How Food Truck Vendors Are Trying to Stay Afloat as Gas Prices Skyrocket

by Matthew Memrick
(Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Food trucks and gas prices are clashing, with many owners wondering how they’ll stay afloat in the current economic climate.

Many businesses tried to get out of brick-and-mortar costs by putting their kitchen on wheels. Some just liked the open road and taking their food directly to consumers.

Ultimately, owners adjust the prices of menu items to make their trucks work in this trying fast-food environment.

Food Truck Owners Try To Offset Gas Prices

For some, like Seattle food truck owner Muhammad Al Deri, staying in one location has worked temporarily. In the past, he traveled around the state with his Zaytoona truck for good customer areas. Not so much anymore.

“I have to change my prices to cover the gas,” Al Deri told Fox Business. “Otherwise, it’s not worth it.”

An Atlanta barbecue truck owner has worked in a strategy of setting up in places without other food trucks. But, owner Jon German said soaring gas prices have made hunting for those prime spot hunts harder.

German said he couldn’t make his food truck business work when only 20 people show up a day. His quick fix has been setting up shop at fairs and festivals. The problem with that is there are more competitors and possible entrance fees. The man said he must do “better than that just to stay afloat.”

Ultimately, German make it through luck with his Black Market BBQ truck because “nothing is really guaranteed.”

Back to Al Deri. The high gas prices make the man and other food truck owners how much longer they can last

“I’m not sure if I’m going to stay in the same business,” Al Deri told Fox Business. “Then, I have to find something else. How much are you going to keep raising the food prices on the customers? Then, they’re going to stop coming.”

Why Do Food Trucks Fail?

The website Mobile Cuisine put together a list of five reasons why food trucks don’t work out. Gas prices, however, were not on the list.

First, the website said a lack of execution and planning factored into a failure. A careful review of the planning process was essential to ensure the business adequately worked. Other factors included not pivoting when the industry made quick changes, a lack of understanding, not entirely buying into the food truck business, and staying on track (constant evaluation.)

Where’s the top city in the country for food trucks? Portland, Oregon, of course. Many food trucks find the most profits there.

Portland is the city where food trucks are most profitable, according to many top 10 food truck cities in America. One local website said about 500 food trucks and carts work in that Oregon city. The city has over two million residents.