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Food Trucks Vs Food Trailers

at 2:40PM, Friday- April 12th, 2019 by Food Truck Spaces

When it comes to starting your own food truck business, you will find that there are a few options in terms of physical setup. Although food trailers and food trucks both go by the term food truck, they have a few differences.

To determine if a food trailer, food truck, or both is best for you comes down to your location, opportunities, and budget. In this article, we will detail the pros and cons of each to help you choose what will make the most sense for your business.

Let’s start with food trailers. Food trailers provide variability in terms of sizes. They can be anywhere from 8’ to 53’ in length and 7’ to 8.5’ in width. This variability in size provides extra storage space and egress for you or your staff to freely move. Because trailers are able to store more food, they can have a higher capacity or volume for serving. This means if you’re at a major event, it’s unlikely you will need to close down due to selling out. Trailers are great if you have a permanent or stationary location as you can add banners and deck them out. Trailers are also cheaper than a food truck and provide more flexibility in terms of operations. Meaning, you can still operate your trailer if your vehicle or the vehicle towing it needs maintenance. Allowing you to continue generating revenue while your truck is in the shop since you can always rent another vehicle to tow your trailer. Another cool thing about a trailer is the serving window is lower to the ground and trailers allow you to have more windows for serving.

The cons of having a trailer is the inability to make multiple stops or events in a day due to maneuverability. The trailer will need to be towed, meaning you will need to have or purchase a vehicle that can tow your trailer. The purchase of a new vehicle may make it more costly than a food truck. Pulling a trailer may cause strain on the transmission of the vehicle pulling it so costs for maintenance will have to be calculated. There are many regulations in cities for food trailer/truck parking and the combination of a truck and trailer will make it difficult to not only navigate streets but park. Most events will ask you to unhitch your trailer in order for another food truck to park in front of or behind you. This means you are blocked-in to this spot until someone moves for you to leave.

Now onto the standard food truck design. With a food truck design, you are better able to navigate streets, park, and make multiple events in a day. Most people are familiar with food trucks and the standard design is what they are expecting when they book one for an event, therefore it lends to credibility and professionalism when you have a nicely wrapped and designed food truck. Food trucks also depreciate at a slower rate than trailers over time, so if you’re looking to sell you would get more back.

The main issue with owning a food truck is the loss of revenue when they break down. When your food truck is in the shop getting repaired, your business is closed for the duration of that time. Food trucks require regular upkeep and maintenance and if they’re not well taken care of, they can break down quite frequently. A new buildout will help mitigate these issues but the price of a new food truck can cost anywhere from $75k- $150k+. Repair costs on a food truck are also pricey.

With this information in mind, you should evaluate your needs and figure out what’s best for your business. It may be that you have financial capacity for a trailer and truck allowing you to operate multiple events a day and continue to operate while your food truck is under repair.

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