Coffee Truck Business; Should You Start One?

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You know when you surf the web and find something that you think is so cool and interesting and you want to share it with your friends. That’s how I feel about coffee. I love the taste of freshly roasted dark coffee beans and so much that I want to let all my friends know about it.

Unfortunately I can’t just click a button to share a cup of coffee with them. So what the next best thing? Getting a Coffee Truck and driving to their nearest location and setting up shop for the day.

As long as it’s a busy place of course, I do need to earn a living you know.

We are currently in the process of getting a coffee truck and in this article I answered some of my own questions for my needs and if you ever thought of starting a coffee business too then this post should answer some of your questions as well.

Are Coffee Trucks Profitable

Location and branding play a huge part in how profitable a coffee truck business can be. By default the profit margins are there and with the right spot and branding, owning a coffee truck can be quite lucrative.

According to Concession Nation (food truck and concession trailer builder), Joffrey’s Coffee has their coffee truck positioned at Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida and they reported 6,000 to 8,000 sales per day. That’s sales per day not dollar!

Mind you Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Co. is the Official Specialty Coffee of Walt Disney World® so they have their branding down and also brew delicious coffee.

I don’t want to get your hopes up that high but want you to know what’s possible. The average coffee truck that is out five days a week averages 800 to 1,000 sales per day of coffee sales alone and that is a good amount of profit.

Next up we hear from Green Joe’s coffee truck and when responding to the question if Coffee Trucks are profitable this is what they had to say: “In our first year, we made $110k…our second year was better…but we had more overhead…I think the key to profit is a good location. That’s what’s nice about a truck is that if it’s not working out, then you can always move!”

A Few Reasons To Entice You To Have Your Own Coffee Truck

Investment – Coffee Trucks are usually much lower in investment costs than a sit-down brick and mortar shop. This alone is a competitive advantage of running a coffee truck instead of a regular restaurant as the money you save in setting up can be used for other operations like marketing or menu engineering

Day to Day Costs – Owning a shop requires you to set aside extra money which could include utilities, hire multiple baristas, store manager (unless you want to work ALL those hours) cleaners, etc., and you will also have to think about pay property tax if you are the owner or monthly rentals if the property is rented out.

Higher Profits – Not having to worry about all the bills from a brick and mortar business you have the option of marking up the price of coffee how you see fit. You can be the budget friendly coffee truck or have a higher end brew. This is up to you and how well your business’ branding and marketing is.

Location – Years ago the saying was location location location when talking about starting a business. Nowadays being able to sell both on and offline is key. Having a mobile shop is even better when thrown in the mix.

Around 60 percent of new brick and mortar fail within the first year. And nearly 80 percent shut before their fifth year of operation, and one of the primary reasons being the poor location and high rentals. This is not to say online e-commerce business don’t fail either but the initial investment is usually much less when it’s just an online business.

If your coffee truck doesn’t seem to do so well at a particular location, you can simply drive to another location and see if your offer is better suited there.

Expanding – With a mobile shop, you can build your brand at a smaller level before expanding into something more significant, such as a sit-down restaurant or possibly franchising your trucks.

Marketing – This can be an article all by itself but I will just give you a few tidbits of information and what you can do with your food truck.

  • Events – participate at local events where there will be lots of foot traffic to help brand awareness. This also includes being a sponsor or hosting your own event. (think, charity, corporate, sporting, etc.)
  • Social media – this is endless. From posting where you will be to having your customers share photos of them drinking your brew all the way to working with influencers to help promote the brand
  • Email/SMS – using an app or webpage where your customers can view the menu and order from and collecting contact information along the way to build your list of customers.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are many reasons why you should start a coffee truck business. Perhaps you are tired of working those long hours for someone else, maybe you just want more free time and be your own boss or you just have a passion for coffee and want to be more involved with it and the community.

With any entrepreneurial venture it will take work and nothing if ever guaranteed but at least with having your own coffee truck and brand the starting costs is much cheaper than other business models.

If you want more info on starting your own coffee brand then reach out to us. We might be able to help!

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