Food truck growth keeps increasing

The food truck industry, which is the fastest-growing channel in today’s food service industry, has grown by 12.4 percent over the past five years. It’s now worth $650 million and should hit $2.7 billion this year, according to FoodTruckHQ. Get food safety trained today! 

According to the National Restaurant Association, fewer than 10 percent of brick-and-mortar restaurants operate a food truck, but a large number see potential value in the concept, according to the association’s 2015 survey.

Sixty percent of fast casual restaurants said food trucks are a good way to expand the business and 55 percent said food trucks will become more popular. Fast casual is the dominant food truck segment; the responses were lower for all other foodservice segments with only one segment — casual dining restaurants —  having a majority (52 percent) saying food trucks are a good way to expand the business.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Job outlook was based on analysis in the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook.

> Employment growth 2006-2015: 92.1%
> Employment total: 15,272
> Wage growth 2006-2015: 24.2%
> Avg. annual wage: $17,571

The mobile food services industry includes operations such as ice cream trucks, food concession stands, hot dog carts, and food trucks. Food trucks are relatively inexpensive investments compared to most other food services, requiring little more than a street permit. This has allowed more people to open such a business.

The number of mobile food service establishments more than doubled in the past decade, from 1,600 in 2006 to 3,600 in 2015. Despite increasing steadily over the last 10 years, wages for mobile food vendors remain low.

The average mobile food vendor earns just $17,571 annually, about $2,000 less than the average across the food services sector as a whole and $35,000 less than the average for all occupations.