A Break Down Of Why A Quality Food Truck Comes With A Price Tag

It is fairly obviously that our most commonly asked question is how much does a food truck actually cost but truth be told, it is not the most straight cut question. There is a common misconception in the Australian mobile food industry that it’s cheap and easy to enter. This is not the case. The misconception comes from a range of factors, however Chinese-made ‘food trucks’ and ‘food trailers’ are a large contributor with their dirt-cheap products. Time and time again these products have proven to be time-wasting pieces of junk. We encourage all our customers to do their research, so that they aren’t left with a non-compliant, falling apart, heap of mess.

Money is the magic word. Like buying a car, you can be cheap and skip around the important things or you can spend more to get one that’s long-lasting, safe, and well performing. This is a kitchen on wheels, so the equipment and design costs will change between cuisines due to their varying requirements. We have broken down and estimated pricing that you may see in the Australian market.

Cab Chassis: $20,000 – $60,000

If you are sourcing your own cab chassis, then you may opt to save some coin and go for a second hand option. Do your research and consult with industry experts regarding the requirements of the truck. Saving money in this department is viable, there are many great second hand options. Some people may say this option is buying someone else’s problem, thus if you choose to go for a brand-new cab then expect the price of your food truck to dramatically increase. By going with a reputable manufacturer, you may receive considerable fleet discount you wouldn’t get walking off the street.

Vehicle Wrap: $0 – $10,000

At the end of the day this is an optional cost, however, it can make the biggest difference when it comes to marketing and brand recognition. You can save this cost not wrapping your food truck or using a cheaper option like logo stickers OR you can get an epic wrap that will make stand out in the crowd.

Cooking Equipment: $3000 – $15,000

There are many elements to this cost. Each food truck set-up is different depending on your food and menu. Ultimately this price will come down to the quality of the equipment. Don’t be fooled, domestic equipment is a NO GO ZONE. Do your research and find the type of quality of commercial equipment you desire to use.

Generator: $1500 – $10,000

This is where the price creeps up. Generators are essential for any food truck operation. Some events have power, and some don’t. It’s important to be picky when choosing which brand of generator, you are going to use. Of course, there are cost saving options, however these typically are LOUD, they rattle and won’t last an entire event. Higher quality generators designed to be running in a moving vehicle that are quiet and long-lasting come with a price tag. This investment will save you the hassle and money in the long run.

Paneling$1500 – $5000

If you are building yourself you can definitely save money here, shop around and find a good price. It’s particularly important to take into account weight. The more you can save weight on the paneling the less stress later on, trust us! Spending more on a light-weight paneling is the way to go.

Labour: $0 – $20,000

Building a food truck yourself will save you a tonne of money BUT you need to know what you are doing. These are a complicated, unique and meticulous unit to build. Many requirements must be followed to ensure it is compliant and built to code. In the long run, using professionally qualified tradesmen will ensure the end product is a quality build and will pass legislation, it just comes with a price tag.

All Other Equipment: $2000 – $20,000

All the essentials that we may forget about. There are a multitude of equipment that makes up the final product, some optional, some not. For example; sinks – some councils require 2, some 3; flooring – must be quality, commercial grade R12; fire extinguisher; water tanks – the size can differ; hot water system; soap and towel dispensers.

A food truck can cost anywhere between $25,000 and $150,000. America being the hub of food trucks, see’s prices up to $250,000. All the costs do vary, you can save cost on one component and spend more on another. At the end of the of the day, you WILL pay for what you get.