Food Cart Owner

Run a mobile restaurant, doing everything from cooking to marketing.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $48,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Food Cart Owners do?

A hot dog waiting for you at the corner after a long night out or a freshly made gourmet sandwich found right in front of the office might sound like an impossible dream, but these days, fantasy is becoming reality for hungry pedestrians. Around the country, the food cart industry is picking up, and as a Food Cart Owner, you can provide quick, amazing food your customers don’t even need to sit down to enjoy.

When you’re a Food Cart Owner, the culinary world is your oyster. You can serve ice cream, coffee, sandwiches, even oysters if you have proper refrigeration. The only things limiting your choices are your imagination and your customers’ preferences. So the first thing you want to do when you decide to join this industry is to consider what’s already being done and what’s being left out.

This is one of those jobs where you really do it all. Food Cart Owners do the marketing, driving, cooking, serving, and cleaning that keep the business up and running. Unlike in a regular restaurant, you’re always on the go, hitting up street fairs and busy cross streets to find and feed customers. Expect social media to become your new best friend as you update customers on your whereabouts with twitter and facebook.

As with any restaurant, cleanliness is big in this business. You need to find a place to load up on clean water each morning and unload dirty water at night. Cutting boards need to be sanitary, refrigerators need to keep food cold enough, and any employees you can hire must meet standards.

After you finish serving, your day isn’t over. You need to tally receipts, fill out orders, prepare for the next day, and keep detailed records for taxes or payroll.

Should I be a Food Cart Owner?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Food Cart Chef

    How to become a Food Cart Owner

    Most Food Cart Owners have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9ccdae&chl=no+college+%2883%25%29|certificate+%283%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,83,83
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