Food trucks are all the rage right now.

Though it used to be popular amongst restaurateurs that were hesitant to drop cash on a brick-and-mortar business, now, entrepreneurs are setting out across the country in food trucks to peddle and promote their creative cuisines. If it seems like all of the best food truck ideas are taken, don’t fret, there is still plenty of open road and creative potential available.

Contrary to the perception you might get from, say, walking down the main street in any major city, the food truck market is far from saturated, and there are still many clever food truck ideas from which to choose to jumpstart your food truck business.
clever food truck ideas shopkeep

Food Truck Sushi

Because of the work that goes into maintaining a sushi restaurant and keeping fish fresh, this is one food truck idea that many chefs and entrepreneurs traditionally wouldn’t take on. Today, though, we have access to reliable freezers and coolers that will keep fish and produce cold and fresh, so they’re little excuse not to give it a go! Take the lead from We Sushi, they’ve given it a go and are getting great reviews in the process.

Fancy Food Trucks

One way to make sure your truck stands out is to take the concept of a food truck and sell food not commonly seen in the food truck economy. Think fewer tacos and more duck confit. People are becoming more and more open to the idea of gourmet food trucks, places where they can get a five-star meal on the go. They’ll even pay more for a higher quality fare. The key is maintaining a handheld quality to your food, while still being able to cook complicated recipes using fresh and inventive ingredients.

To build a memorable food truck theme and menu, you’ll want to take gourmet food that isn’t typically portable and make it so. For example, mini pies can be a big seller if you perfect the art, and they come in breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert styles.

couple staring at food on a food truck - food truck ideas

Regional Cuisine

Do your research and find an ethnic food market that hasn’t been tapped out. Of course, Tex-Mex and bratwurst have all but become omnipresent among city streets, but other cuisines like Hungarian food loaded with delicious, smoky paprika and unique twists on Southeast Asian staples like hot pots and inventive noodle bowls will take you far on your road to success, pun intended. Focusing on a regional cuisine that you have expertise in is a great food truck idea if you plan on traveling from town to town, or state to state with your truck. It gives you the opportunity to introduce a population to a new and delicious kind of food and put your mark on the food scene in the process.

SEE ALSO: How To Insure Your Food Truck

Local Food Trucks

One way to set yourself apart from the crowd is to draw food truck ideas from your community. Is there a local farm nearby where you can source sustainable produce for your truck such as Snowday food trucks do? If there is a farm or farms, use this to your advantage. The most unique ways to design a menu is to draw inspiration from local specialties. For example, if you live on the East Coast, focus on the freshly caught seafood of the region. I’ll we’re saying is that we’ve never seen a food truck serving crab cakes that didn’t get business.

exterior of a quaint local food truck - food truck ideas

Sandwiches… With a Twist

If you choose to sell a menu dominated by sandwiches, understand that you’re not venturing into new territory. Many trucks have found success with sandwich styles, but the idea of serving up a grilled Cuban or a loaded pastrami on rye is now a bit overdone. There is one food truck idea, however, that can salvage the sandwich, make them with a twist! Fusion sandwiches may be the wave of the future, and if you can solidify your concept, your food truck can be a leading innovator in the food truck scene.

Capitalize on the Health Craze

Eating from food trucks or carts is often still viewed as synonymous with gluttony and caloric abundance. Because of this fact, there is always going to be a segment of the population that strays from the food truck scene. So why not embrace this population and cater specifically to their needs and concerns? Just because food is prepared and served from a truck, doesn’t mean it has to be unhealthy and high in calories. So gain a bit of inspiration from these health conscious food trucks to come up with your one-of-a-kind idea.

Though these are just a few food truck ideas, the world is really your culinary oyster. If it’s wild and crazy and delicious, and know how to cook it, it’s worth giving it a go. But remember, you can have the best menu on the street, but you won’t stand out in a crowd of trucks unless your design is eye catching and your prices are reasonable. Whatever the food truck ideas are that you’re considering, remember to do your research prior to making the leap. This will ensure that you are certain that you are really ready start a food truck and succeed with your business.

Yamarie Grullon

Yamarie Grullon has years of experience creating helpful & engaging content for small business owners. As Director of Content Strategy at ShopKeep, a leading iPad Point of Sale System, Yamarie provides merchants with practical advice on all things related to business or point of sale.