Start a Food Truck vs. A Brick and Mortar Store

how to start a food truck

If you’re thinking about how to start a food truck business, you’re on the right track to grab a huge opportunity to earn big.

Food trucks have changed the culinary and gustatory business landscape, making it a lot more exciting and a lot more mobile. This huge food business movement is gaining massive momentum. That’s because some food trucks these days offer exciting products that you may not imagine from a mobile vending business.

Of course, some aspiring business owners may be wondering about what makes food trucks profitable. Conservative business folks may still prefer physical restaurants where customers can sit and enjoy their food.

Let’s take a look at how food trucks stack up to brick-and-mortar restaurants and see which kind of food establishment is better for your startup venture.

Factors on How to Start a Food Truck vs. Physical Restaurant


One of the first things that you need to seriously think about is the amount of expenditure that you should prepare for. Putting up a sit-down restaurant involves taking out a lease on the store location, buying chairs and tables, purchasing ventilation and temperature control equipment, and maintaining the space.

All of these expenses are significantly trimmed down when you’re talking about a food truck business. Practically everything is contained in a smaller space, which makes it more manageable and a tad less expensive in terms of upkeep and overhead.

On top of this, getting a food truck franchise is so much cheaper. In fact, you can choose franchises under 100K that already come with a complete package, and all you need to do is get the best location and apply for food truck licenses.

If cost is your primary factor to consider for your first business venture, running a food truck may be the better option.


Before thinking about how to start a food truck or a physical restaurant, your overall theme and direction for the food venture should take center stage. Whether your concept is centered around a specific cuisine, a local culture, or a food product that you’ve mastered, make sure that it’s showcased effectively by the type of business that you plan to put up.

Here are some concept examples that will shine on either type of business:

  • Good as food truck business: food that can be enjoyed even while standing up, food that requires simple cooking and preparation, casual dining concept, fun and exciting vibe.
  • Good as sit-down restaurant business: food that requires the use of utensils, food that involves elaborate cooking and preparation, fine dining concept, formal or relaxed feel.

A great example is when you want to sell burgers. You may choose to put up a sit-down full-service restaurant, but a food truck can already achieve the same goal.

Zac’s Burger Bus, for instance, has a simple business model than any emerging entrepreneur can start. Its Philadelphia food trucks have become known to serve delicious hamburgers, shakes, and fries, as well as offer catering services for parties and backyard grilling.

The bottom line is that there are no hard rules on how to start a food truck or a brick-and-mortar restaurant business. As long as you think you can pull off your concept, the type of business may not matter.


Every business venture has its own share of risks, such as the uncertainty of profit and the need to spend a lot of time and effort as your own boss in your own company.

In the case of fixed-location restaurants, the biggest risk is money. A standard restaurant is a veritable cash sink, but this isn’t an issue if profits can cover everything. Still, the risk appears so huge because of the high initial cost that you need to shell out.

Other risk factors include the following:

  • Inability to move locations quickly: This is going to be problematic if you chose a particular location only to find out later that the best area to set up shop is somewhere else EXCEPT your current address!
  • Maintenance and upkeep: Brick-and-mortar restaurants have so many nooks and crannies that you need to monitor and maintain. A small slip-up could send food safety inspectors knocking on your door with a stiff sanction.
  • Big scope and space: A big business area means more things to keep tabs on. As the business owner, prepare to spend sleepless nights thinking about your restaurant, employees, marketing strategies, and business growth.

Due to its smaller nature, a food truck business has significantly lower risk. Its contained business model requires less time and money for maintenance, upkeep, and overall operations. You can easily switch locations if you find a better spot.

In addition, you can get franchises under 100K, which is a good investment to start a food business immediately.


Either food business type has strong points when it comes to launching a food brand:

  • Sit-down food establishments have a permanent physical address that potential customers can find online. Because of its fixed location, a restaurant has a better opportunity to become your patrons’ second home or their favorite local food spot.
  • A food truck has the upper hand in terms of advertising, because its mobile nature is a literally moving banner ad on the road. Most food trucks also provide a bit of fun in the food business, which grabs the attention of the lucrative 18-34 demographic.

You really cannot choose a winner from either business type when it comes to branding. It really boils down to the right marketing techniques to promote your food truck venture.

Customer Reach

What’s great about a conventional restaurant is its local reach. People tend to gravitate towards establishments that they know the location of, and this is where brick-and-mortar food stores shine the best.

In contrast, food trucks generally grab the interest of people looking for a bit of adventure in enjoying their food. An added bonus is the fact that the food truck travels in many places, which bodes well in letting people know about your existence in the neighborhood.

If you’re thinking of getting Philadelphia food trucks, you have a wide array of choices for your location within the state!


Food Truck For The Win!

Looking at the overall perspective, running a food truck seems to be the better choice for your first business. From the low risk and reduced cost to its effective customer reach and strategic marketing angle, a food truck business will definitely reap a lot of benefits for you.

You may as well start with a food truck franchise as your first foray into business. If you love good ol’-fashioned hamburgers and some fries on the side, a burger franchise can set you up towards the right direction in your business plans.

Zacs Food Truck

Zac's Burgers is presently not selling franchises and does not have a certified franchise disclosure document.  Zac's is offering licensing opportunities, however, potential licensees must meet all federal and state requirements.

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