Choosing a Concession Business Location & Expected Salary

When running a concession trailer business, there are several aspects to take into account. Many issues arise that need to be dealt with in order to make a food service business run smoothly. With a mobile concession business, one of the most important things to make a decision on is the location where you plan to set up to sell. There are several different things to keep in mind when you are choosing a location for the operation of your business. First you need to consider the population of the area you plan to sell in. Another important thing to consider is whether or not you are willing to pay to set up. One final thing you need to consider is getting permission to set up.

One of the first things to consider when you are trying to choose a location for your business to operate is the population of the area. In order for your business to run successfully, you need to make sure the location you choose is well trafficked and fairly densely populated. The more populated the location, the more potential customers you have. If you choose a location that only has a few houses and businesses, you might consider a location that has more houses and businesses. Businesses are great to be around because employees who need a quick lunch break can be a great source of income. They can also be a great source of word-of-mouth advertisement, getting friends and even fellow employees to come sample your culinary delights.

Another important thing to remember when choosing a location to sell from is finances. You have to determine how much money, if any, you are willing to pay for a spot on someone’s property. For the most part, to park on the property of another business or a private individual, you must expect to pay for the rental of the space. Prices for renting a spot are usually dependent upon the size and location of the space. Be on the look out for the least expensive place you can find that will still provide you with the customer base that is necessary to be able to make money at your business.


This brings us to another thing that must be kept in mind when choosing location is that you must have permission to set up on private property. You are not allowed to just set up anywhere there is a space. You must first check with your city and county about the laws that concern concession food sales. Once you know these requirements, when you decide to settle in a spot, you must always ask the owner of the property you would like to set up on if that is ok. Many times, the offer of a nice chunk of monthly space rent will convince a person to allow you to be on there property. Either way, written permission must be obtained to make sure that no legal problems arise.

Wherever you decide to set up your concession trailer food business, several details must be seen to before that can happen. Choosing a location for your business must include consideration of population, cost of space rental, and gaining permission of the city, county, and private party who owns the space. This can be a very profitable business. To make your chances of making money better finding a great location can certainly play a part.

The question of salary considerations for a food truck owner can easily be just as varied, finicky, and dependent as concession trailers, or locations factors.

Many an entrepreneur flocks to the food truck industry in hopes of making success, wanting to open up a food-service operation of their own while only able to gather enough money to go the mobile route instead of the heavily expensive restaurant business; or simply going off the low-overhead idea and equating it towards a higher chance at big salaries at the end of the year.

Many a restaurant has used this idea to add to their lists of arguments, criticisms, and whining complaints against the influx of food trucks to their city, sourcing how much easier they supposedly are to open and their ability to hold whatever hours they want and steal their hard-worked business.

But do the trucks really have it so easy? True, starting costs are much lower, but so are the menu prices; a food truck business basically prices their food at the same cost-profit percentage as a restaurant does, so the money they’re making back is coming in at the same rate over time, if done well.

They may be able to go to various busy areas and open ‘when they want,’ but they also then have to deal with permits and restrictions to that, hard costs similar to the permits that restaurants deal with only having to deal with on a regular basis, and they clearly aren’t getting any customers in the many off hours that they’re not on the street, which may be a few hours in lunch and a few more if doing dinner.

So at the end of the day, a successful food truck might make around the same yearly salary as a similarly-successful restaurant; and it’ll take just as many years and hours of hard work to break even and get out of debt.


The “Average” Salary – So then how much DOES a food truck typically make in a year’s worth of work?

Of course it heavily depends, a giant factor, unsurprisingly, being where you’re located and what kind of truck you own, along with success in building a customer base.

Those based in one of the major, US high-traffic metro cities have been able to pull in a range of $20-50,000 of sales each month; these are also usually the more specialty-based, ‘hi end/gourmet’ market truck operations. In contrast, those stationed in some of the not-so-major, but still feasibly populated and metro, cities, or the more ‘entry market’ styles offering hot dogs, deli sandwiches, simpler lunches, etc, will end up pulling in notably less.

The general range for these can be anywhere between $5-16,000 a month. Of course there are outliers, those unfortunate enough to not operate or market their truck effectively and plummet their chance for sales, or big city trucks that get really famous and popular and end up pulling $1-2 million a year; but again, those sorts of stats should be ignored at this point in time.

In reality, a certain percentage of food trucks and restaurants are going to fail, some will earn average incomes, and others will be extremely lucrative. These numbers show, however, that if you’re able to find a decent market and work hard to make good food, which people will pick up on and come back for more, then one can find themselves up to a strong yearly salary after getting established. And then you go and continue on with your newfound career.

How Much Can a Food Truck Make?
There are also many food trucks that have proved it’s possible to make well above average potential profits. One well known example is Cousin’s Maine Lobster that was valued at over a $800,000 per year business with just one truck. The company has since grown to start a franchise business and e-commerce business and now has a valuation of many millions of dollars per year.

Another well above-average success story is from M&R Specialty Trailers and Trucks customer MShack. In the first 12-months of owning a food truck, the company generated $300,000 in revenue and only invested $60,000 total on the truck.

If you’re willing to work hard, have a winning concept, and take the leap. The upside potential of this business model is there.


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