How Much Does a Concession Trailer Cost?
A concession trailer can be a great investment for you to eventually make money. Concession food such as funnel cakes, corn dogs, and cotton candy are highly marketable nowadays. Hence, it has become an alluring business for entrepreneurs who are starting a small business or those looking for a supplemental income. Since these are portable, easy-to-transport, and have a wide range of options, many are choosing to invest in concession trailers. This is a lucrative opportunity to start a simple business and should pay for itself if used correctly.
How much does it cost?
- Concession trailers have varying prices, and the price will depend on the size, brand, features and the condition. Since there are so many factors, the prices of a concession trailer can range from $6,000 to as high as $100,000.
- When it comes to the pricing, you are always going to get what you pay for. If you want the lights, a fancy design, stainless steel appliances, and a lot of space, you will be looking at spending at least $25,000. However, if you need a simple trailer with no bells and whistles, it can be purchased for as little as $5,000 used.
- For example, on eBay there are thousands of slightly used concession trailers that range from $4,000 to as much as $50,000.
- AmusementTrader.com, an online classified website, has a variety of trailers up for sale that range from $5,000 to as much as $33,000.
- According to SupremeProducts.com, they claim that a good ballpark estimate will be around $28,000 to $43,000 for a new concession trailer. This trailer will include a gas connection, 16′ grilling area, appliances, sinks, windows, vent hood, electrical and propane.
What is going to be included?
- The concession trailers are stand-alone stalls that sell food. These are usually seen in carnivals, live music events, fairs, car shows and festivals. These are excellent vehicles for caterers, mobile food services providers, and barbecue purveyors
- Concession trailers will be equipped with all of the necessities to properly prepare food. This will include sinks, counter and cabinet space, industrial ovens, stoves and a refrigerator. All the devices will either run on electricity from a nearby power source or generator or can be run on propane. Most models will be customized for hot dogs, barbecue, pizza, or other food products. So for example, a concession trailer that sells pizza will have a pizza oven, while a trailer that focuses on ice cream will have soft serve machines, etc.
- Depending on the size, most trailers will weigh between 1,500 and 10,000 pounds.
What are the extra costs?
- An entrepreneur who intends to start a concession trailer should also consider the cost of the permits and licenses imposed by the local Health Department. Since concession trailers are mobile in nature, there are states that gives additional requirements for the permits and licenses. These costs should be taken into consideration in starting a concession business.
- Existing trailers can also be transformed into a viable food-industry vehicle because there are available parts and equipment in the market appropriate for the concession business. Quick additions to a current concession trailer are also available in the market. So kitchen add-ons, rebuilds, etc. all have to be budgeted for.
- Do not forget that you will need a way to transport this concession trailer. You will need a large truck or trailer, or you will need to tear down the trailer every time you move it.
- An insurance policy for both the trailer and the business will be extra. Plan on spending around $100 to $200 per year, at a minimum, to insure your trailer.
- Maintenance and unnecessary repairs need to be budgeted for down the road.
- If the trailer is not going to run on propane, a generator may be needed. If it does run on propane, then propane tanks will be needed and will need to be refilled.
- Newer trailers that have to be shipped can incur shipping charges. This can start at $1.50 per mile.
- If you want to customize your concession trailer to advertise your specific food, you can get a sign made. Since most concession trailers are made of metal, many people choose to have magnets made. This is also convenient in case you change something, such as your name or menu, or sell the cart.
How can I save money?
- To be able to save money, it is advised that a starting entrepreneur should start with a small trailer and customized it yourself so that you do not need to buy a new one which will cost you a lot of money. When you have saved enough and learned about the business, this is when you can consider upgrading to a newer trailer. Purchasing used can save you more than 80%.
- If you are going to purchase used, consider haggling with the owner. You may find some to be desperate and willing to bring down the price by a couple thousand.