How Do Food Trucks Work?

Owning a food truck is a great way to start your own business. It allows you to be your own boss, set your own hours, and make your own menu. However, before you can hit the open road and start serving up delicious food, there are some things you need to know about how food trucks work. In this article, we’ll take a look at the inner workings of food trucks, from the grills and fryers to the generators and plumbing. We’ll also touch on some basic vehicle maintenance so you can keep your truck running like a well-oiled machine.


Food Truck Equipment

One of the most important things to understand about food trucks is the equipment.

Equipment in a food truck requires regular cleaning and maintenance. Grills, fryers, and other cooking surfaces must be kept clean to prevent the spread of bacteria. Food trucks should also have a regular schedule for cleaning the interior of the vehicle. This includes vacuuming, sweeping, and wiping down all surfaces. This will help keep your truck running smoothly and ensure that it passes any health inspections.

Let’s look at the inner workings of food truck equipment, utilities, and vehicle maintenance.


A grill is a must-have for any food truck. You’ll use it to cook everything from burgers and hot dogs to chicken and steak.

Food trucks use either electricity or propane tanks to power grills and fryers. Electric countertop grills are the most popular types of grills in food trucks because they are compact and easy to clean. They come in various sizes to suit every type of food truck. Food trucks may also be equipped with propane tanks to power grills and fryers. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations for placement and usage in order to get the best use of propane-powered grills and fryers. All grills need to be cleaned regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Failure to clean your grill can lead to the spread of bacteria and could lead to a health inspection violation.


Fryers are another essential piece of equipment for any food truck. They’re used to cook French fries, chicken tenders, onion rings, and other fried foods.

Like grills, fryers need to be set up in a well-ventilated area and placement should be based on the manufacturer’s instructions. Fryers also need to be cleaned regularly. The oil should be drained and the filters should be changed on a regular basis.

Failure to clean your fryer can lead to the spread of bacteria and could lead to a health inspection violation.

Power Generators

Many food trucks use generators to power their equipment. These generators can be noisy, so it’s important to place them in a location where they won’t disturb your customers. They also require regular maintenance to ensure that they are running properly.

Food trucks need power to run the kitchen equipment and maintain electrical needs. Generators are used to meet the need for power overall. Generators can be either gas-powered or diesel-powered; your choice of a generator must  be linked to your food truck, so ensure you choose a generator that is compatible with your truck. 


Food trucks need water to cook food and wash dishes. Most trucks have a fresh water tank that can be filled by hose at any source of clean, potable water. It’s important to keep the water tank clean and free of debris.

All food trucks need a water supply for cooking and cleaning. Most trucks have a fresh water tank and a gray water tank. The fresh water tank is clean, potable water to be used for drinking, cooking and cleaning dishes, while the gray water tank collects wastewater from the sinks and drains.


Food trucks need plumbing for a variety of uses, including hooking up water tanks and connecting the drains, as well as disposing of wastewater and grease. The plumbing system in your food truck allows you to run water efficiently and safely. 

Most trucks have at least two sinks, one for washing hands and one for prepping food. It’s important to keep the plumbing system clean and free of clogs.

Electrical and Gas Supply

Food trucks require electricity to power their equipment, including grills, fryers, and generators. It’s important to make sure that you have adequate electrical outlets for all the electrical needs of your food truck.

Some food trucks need both electricity for the refrigerator, lights and other appliances, along with gas if trucks are fitted with propane tanks for the grill and fryer. 


Food trucks need good lighting so customers can see your menu and place their orders. Most trucks have overhead lights as well as spotlights that shine on the ordering windows.


Vehicle Maintenance

In addition to keeping the kitchen equipment in top shape, it’s also important to maintain the truck itself. Here are a few things you should do on a regular basis:

  • Check the oil level and tire pressure.
  • Test the brakes and headlights.
  • Inspect the hoses and belts for wear and tear.
  • Clean the windshield and windows.
  • Wash and wax the truck to protect the paint.

Regular maintenance will help ensure that your truck is always in good working order. The cleanliness will also attract customers.



Now that you know more about how food trucks work, you’re ready to hit the open road and start serving up delicious food. Just remember to keep your truck well-stocked, clean, and maintained, and you’ll be serving happy customers in no time.