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19 & 20 OCT 2022


How much does it cost to start a food truck business?

If you’re dreaming of jumping on the street food bandwagon by launching a mobile catering business you’ll no doubt be wondering, “how much will it cost me?”

Here the team at Adrian Flux have itemised what cash you’ll have to dish out on your business before you can start dishing out your lovely street food.

Will you buy or rent your first food truck?

The vehicle from which you eventually trade will ultimately be your biggest business startup expense. It can cost anything from £5,000 to £50,000 to buy a fully fitted food truck.

Rather like the street food on offer, you get what you pay for. If you shop at the top end of the range you’re talking a la carte, with a more modest budget it’s the good old hot dog. But, a word of caution: Spending little may cost a lot in the long run if your van and its equipment keep breaking down.

Mobile kitchen equipment

Whether you’re updating equipment already installed in a second hand van or embarking on a DIY project from scratch, there are a number of items that you will need.

These include:

  • Separate sinks for hand washing and dishwashing
  • Grills, fryers and a gas stove or electric oven
  • Hot water urn
  • Extractor fan
  • Fridge and/or freezer
  • Suitable food prep area
  • Suitable storage area

You will also need to obtain:

  • Fire safety equipment
  • Utensils and cookware
  • Disposable napkins, cups, cutlery and plates
  • Aprons, catering headwear and plastic gloves

You may also want to invest in picnic tables, chairs and parasols so you can create a nice dining space wherever you go.

Licenses and permits

There are a number of licences and permits you will need, some of them are free, while some are paid for and will need to be budgeted for.

  • You’ll need to register with the local authority responsible for administering each area in which you want to trade, at least 28 days before you commence trading. The good news? It’s free to register.
  • If you’ll be handling meat, fish, eggs or dairy products, council officials will need to inspect your van for safety and hygiene.
  • Council approval is needed and a street trading licence needs to be issued. Some places don’t charge but others, such as Westminster in London, do. There you will fork out almost £100 for a licence.
  • If your menu involves cooking hot food with gas appliances, you’ll need a commercial gas safety certificate to show your equipment is fit for use. Gas appliances should come with a CE marking and flame failure device.
  • Food safety regulations require anyone handling food or drink to prove that they can do so responsibly. It’s a good idea to get a food hygiene certificate, though it’s not a legal requirement. Training and getting certified in food hygiene costs from £12 + VAT per person for the basic Level 1 course, £16 + VAT for the Level 2, and £99 + VAT per person for Level 3, which is aimed at those supervising other staff within a food business.

Your food truck will need reliable insurance

Adrian Flux provides insurance for a huge range of food trucks, catering vans and mobile shops, meaning that whatever your business, we’ll have a policy for you.

And whatever is on your menu – from burgers and butties to mobile bars and baristas – if you own a catering van, we can serve up an insurance policy to please.

Call 0800 089 0203 for a fast no obligation quote – 79.5% of all customers receiving an online quote in June 2020 could have obtained a cheaper quote over the phone.