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Food Truck Vs Restaurants: Who Will Win The Food War

Entering the Indian food industry is no easy task. The industry is super competitive and requires an innovative dining approach, a significant investment and primary management skills. These innovative dining experiences have given birth to hybrid models like cloud kitchens, food trucks, food fests, and pop-up food stalls.

Seeing how well food trucks are doing, many well-established restaurants have opened their own food trucks to reach more customers. Food trucks are becoming a popular choice instead of a restaurant business, especially for first-time restaurateurs or small-size food sellers, due to their low investment and limited risk.

This has given way to the food truck vs restaurant debate, where more and more people believe that a food truck business is more convenient and profitable than a restaurant business. 

The Food truck business model is relatively popular among Indian youth. The rise in disposable income in the middle class, the accessibility of food trucks and the ‘food-to-go’ service are critical factors for this popularity.

This article has prepared a list of pros and cons to help you choose and settle the food truck vs restaurant debate. 

Owning a food truck bs restaurant: who will win?
Food trucks are a cost-effective business model as compared to a restaurant

Food Truck Vs Restaurant: Which Is The Better Option?

For all our aspiring food connoisseurs and chefs, we have made a simple list of food trucks vs restaurants to help you understand these models side-by-side and pick one comfortable to your needs.

1. The Investment

Restaurants need high-level investment. Even a small-scale restaurant takes significantly more capital than food trucks. Renting or purchasing the property, personnel pay, maintenance costs, raw materials, licenses, and equipment; everything has a cost. But at the same time, restaurants offer a diverse menu with more significant profit margins to manage these costs.  

Setting up a food truck is cheaper. If you want to establish a food truck, you will need to have a renter or your own truck. Even if you buy it secondhand, it will cost you roughly 400,000 INR. 

If a low-budget investment is what you are looking for, then a food truck business is more suitable for you. However, the restaurant business is always the best option if you are searching for something more long-term and stable.

2. The Staff

When it comes to employees, a restaurant must have many individuals working in and out of the kitchen. 1 head chef, 1 assistant chef, 1 captain, 1 manager, 2 janitors, and at least 3 waiters.

The quantity of employees is frequently proportional to the menu you provide. For example, a restaurant that serves both Indian and Chinese cuisine may employ two distinct cooks for each cuisine. Not to mention, hiring restaurant staff is never an easy task.

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However, most restaurants are also famous owing to the popularity of their chef.

When it comes to a food truck, the requirement for staff is much smaller. However, you cannot expect a stable or permanent team since a food truck’s ticket size is much smaller than a restaurant’s and so smaller profit margins.

Owning a food truck bs restaurant: who will win?
You don’t need an army of people to run a food truck, which helps ease management

3. The Location

In food trucks vs restaurants, a food truck business has a significant advantage over a restaurant business, i.e. the location. 

Restaurants live and die according to their location. Approximately 60% of new eateries fail within the first year. And approximately 80% closed before their fifth year of existence, with a wrong location and exorbitant rents being the key culprits. 

Apart from this, there are also other problems a restaurant faces during the initial phase. This is why you must exercise caution while selecting a food truck vs a restaurant.

Food truck businesses, on the other hand, are immune to this difficulty because they are mobile, and you can choose the location of your food truck. If your services do not appear to be working well in one place, you can relocate to another and see if your business model can thrive elsewhere. Simply put, you can take your food truck where your customers are!

4. Flexibility To Expand Your Brand 

The most significant advantage of owning a restaurant business is that once you are established, you can build a strong brand name and a loyal customer base. Since your location and menu are fixed, your target audience knows exactly where to find you and what to expect.

Food truck dynamics are vastly different from those of a traditional restaurant. When compared to a restaurant, analyzing the optimal site, attempting new recipes, and adjusting plans and food truck menus can be much easier.  

why food truck is a good business
You can keep changing your food truck menu and serve multiple cuisines and beverages

The restaurant industry has survived and sustained itself through the dark times of the pandemic. These new models exemplify that traditional ones can be upgraded and created into more sustainable and profitable ones like food trucks!

At the same time, these new models have only become recently popular in tier 1 and tier 2 cities. Foodies in other cities are still used to the old-school brick-and-mortar dining experience. So depending on where you are located, what your customers want and how much you can invest, you can pick a food truck, restaurant, or cafe!

We hope this article provided you with some clarity. For more content like this, follow us on Instagram.

Anukriti Singh
Anukriti Singh
A strategist by the day and writer by night, I find solace between books and coffee cups. A firm believer that words are the most powerful tool of the humankind


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