Why Starting a Food Truck During a Recession Makes Sense

starting a food truck

A recession may not seem like the best time to start a business. However, a food truck is a unique business model that’s not only becoming much more popular but also revealing its strengths in terms of surviving in an economic recession.

There are a few reasons why food trucks make sense in an economic recession. This is a short guide to the advantages of this particular business model and what you can do to keep your truck around even when the economy is on a downturn.

Cost advantage

The first obvious advantage of starting a food truck is that food truck start-up costs are significantly less than those required to start a restaurant – as little as 10%, in fact. This is because you don’t have to lease a building, house guests, hire kitchen staff, or do anything outside of setting up your truck, your food, and your space.

In a recession, when every penny counts, a burger truck may be a much more sustainable business model for you than a traditional eatery. They’re becoming more popular every day as well!

Price advantage

The low cost of starting a burger food truck or other food truck comes with a low price advantage as well, which is particularly beneficial in a struggling economy.

When the economy is doing poorly, people have less disposable income. Going to a restaurant – including tipping – can cost more than most people are willing to spend. However, a food truck at a strategic location offers people getting out of work or families on the move a chance to eat out without shelling out a dine-in tab’s worth of cash.

It not only makes more financial sense for you to start a food truck in a recession than a restaurant, but it helps out regular people too who are just trying to feed their families a nice meal.


Speaking of strategic locations, a receding economy can be unpredictable. One day, your store’s location could be booming, the next, an important factory or depot could go under and suddenly, no one in your area has any cash to spend at your restaurant.

As a food truck, eventualities of an economic downturn don’t affect you so harshly since you can move to another location. It makes sense to have this kind of freedom when conditions are too dire to support stable businesses in one location or could change for them any day.

Marketing flexibility

This flexibility advantage also applies to marketing. With such a small kitchen, you can change your marketing strategies or even your food to try and get the few remaining locals to bite. Switching gears in a restaurant or other larger business is much more difficult.

If you own a burger food truck, for instance, you may consider the advantages of catering burgers as well. Changing your business model to suit the needs of the time is just one advantage that you wouldn’t have if you were tied down to a bigger business.

Social distance

We’re all thinking about health and social distancing right now as we’re trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus. This is hitting restaurants pretty hard since most media outlets are informing people to stay away from gatherings of ten or more people and buildings that can house them like restaurants and grocery stores.

Starting a food truck makes more sense in this climate of worry because of its advantages in terms of social distance. Firstly, it’s outside, which reduces people’s chances of coming into contact with sick individuals.

In addition, those that are worried about how their food is handled can see it when they go to a food truck, and they can be assured that many fewer than ten people are inside coming into contact with their food.

In this health-conscious age, people want to feel safe if and when they go out to eat. A food truck is one of the overall safest options out there.

Other types of health

A strange phenomenon during times of recession is that people also start thinking about their health more. The worry in general over finances must activate something in them to care about all areas of their lives.

Food trucks are a much healthier alternative to fast-food and see more traffic during times of economic trouble. People who are out looking for jobs or babysitting kids want a no-hassle way to get some good food without dealing with drive-thrus and their unhealthy content.

Food trucks provide that alternative.

Supporting small businesses

Another thing that happens during an economic recession is that people start adamantly supporting small businesses. Call it American charity, but the government and individuals support small enterprises like burger trucks and food trucks when the economy isn’t doing so well.

Starting a food truck may be your way of giving back to the economy. The economy may return the favor to you by supporting your small business with its patronage.

The Takeaway

An economic recession may not seem like the best time to start a business. With the coronavirus adding additional pressure right now on the economy, a food truck’s start-up costs alone may be enough to make you think twice about it.

However, starting a food truck in a recession has a lot of advantages over other business models. Food trucks can move and shift their marketing to the needs of the local climate. They have a significant price advantage over restaurants both in terms of you as an entrepreneur and your customers.

Additionally, they provide healthier alternatives to other restaurants in more ways than one. Food trucks not only provide healthier foods than fast food places, but they also provide better social distancing in a time when we’re rightfully concerned about spreading a virus.

The solidarity, flexibility, and price advantage of a food truck makes it a great start-up choice, even in a recession. You may even find that good Americans will support you even more in this time of need. That’s just what we do.

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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