Are you diving into the exciting world of food trucks? Whether you are a professional chef or a major foodie, a food truck business can change your life and put your name on the map. Starting a food truck is certainly a thrilling adventure, but it is also a costly one. The more research and planning you can do, the better opportunity you will have for success.
Your food truck should be a reflection of you and the type of food you serve. From Asian fusion to Latin flair, the possibilities are endless. People all across the world flock to food trucks, trying the latest culinary innovations and expanding their palette. Make sure your food truck is firmly in the mix by properly preparing your business.
Great food trucks start with a solid foundation – the actual truck. Choosing the perfect food truck can seem like a daunting task, but you can make the right decision. Keep reading to learn about all of the opportunities for new and used food trucks for sale in Tennessee.
Table of Contents
- Food Trucks for Sale in Tennessee
- How to Start a Food Truck in Nashville, TN
- How popular are food trucks in Tennessee?
Food Trucks for Sale in Tennessee
Your food truck business depends greatly on the food truck you purchase. There are a variety of food trucks for sale in Tennessee, including new, used, and custom models. While budget is usually the biggest deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a food truck, there are several other things to consider. Instead of just searching for the cheapest food truck for sale in Tennessee, make sure you find a truck that will work for your business and make your operations as smooth as possible.
How much does a new food truck cost in Tennessee?
New food trucks come with high price tags. You can expect to pay $50,000 to more than $100,000 for a new food truck in Tennessee, with costs rising based on customizations and added features. While more expensive than used food trucks, new trucks typically come with a warranty and require little to no repairs and maintenance for quite some time. You can get up and running faster with a new food truck, if your budget will allow.
How much does it cost to buy a used food truck in Tennessee?
Used food trucks vary in price based on age, condition, make, and model. You can find used food trucks for sale in Tennessee from websites, including craigslist, Used Vending, and Roaming Hunger. Prices for used food trucks can range from less than $5,000 to more than $20,000.
Food Trailers for Sale in Tennessee
For limited budgets, a food trailer can be an affordable option. New and used food trailers for sale in Tennessee are less expensive than food trucks if you already have a vehicle capable of towing the trailer. Trailers typically require similar permits as food trucks and can operate in similar places.
How to Start a Food Truck in Nashville, TN
With so many major cities and tourist hotspots in Tennessee, including Nashville, the state is an excellent place to start a food truck business. Starting a food truck can be significantly less costly than starting a traditional restaurant, and it provides a lot of flexibility to grow your business in new and innovative ways. From testing a new concept to fulfilling your lifelong dream, food trucks are extremely versatile.
If you are calling Nashville, Tennessee home, there are a few considerations to make sure your business is ready to go. Among the top 20 food truck cities in America, Nashville consistently ranks in the top half. Operating costs for food trucks in Nashville tend to be fairly average and city officials are generally welcoming to food truck businesses.
How much does it cost to start a food truck?
Food trucks may be less expensive than restaurants, but they still require a major upfront investment. Budget is the most important aspect of your business plan because it will help you put the rest of the pieces in line for your food truck. The total cost of starting a food truck will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The type of food truck you buy
- Any necessary repairs or renovations
- Creating a menu for your new truck
- The equipment needed to prepare and serve your food
- Ingredients and utensils to make and serve your food
- Branding and marketing materials
- Local permits and fees to operate in your city
- Inspection costs
- Insurance and license payments
How long does it take to start a food truck?
If your business plan and funding are ready to go, it shouldn’t take too long to get your food truck business up and running. Use your business plan as a guide for choosing the right truck, buying all necessary permits, and deciding where to park your truck.
If you are still in the early stages of planning, it can take months or more than a year to get started. It is important to spend quality time creating your concept and carving out your niche. You cannot just copy other popular food trucks and hope to make money. To stand out from the crowd, you have to be different. Decide what will make your food truck unique and build a business plan around that idea.
What do you need to start a food truck?
There are a lot of small details that can easily be overlooked when starting a food truck. Major items, like a truck and a menu, are obviously on the list. However, routine things like insurance, permits, and marketing often get pushed to the side. To learn what you need to start a food truck in Tennessee, research the local laws for food service and mobile food units. This will provide you with a clear guide when it comes to starting your business.
What kind of food should you sell in a food truck?
Food truck menus are as creative and unique as the chefs who come up with them. The best food truck food is typically easy to eat on the go or standing up because it is consumed outside instead of a sit-down restaurant. Food truck food also offers an experience for the customer. Whether you blend together interesting flavors, put a modern spin on a classic, or do something completely new, your food truck should serve food that delights and excites your customer.
How to Get a Food Vendor License in Tennessee
If you want to start a food truck in Tennessee you will need a variety of licenses and permits. Register for a business license with your city and county and get an inspection from your local health department. You will also need sales and tax certificates to operate your business. Some metro areas, like Nashville, require additional permits through Public Works. If you plan to travel to different cities, be sure you meet the registration and permit requirements for each city.
Where can you park a food truck in Tennessee?
Cities in Tennessee typically require permits to park food trucks. For example, Nashville requires a food truck permit to park in Metro Parks. You must provide proof of insurance, health and fire department certifications, business licenses, and your menu in order to obtain a permit. Unfortunately, you cannot park a food truck anywhere you want in Tennessee. You will need to review local city rules to determine where you are allowed to set up shop for your food truck business.
How popular are food trucks in Tennessee?
The food truck market in Tennessee is growing and changing all the time. Major cities like Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville are home to large populations and popular tourist spots. Starting a food truck in one of the many growing cities in Tennessee can enable you to tap into large markets and connect to your target audience.
What are the most popular food trucks in Tennessee?
When starting a food truck, it is crucial to learn the local landscape. Study the most popular food trucks in your area and learn from what they do right. Instead of copying their strategies, put your own unique spin on them based on your concept. Check out the following popular food trucks in Tennessee based on your city.
- Blue Monkey Shaved Ice in Nashville, TN
- Cousins Maine Lobster in Nashville, TN
- Florinda’s Cocina in Nashville, TN
- Smoke Et Al in Nashville, TN
- Taco Ngana in Memphis, TN
- Stickem Food Truck in Memphis, TN
- Say Cheese Food Truck in Memphis, TN
- CJ’s Tacos in Knoxville, TN
- Meatball Madness and More in Knoxville, TN
- Hawg Dawgs in Knoxville, TN
- Rollin’ Smoke in Knoxville, TN
Answers to common questions about starting a food truck business: Food Truck Business FAQs