25+ Powerful Food Truck Industry Statistics (2021)

25+ Powerful Food Truck Industry Statistics (2021)
January 30, 2020 Levi Olmstead

Starting in hip cities across America, food trucks have grown into a staple in cities and towns across America.

Food trucks have given restaurants and chefs the opportunity to go mobile and serve their creations on the street, at festivals and events, and anywhere their truck can take them.But what is the real opportunity with food trucks? Is it a worthwhile venture for entrepreneurs? 

From the cost of starting a food truck to looking into what the future has in store for the mobile food truck industry, here are X stats on the food truck service industry.

Food Truck Operating Statistics

  • A 2018 report from Mobile Food Trends and Off the Grid, 34% of food truck owners surveyed said that owning a mobile food truck business gives them the opportunity to experiment and test out new menu items and interesting concepts. (Off The Grid)
  • The average cost of starting a food truck business is $50,0000 to $60,000. (Food Truck Nation)
  • A $100,000 investment can result in a revenue stream of $250,000 to $500,000 per year. (Food Truck Operator)
  • The average revenue stream of a food truck is $290,000. (A City Discount)
  • To open and operate a food truck, new owners will need to complete 45 government-mandated permits and licenses to be legally allowed to operate. (Food Truck Nation)
  • The average time to acquire all need permits is 37 business days. (Food Truck Nation)
  • The average cost of all the permits needed to operate a new food truck is over $28,000. (Food Truck Nation)

The average revenue stream of a food truck is $290,000

Food Truck Industry Statistics

  • In 2020 there are 23,873 active food truck businesses in the US. (IBISWorld)
  • In 2020, food truck industry employees 28,916 employees in 2020 in the US. (IBISWorld)
  • The mobile food truck industry earns $2B+ in revenue per year in the United States. (Food Truck Nation)
  • The food truck industry has experienced an overall revenue increase of 300% from 2014 to 2017. (Food Truck Nation)
  • The growth of the food truck industry is outgrowing the overall commercial restaurant industry, at 5.4% vs. 4.3%. (Food Truck Operator)
  • The legal bottleneck is slowing down the growth of the food truck industry, which is expected to grow only .4% in 2020. (Food Truck Nation)
  • Compare that to 2019, where the food truck industry grew by an estimated 20%. (Food Truck Nation)
  • In 2019 the overall revenue stream from food trucks grew by $985M. (Forbes)

Statistics on Food Truck Demographics

  • The most likely demographic to order from a food truck are people aged 18 to 34, followed by those aged 35 to 44 at 54%. (Statistics Portal)
  • 47% of Millenials having eaten from a food truck at some point. (BigThink
  • Over 90% of food truck diners rated their quality of experience as either excellent or good.  (Mobile Cuisine)
  • Over 80% of food truck users called the dining experience “fun”, “exciting”, “new”, or “different and unique.” (Mobile Cuisine)
  • Nearly all food truck diners surveyed said they will continue to frequent food trucks in the next year. (Mobile Cuisine)
  • Food truck lovers cited the fast serving times, convenience, high-quality and low price of the food truck service experience as reasons for loving them. (Mobile Cuisine)

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Statistics on the Best Cities for Food Trucks

  • According to Food Truck Nation, Portland is the best food truck city in America. (Food Truck Nation)
  • Portland is also the cheapest city to operate a food truck, at less than $5,500. (Food Truck Nation)
  • Denver has the most relaxed food truck laws, with the cost of obtaining all the proper permits and licenses being less than $900. (Food Truck Nation)
  • The average revenue stream of a food truck is $290,000. (A City Discount)

Ready to Start Your Food Truck Business?

The food truck industry presents an opportunity for those in the food industry to create a successful business in 2020. For those interested in starting their own food truck, here is a food truck business plan template to help get your business off the ground.

Food Truck Business Plan
A centralized business plan to launch a successful food truck in 2020.

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