Things to Consider When Starting a Food Cart Business

Making the decision to start a business is the start of a learning process as an upstart entrepreneur. The next step is deciding on what kind of business you wish to run.

One of the popular entries into entrepreneurship is investing in a food cart business, which can be quite the adventure in itself due to the landscape being rather crowded in this day and age.

Whether you are set on running a food cart business, or if you are still mulling over it as a possibility, do note that food carts are indeed a great place to start.

If you are trying to figure out how to invest in one right now, then you are on the right track thus far. Here are a few things you may want to take note of about starting and running a food cart business.

Investment Capital

If you are thinking of starting a food cart business, you should make sure that you will have the capital for it. You have to build or acquire the cart itself and the equipment necessary to prepare food, as well as the ingredients. That goes double if you are looking to get lots of customers right off the bat as that means even higher overhead.

For instance, franchising for a popular brand will cost you six digits, like P200,000 to P300,000. Renting a spot with high foot traffic like a train station or school may cost P20,000 to P25,000 per month. The necessary paperwork will then cost you an additional P15,000 to P20,000 to legally run your food cart business.

If you wish to franchise for a less popular brand, it will cost less but still be fairly steep.

Legalizing the Business

You also have to remember that it is not that easy to set up a business in the Philippines due to all the bureaucracy you have to go through before you can set up shop.

Hiring Staff

Hiring reliable and trustworthy staff will also be a challenge since theft is quite common in small businesses. Be ready as there will be quite a bit of hairsplitting involved in starting and running a food cart business.


Should you franchise or start your own brand?

The advantage in franchising is that you need not worry too much about planning and execution since that has been figured out for you, so all you need to do is run the business as best as you can.

But if you wish to start your own brand, that may potentially cost less at the start, but you will have to build it on your own from the ground up. That means you have to create your own business plan and tweak it, as well as figure out how to execute it all on your own.

You will also have to come up with your own brand, from the name to the logo and everything else that will make your business recognizable and stand out from the rest.¬†Whether it’s time, effort, or money, starting a food cart business will take plenty of it, so you have to be ready.

If you do choose to go on your own, you have to make everything from scratch, including the food you will be serving in your carts.

Quality is of utmost importance, but that must also have the cost of ingredients and time of preparation and cooking to consider. While it should taste good, it must also be easy to eat while on the go, with fairly cheap ingredients that are easy to acquire, and quick to prepare and cook.

There is also the help to consider as well. The food you serve should be easy enough to prepare that those who you may hire to run day-to-day operations in your food cart can be trained to prepare it without much difficulty. While having delicious food and drink is of priority, it is a food cart and not a restaurant.

Down the line, if you happen to achieve a good bit of success in your food cart business and have built up a reputation for your brand, you may then think about franchising. That is where you can really start getting the money rolling in as having enough people who want to franchise your brand to have their own food carts. You will be helping others get started as you did and earn from both the franchising fee and your cut as well.


As with any other business, it is not meant to be effortless. Starting and running a food cart business can take a lot of work to get off the ground, but it can indeed work as long as you get certain things right like the quality of your products and the locations you sell in.

If you find yourself with an opportunity to open a food cart business, go for it as it can be a potentially lucrative venture that is fun to partake in and helpful to the community at the same time.

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