Food Cart VS Food Truck Know the Difference

November 11, 2022

What Are Food Carts?

Food carts are small kitchen carts with wheels that are pushed by hand or bike, they can also be towed by a vehicle. With hand or bike-powered carts, the distance you travel is as far as you are able to take it. Operators with these types of carts have a limited radius of operation, while towed Metwood food carts can travel a much farther distance. You will typically see food carts during lunch rushes in parks, busy sidewalks, and public events.

Food carts are not full-sized kitchens. Because of this, they are limited to serving one or two meals and a few prepackaged snacks or drinks. Depending on what is being served, they are equipped with one or two heating elements such as steamers, boilers, deep fryers, and warmers.

Advantages of Food Carts:

  1. Portability: Their small size is perfect for navigating through crowds and city streets. You can reach more places food trucks can’t go such as the inside of malls. You can go practically anywhere and easily move to another location with the right permit.
  2. Less management: They only require one person for operation. You don’t have to worry about training employees or payroll.
  3. Affordable: The least expensive option for getting into the mobile restaurant business.
  4. Build customer relationships: Being eye-level with customers makes it easy to create connections and provide friendly service.

Disadvantages of Food Carts:

  1. Physically taxing: They have a smaller range of operation compared to food trucks and only go as far as you can physically take them, which can be tiring.
  2. Limited menu: There’s only enough space for one or two small appliances. This limits your menu and ability to be creative with food items. The smaller space also means you can run out of inventory faster.
  3. No ad space: They are more difficult to brand which means you might need to carry signs to get recognized by customers.
  4. Notorious reputation: Many people avoid food carts because they have a reputation for not being clean.

What Are Food Trucks?

One of the most recognizable mobile food restaurants, a food truck is a large vehicle with a kitchen on the inside. Staff prepares food in the kitchen and serves customers through a side window. With this type of restaurant, operators get the chance to travel to different locations and attract passersby with a variety of food items.

Most meals available are eaten on the go, such as tacos or sandwiches. Customers tend to favor them because they get to enjoy fresh food at public sites. Food trucks are also thought to be cleaner than most mobile restaurants. Some set up dining areas with tables and seats or have a counter attached to the truck for customers to eat meals.

Advantages Of A Food Truck:

  1. Mobility: The biggest pro food trucks offer is their ability to easily move to different locations. Unlike food stands, you don’t have to haul equipment with another vehicle. You simply get in the driver’s seat and hit the festivals, parks, and city streets.
  2. Spaciousness: They have enough space for plenty of equipment so you can offer customers more food items. Plus, there’s space for multiple employees to provide quicker service.
  3. Free ad space: You can promote your business on the exterior of the truck and grab the attention of onlookers.
  4. Easy to clean: There is less kitchen equipment to clean compared to a brick-and-mortar restaurant kitchen.
  5. Trendy: They are the most popular type of mobile restaurant.

Disadvantages Of A Food Truck:

  1. Cumbersome: It might be hard finding a place to park and difficult to drive through narrow city streets due to their bulky size.
  2. Break downs: If you run into car troubles, your business can’t continue until the vehicle is repaired. Plus, it is challenging and expensive to find replacement parts.
  3. Paperwork: They typically require many types of permits before conducting business.

What Should I Get?

As you consider starting a food truck vs. food cart, you will need to review your goals, market, and budget. We’ve highlighted the pros and cons of each option, for your convenience. However, if you’re still confused, do not hesitate to contact us as our team would love to guide you!