buy? Our Restaurant Suppliers Explain Food Truck Prospects.

Once you’ve decided on the type of truck, the next step is figuring out purchasing options. Buying, leasing, and renting all have their upsides and their disadvantages. To help you ascertain the best solution for you, our restaurant supply warehouse breaks down all you need to know below:

The Pros and Cons of Renting and Leasing 

First-time food truck owners look to leasing to help save money upfront. If you are working with a tight budget and need some extra dollars for other aspects of your emerging business, renting or leasing are wise options. 

When to Rent or Lease 

Short-term rental options are ideal for testing the waters before making a significant commitment. Long-term leasing allows you more time to build a brand without a cumbersome financial burden. Some leasing companies specializing in food trucks even have consultants and trained team members to help get you on track fast.

Things to Consider

Pay close attention to lease expiration dates and have a plan for when your lease is up. Look into renewal possibilities and lease-to-purchase options at the very beginning. Also, determine who is responsible for all cleaning and repairs. If you are required to shell out to fix any breakdowns, you might want to look into other options. 

Should You Buy a New or Used Truck?

If you decide to purchase, you have two options: new and used. Again, it’s essential to examine the benefits and drawbacks of each.

Benefits of Buying New 

Brand new food trucks can bank a lot of miles before they need any repairs or maintenance. Their clean & polished appearance can make your operation appear that much more professional.

Risks to Evaluate 

New food carts can set you back a few bucks. If you add a custom build to the mix, you might have to wait before you can start cooking. Purchasing a new truck is best when you have financial security and expertise in the food truck game.

Benefits of Buying Used 

Used food carts are more cost-friendly than newer models and often have all the essential, necessary equipment needed. If you haven’t owned a truck before, navigating all the equipment specifics can be daunting. With a used vehicle, most of the work is already done. 

Potential Issues 

The biggest concern with used food carts is their longevity and potential maintenance. Similar to buying a used car, you do run the risk of getting a lemon. Diligently research the history of the food truck before forking over any cash.

Whether you plan on renting or buying, do your homework and partner with reliable dealers that know the ins and outs of mobile kitchens. Organizations like the National Food Truck Association and startup resources are great places to seek advice.

Where to Get Wholesale Food Truck Supplies

Help meet your bottom-line with top-notch, competitively priced products from our wholesale restaurant supply warehouses. Whether you require bulk produce, wholesale beverages, or even new cooking essentials, we are here for you. We offer easy online ordering and pickup with Click&Carry as well as reliable third-party delivery. With a location near you, you won’t have to travel to get great deals on exceptional products.

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10 Facts About Operating A Food Truck Infographic

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