Food Truck Vs. Restaurant | Which Is a Better Startup Option?

You have been dreaming about opening a food truck business in your town for a while now. You just don't know if it is the best option for you. Have you considered that there are benefits to both options? 

Dining in a food truck has become a popular trend, with people eager to experience the unique atmosphere and flavors. So, in this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of a food truck vs restaurant. We will also go over some things to think about when deciding which route is right for you! Let's take a closer look! 

Differences Between Food Truck Vs. Restaurant 

Food trucks are mobile restaurants that can be found in most major cities. They generally serve their menus on the street, at special events and festivals, or other venues where crowds gather. A restaurant, however, is a permanent fixture with no intention of relocating. It might also be located in a shopping center, an airport, or another travel hub.

It is important to check on the features of food trucks and restaurants. 

Food Truck

The food truck industry dates back to the early 19th century, when ice cream carts came into the limelight. The origin of both may trace back to ancient Rome, where street vendors sold flatbreads called "inopia" on the streets. New Orleans earned itself the nickname "The Big Easy" in part because of its rich street food culture, which included vendors selling oyster loaves and other snacks.

Besides opening restaurants and bars, there are other ways to make money in the food and beverage industry. Dining in a food truck has become a popular trend,  and there are many reasons why. First of all, food trucks often have more affordable prices than restaurants. This is great for those who want to eat out but don't like spending a lot of money on their meal. The other good thing about the price point is that it allows those with lower incomes to still dine at your establishment and enjoy your food.

Additionally, food trucks have a lot of room for creativity and imaginative dishes, making them very appealing to customers who want something different from the norm. For instance, you can make your menu unique by adding Asian or Mexican-inspired foods to go along with traditional American cuisine if you'd like! You can also customize your cuisines according to the location in which you're currently operating. This is not possible in restaurants because there are rules about the  kinds of foods they serve

Also, the food truck business is an excellent option for those who want to start their own food business. They are generally less expensive than restaurants, and they don't require as much space. This makes them ideal for starting out on a small budget.

food truck service

Challenges Of Food Trucks

There are some drawbacks to owning a food truck, however. One is that you are limited to the locations where your truck can go. If there is no foot traffic in certain places, it will be hard to make money with a food truck because people won't see you!

Secondly, you will have to do a lot of traveling to different places just for the sake of bringing your food there. This can be exhausting and time-consuming, so, as a food truck owner, you will hire someone to drive the vehicle while chefs prepare dishes behind the scenes, at home, or in another designated area.

Thirdly, the food truck is open for a shorter period than restaurants. This is because they can only stay in one spot for so long before they need to move again, and customers usually want to try food from multiple trucks.

Finally, a food truck can't always accommodate large groups of people. If you plan to throw a party or need to feed many people, your best bet is to go with a restaurant instead.

How Profitable Is A Food Truck?

While there are many benefits to owning a food truck, such as the lower overhead costs and the ability to be your own boss, it is essential to note that these trucks can also be less profitable than restaurants. 

In fact, fast food trucks typically have margins ranging between 6% and 9%. Food truck sales are affected by challenges in obtaining a steady customer base and finding parking spots in highly populated areas.

food selling from the truck

Why Do Food Trucks Fail?

One possible answer to this question is that food trucks put a higher strain on an entrepreneur's pocketbook. Food trucks have a much lower start-up cost, but it is more difficult to become profitable because of their size and limited resources.

Another reason is that food trucks fail because of their lack of business plans and marketing strategies. It's not enough to make a good product; you also need to sell it and get customers to keep coming back for more. If you can't market your brand effectively, your business will suffer.

Food truck owners have noticed – and even taken advantage of the fact that the modern customer is a much more informed consumer. Today's customers can read online reviews, look up menus online, compare prices with a few clicks of a mouse, and access social media for communication purposes. 

Mostly, food truck businesses that fail to keep their food truck running don't know how to compete in this new marketplace.


There are some benefits and drawbacks of opening up a restaurant as well. For one thing, restaurants have more room for creativity than food trucks do. You can try out so many different types of dishes in a restaurant because you have more space to play around with!

Secondly, restaurants provide customers with a full dining experience, creating loyal patrons. People want something that they can't get at home or anywhere else--and that is what restaurants offer.

However, opening a restaurant also requires more money and space than opening a food truck. You will need to have enough money saved up to cover your costs for at least six months, and you will need a lot of square footage to accommodate all of your kitchen equipment and seating.

Another con to owning a restaurant is that it can be challenging to make a profit initially. You need to have a lot of customers coming through your doors each day to break even, which can be tricky, especially when you are just starting out.

Additionally, a restaurant is open for a longer time than a food truck. You have to be available every day, whereas food trucks are only around during specific hours such as lunch and dinner hours. Therefore, unlike restaurants, they are mobile and flexible in both times and locations. 

people in the restaurant

Which is the Better Option

So, which is better for you--a food truck or a restaurant? The answer to this question largely depends on your individual business needs and goals. If you want more freedom and creativity with your menu, go for a food truck. If you're going to provide customers with a full dining experience and make more money, go with a brick-and-mortar restaurant! 

If you are looking for a low-cost way to get into the food industry, then a food truck may be the right option for you. However, if you want to make more money and have a larger customer base, a restaurant may be better.

No matter which option you choose, make sure to do your research and plan everything out well in advance.

Frequently Asked Questions For Food Truck VS Restaurant Business 

Q: What are the benefits of having a food truck?

A: Food trucks have many benefits over restaurants. They are cheaper to start up and operate, can be more flexible with their hours, and can reach a wider audience.

Q: What are the drawbacks of having a food truck?

A: The main drawback is that food trucks have a smaller menu than restaurants. They also tend to be less reliable since they can be affected by weather and road conditions. Also, they must obtain a business license for every location they visit. It's also challenging figuring out how much food you need since there is no consistent customer flow.

Q: Which is better: a food truck or a restaurant?

A: That depends on your priorities. If you are looking for affordability and flexibility, then a food truck is better. But if reliability, consistency, and menu selection are more important to you, then a restaurant is the better choice.

Q: Which type of food truck should I get?

A: It depends on what kind of cooking experience you have. If you already know how to cook or if your friends want to help out in the process, then having a food truck that caters to your personal tastes is the best idea. If you are looking for something more casual, a mobile kitchen might better suit your needs.

Q: Do food trucks cook their meals onboard?

A: Food trucks may cook some items on board while others come readily from an off-site location. Food truck operators use various equipment, including grills, deep fryers, and ovens.

a person serving food in a restaurant

Business Formation Services Prospective Food Truck or Restaurant Owners

If you need help with setting up a food truck or a restaurant, you may want to seek  legal help from some of the best formation services and registered agent services out there. Here are some of our recommended online legal services:

Swyft Filings

As we mentioned in our Swyft Filings review, they offer superb legal help and also have one of the best refund policies in the online legal niche. On the plus side,  this company also has no processing or cancellation fee for your potential refund. It is a solid company to consider when looking to designate a registered agent service for your future restaurant or a food truck, as well..


BizFilings will take you through the whole process from legal advice during registration to on-going support once your catering business is set up. You can choose various payment plans based on the features you want and your initial funds. The features in the higher-end packages are also available in the lower-end packages but at an additional fee. With an A+ rating with the BBB, BizFilings is a trusted online business formation service

SunDoc Filings

When compared to other formation services, SunDoc Filings provides volume discounts for multiple states and entities, should your restaurant or a food truck grow into a franchise, and equally amazing customer support. However, if you want a service that will save you money, you may find other services in the market that are more affordable for a catering start-up.

Inc Authority

This is one of the most renowned companies you can choose as your registered agent service. Inc Authority has enough experience in the field, having been founded in the 1980s. Its free payment package stands out in what they offer. Plenty of positive customer reviews speak for themselves how satisfied and happy their clients are with the Inc Authority LLC formation services and speed. 


MyCorporation is known for offering a quick LLC formation process. If you wish to speed up the process and set up a food truck or a restaurant quickly, you can use their expedited service, reducing the process from weeks to a few days, at a modest fee. MyCorporation is an excellent choice as your registered agent. It offers numerous payment packages with various features depending on your budget.

a smiling woman preparing food in the truck

A Restaurant vs a Food Truck Final Notes

Many people have strong views on what they think is better. Food trucks have their advantages, but restaurants are definitely not going away any time soon - when talking about food business, there is also a bakery to consider.

The best business? Why not both! Many food trucks are opening up stationary locations, and the restaurant industry is also adding food trucks to their repertoires. The lines between  Food Truck vs. Restaurant may never be entirely blurred, but here's to a future with more options and better quality. So, the best opinion depends entirely on your business needs and funds allocated to your new venture!

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