Mobile Food Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 5,900 mobile food service firms in the US operate food trucks and carts from which they sell prepared meals, snacks and beverages for immediate consumption to walk-up customers. Mobile food services also contract with individuals and businesses to cater food at events, such as parties, corporate gatherings and festivals.

Permit Restrictions

Food trucks are typically permitted and inspected by the city in which they operate and regulations can vary significantly from city to city.

Sensitivity to Economic Conditions

Food trucks that catered to construction sites and industrial parks were hit hard during the recent recession when construction and manufacturing declined and workers were laid off.

Industry size & Structure

A typical mobile food service firm operates out of a single location, employs 2-3 workers, and generates over $281,000 annually.

    • The mobile food service industry consists of about 5,900 companies which employ over 16,200 workers and generate about $1.7 billion annually.
    • The industry is highly fragmented with the 50 largest firms accounting for less than 15% of industry revenue.
    • Most companies are small, independent operators - about 83% employ less than 5 workers.
    • Cities with large numbers of food trucks include Los Angeles, Washington DC, San Francisco, Houston, and Miami.
    • Customer industries include individual consumers, event organizers, and businesses seeking mobile catering.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Mobile Food Services Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Dec 7, 2022 - Food Inflation Eases in October
                                • Food trucks that have struggled with steeply rising food prices this year may see signs of hope in the latest food price index (FPI) from the US Labor Department. Categories posting price declines in October versus September included fresh fruits and vegetables and dairy products. The FPI increased 0.6% in October following a 0.8% increase in September, with the food at home index up 0.4% for the month, the smallest monthly increase in this index since December 2021, according to Labor Department figures. The FPI for fruits and vegetables fell 0.9% over the month after increasing 1.6% in September. The index for fresh fruits fell 2.4% and the index for fresh vegetables fell 0.5%. The index for dairy and related products also declined in October, falling 0.1%.
                                • Diesel-powered food trucks are facing a potential shortage of diesel fuel that has driven the price to a record premium over gasoline and crude oil. While the price of gasoline is up about 14% so far this year, the price for diesel has risen by about 50%, to $5.35 a gallon, according to energy price data from AAA/OPIS. The gains widened the gap between the two fuels to an all-time high of $1.61, versus 23 cents a year ago. Dwindling stocks, the war in Ukraine, severe weather, and other disruptions to the global energy markets are behind the widening gap, according to The Wall Street Journal. The Energy Information Administration in November reported the country had only 25 days of diesel in reserve, the lowest level since 2008.
                                • US job growth was surprisingly strong in October 2022 despite Federal Reserve interest rate hikes aimed at slowing what is still a relatively strong labor market. Once again, leisure and hospitality continued to be among the leading sectors for job growth, adding 35,000 jobs, though the pace of increases has slowed considerably from the gains posted in 2021, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The group, which includes hotel, restaurant and bar jobs along with related sectors, is averaging gains of 78,000 a month this year, compared with 196,000 last year. Overall employment by caterers and mobile food services inched up 1.3% in September from August and was up 21.2% from September 2021, according to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
                                • A food truck that houses a pizza-making robot received a $16.5 million investment from Marcy Venture Partners, the venture capital firm backed by the entertainer and entrepreneur Jay-Z, in October 2022. It's operator, Stellar Pizza, is the creation of three former SpaceX engineers. The automated food truck can make a pizza in 5 minutes using an automated system after the order is entered via a mobile app. According to the company, the truck has the capacity and ingredients to produce 420 pies before having to be restocked. While the robot makes the pizza, a human person is on-board the truck to cut and box the pizzas. The automated, robotic pizza truck, which Stellar Pizza hopes will become the future of pizza delivery, is slated to make its debut at the University of California this fall.
                                Get A Demo

                                Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                                See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                                Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                                check out Vertical IQ today.

                                Request A Demo