The Best Cities in America to Start a Food Truck

So many chefs have had the idea of starting a food truck business at some point. While we stress that it is far from easy, there are some cities in America we’ve selected as being the best for food truck startups for various reasons.

Atlanta
Just a few years ago Atlanta food trucks weren’t really on the map. Food trucks have become such a popular choice for Atlanta chefs that it is difficult to find a used food truck for sale anywhere nearby. Expect to see a lot more new food truck brands in the next year or so but if you’re open to traveling out of state to buy your food truck you can get in before the rush and establish yourself early.

San Francisco
Even more of a challenge is finding a food truck for rent or a food truck for sale in San Francisco. The industry is well-developed and San Fran food truck patrons are loyal to their favorite brands. It can be a tricky city to start a food truck with the lack of used trucks and permitting rules, but if your food truck wins the heart of the people you will have it forever.

Portland
If you want to start a crazy comfort food truck with an artistic flair, you’ve come to the right place. One thing you can usually count on with Portland trucks is great food that is likely also organic and sustainable. If that’s your thing you’ll be welcomed with open arms. Speaking of which, Portland is also one of the friendliest cities to register a food truck. They even offer rush service for a nominal fee if you’re eager to get started.

Seattle
Another city that has expanded the food truck scene lately is Seattle. It’s no wonder that a city known for an outdoor market would be a great place to find food truck fare. Since new legislation was introduced in 2011, the process for starting a food truck business has been streamlined to encourage street vendors to set up shop. New food truck festivals pop up every year, including the recent Food Trucks For A Cause, which supports world hunger initiatives.

New York City

Despite having an extremely difficult permitting process (think taxi medallions), New York’s food trucks serve some of the best street food in the country and New Yorkers have embraced food trucks in recent years. These days nearly every cuisine is represented by NYC food trucks and you can sample the world on foot and without a reservation. It’s also one of the most popular cities for corporate food truck promotions.

Austin
This city was born to be a food truck hotspot. With a great music and art scene, good climate and an appreciation for both good barbecue and fine dining, the stars aligned for gourmet food trucks. SXSW is one of the best ways for new trucks to introduce themselves to the scene and many startup food trucks in the city rush to get up and running in time for their music festival debut.

Los Angeles
Where it all began. Not only did the City of Angels invent the gourmet food truck trend, it’s also home to more food trucks than any other city in America. Some of the most well-known food truck brands started here, including Kogi, Baby’s Badass Burgers and the Lobsta Truck. Even though there are a lot of trucks already on the streets there is a lot of love for street food in LA. Summer festivals like Abbot Kinney’s First Friday’s and Street Food Cinema attract record crowds. It’s even possible to lease a truck and get your own business started in a matter of weeks.

Guide to Renting Food Trucks for Beginners

Whether you are renting a truck for a promotional event or you’ve decided that it is the most economical way to get up and running with your food truck business, there are a few things to keep in mind when you conduct your search for your food truck.

Licenses and Permits

One of the perks of renting a food truck is that truck owners will likely have obtained whatever permits or licences are required for operation. However, these permits are not universal so it is important to ensure you are renting a food truck licensed in the area in which you plan to open for business. Obtaining these documents on your own can be time-consuming and expensive. Websites like foodtruckrental.com include these details on rental listings and allow you to search trucks in your target area.

Equipment

While a food truck for rent will have already been constructed for the industry, there may be additional work to configure things for your business. Know what you require before you start your search so you can find a truck that is closest to your goal. It will cut down on construction costs and make negotiating changes with the owner much easier. Again, foodtruckrental.com is a great resource for renters with specific needs.

Condition

The every day wear and tear of the truck is not the responsibility of the renter but you want to make sure it is in good working order before you invest in startup costs. Ask questions. A good renter can prove ongoing repairs and upkeep of the vehicle.

Branding

Food trucks are known for their unique concepts and attractive designs. That’s probably why you wanted a food truck in the first place. Keep in mind that those colorful vinyl wraps can cost a few thousand dollars. Your budget may not allow for a change of truck for some time so make sure you have the truck you need before you invest in a flashy wrap.

Other Perks of Renting Food Trucks

The renter of your truck can be a great resource. Your relationship is win-win: you succeeding means more rental income. So make friends. They can likely set you up with a commissary, give you advice on cutting costs or profitable locations to try.

And if it all seems too much to handle, contact www.roadstoves.com for a more guided approach to getting started in the industry.