This FAQ page is intended to answer a lot of the common questions we receive from readers of the site. We hope this helps you in your quest for food truck glory.
Where can I get a food truck retrofitted?
There are a few companies that can retrofit a food truck in the GTA but many local food truck owners suggest Silver Star Metal Fabricating in Mississauga. They don’t supply the trucks but are trusted among current food truck owners to retrofit their vehicles. Other options to look at include Venture Food Trucks and Milenzo Corp.
Approximately how much does retrofitting a food truck cost?
Trucks can be retrofitted for anywhere between $30,000-$50,000 before appliances which will be additional.
What kind of generators should be used for food trucks?
As the generators will need to be used for extended periods of time, food truck vendors recommend Onan or Generac generators as they are silent (very important), high watt generators that are equipped to run continuously.
Are there restrictions on what types of foods I can sell?
There are no restriction to what type of food can be sold from a truck as long as you can ensure food is safely handled and served.
What sort of insurance do I need?
There are two insurance plans you will need to obtain to operate a food truck: the business insurance ($350-$450/month) and liability insurance for the trucks (approximately $100 for insurance coverage up to $5 million) which will be needed for each location the trucks operate at.
What else do I need to get?
You’ll need to acquire a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR). Due to the size and weight of food trucks, they are considered commercial vehicles so CVORs will be required when operating the vehicle on highways and streets. You might be subject to a significant fine if you’re inspected by the Ministry of Transportation and don’t have a CVOR.
What kind of permits/certifications are required to operate in Toronto?
There are several annual permits a food truck must have in order to legally operate on the streets pending on area of intended operation:
- Downtown Toronto permit
- Peel Region permit
- Hamilton permit
- Food handler certification
- License for drivers of food trucks
- Assistance license (For each employee working on the food truck)
- Health check
How long does it take to get a license to operate a truck?
The time it takes to get a license varies.
Where can I get a customized truck for a short-term promotion?
The best way to rent a fully retrofitted truck for marketing promotions would be to approach the trucks directly via their website or phone.
What other tips do you have for me?
- Don’t get into the industry looking for a cheap, used Purolator truck. Instead, look for something that’s between $15k-20k, or else you’ll be spending more time and money repairing it than operating on the streets.
- All trucks are licensed commissaries but if more space is required you will are required to prep at a licensed commissaries which can cost between $25-$35/hour unless there is a professional kitchen available
- Anticipate paying 15%-20% of sales to event organizers in fees.
- Consider diesel trucks vs. gas trucks when purchasing. Diesel trucks are more expensive up front but will typically last longer and use less fuel.