A food cart, or called Food Kiosk, Food Trailer(Round Food Trailer, Square Food Trailer) or Food Van, is a mobile food service operation that generally offers various types of fast food to walk-up customers. It may also be referred to as a mobile kitchen, a food booth, or a food kiosk. This type of street food is a popular staple in many cities around the world -- such as the hot dog carts in New York City, for example -- and is rapidly spreading to other locations due to its convenience factor, and the fact that it often represents a great way to get local, relatively inexpensive food rather than visiting a chain fast food restaurant. The cart may be self propelled, as in a food truck, or it may be towed by another vehicle.

In many cases, a food cart like Hot Dog Cart, Ice Cream Cart, Airstream Food Cart and Bike Cart will only offer one particular type of food. For instance, a taco truck is a relatively popular type of food cart, offering customers one very specific food, but in a number of different creations or combinations. Some might serve a few different types of foods, more similar to a rolling restaurant or bakery than a simple hot dog stand. Food carts exist for any meal of the day, with different ones offering selections for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In many cities, food carts are becoming an integral part of street culture, with people even taking food cart "tours" to visit the different options an area has to offer, or going on late-night searches to find the changing location of a favorite cart.

A food cart often represents an excellent and lucrative business idea. Operating costs are fairly low, and only require the purchase of the food cart, the ingredients for preparing specific dishes, and paying a limited staff; many cities will also require the vendor to purchase a license. Some food carts will also capitalize on late-night business in a city, parking outside of bars, for instance. This allows them to find built-in clientele without a great deal of advertising costs or effort.

Additionally, some couples are now even having food carts cater their wedding. Referred to as mobile catering, this allows the food cart to simply arrive at the wedding, and allow guests to make their selections. This is a more popular option for casual, outdoor events; it is not necessary to limit this to weddings, either. It is an easy way to ensure convenient catering and easy clean-up at any type of large party or business event. It is important to keep in mind when eating at any food cart, however, that cleanliness can be an issue, so be sure to look around and make sure that food is being handled properly, and that any food safety certifications are displayed and up to date.

Similar with a food cart, Food Truck is another kinds of mobile food service equipment. One of the most recognizable mobile restaurants, a food truck is a large vehicle with a kitchen on the inside. Staff prepares food in the kitchen and serves customers through a side window. With this type of restaurant, operators get the chance to travel to different locations and attract passersby with a variety of food items.

Most meals available are eaten on the go, such as tacos or sandwiches. Customers tend to favor them because they get to enjoy fresh food at public sites. Food trucks are also thought to be cleaner than most mobile restaurants. Some set up dining areas with tables and seats or have a counter attached to the truck for customers to eat meals.


Mobility: The biggest pro food trucks offer is their ability to easily move to different locations. Unlike food stands, you don't have to haul equipment with another vehicle. You simply get in the driver's seat and hit the festivals, parks, and city streets.

Spaciousness: They have enough space for plenty of equipment so you can offer customers more food items. Plus, there's space for multiple employees to provide quicker service.

Free ad space: You can promote your business on the exterior of the truck and grab the attention of onlookers.

Easy to clean: There is less kitchen equipment to clean compared to a brick-and-mortar restaurant kitchen.

Trendy: They are the most popular type of mobile restaurant.


Cumbersome: It might be hard finding a place to park and difficult to drive through narrow city streets due to their bulky size.

Break downs: If you run into car troubles, your business can't continue until the vehicle is repaired. Plus, it is challenging and expensive to find replacement parts.

Paperwork: They typically require many types of permits before conducting business.