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HOW TO PLAN: Your Mobile Cart Trailer Business

Updated: Dec 3, 2023

One of the most common questions we get asked about starting a Mobile food trailer business is; How do I go about the process? What Should I do next? What should I consider?

Maybe you know you want to start a Mobile Business, but haven't decided what to sell exactly. Maybe you will sell food or some kind of concessions like most people, maybe you will go more towards the retail route, or even perhaps this is about expanding the look / outreach of your current business; whichever of those 3 scenarios, we will help you consider some thought processes and questions to get a better map of where and how you will be approaching this food trailer or mobile business.


Food related operations are the most common avenue that people want to pursue, making it also the most competitive of any business to pursue, but a food stand can be a great place to start a business because we all want to try something new and delicious, and its something passerby can afford.

When your starting a food truck, you obviously first have to come up with the product. If you don't know what food to sell or are in contemplation mode, start off with the bigger picture, ask yourself "What Need am I filling?" or "What Problem am I solving?"

These are the 2 questions that form the base of every business.

For example, let's say you have a location in mind, a hip young college town, where kids are looking for something affordable, fatty, and delicious for when they go out drinking with their friends; just from analyzing the location and situation, you can narrow down your options quite a bit, and get to thinking more about the crowd and situations your business will be serving.

The customer comes first, so if you have your grandma's delicious cookie recipe, but there are already 50 cookie stands in your area, your customer already has that need met right? So then you take that cookie stand and put ice cream in the middle, and now your food cart stands out as the one with ice cream!

Once your have a number of good ideas for your food cart, then you can begin to think about the logistics or operations of it all.

If your dealing with hot food, do you want to work with propane or electric?

This is another question that is frequently asked when starting a mobile food cart, and you will have to consider if your going fully electric, what size generator will be required. Larger generators typically have louder noise levels and are a bit more expensive.

While going with fully propane, you have to consider a location to fill up your tanks daily, and you will also have to consider the cost of installing propane lines into your trailer with a master plumber which can range from $500-2000

Pros and Cons Electric vs Propane


Retail mobile operations typically have a much easier time when they are setting up a concession trailer or cart business because they don't have to worry about meeting most health codes for their county, and they have much less regulations in general.

The most common retail operations we see started with a mobile vending trailer include, Flower shops, clothing stores, general stores, pet supplies/grooming, or information/service related businesses.

Arete has partnered up with a few big name companies that use our units as a great eye catching platform to draw in customers who pass by at fairs, farmers markets, our outdoor malls. We have ever been the selection of new vendor offerings for large chain malls like Tyler or Simon Malls.

5 Things to Consider for your Retail Stand;

1. The need of a unique, eye catching setup

2. The functionality, practicality of a unit (Easy to tow, light weight to push by hand, small size)

3. Something with a low investment cost for new first time vendors

4. The zoning regulations in the city (Can you setup in that location?)

5. Permits needed to sell in a designated location short term or long term


If you have an established business, it may be a good idea to setup a mobile concession cart for a few reasons. This past year we have seen the potential that a pandemic can have on the world and the economy. Businesses that were established brick and mortars in many communities for generations have been forced to shut down because of COVID. Arete has received more inquiries this year for businesses needing to go mobile than ever before, and the trend is only increasing as more businesses start to see the potential upside to having the option of working on their own independent terms.

Upsides & Considerations for taking your business mobile;

-Lower overhead costs, no monthly lease

-Freedom to diversify your location for vending

-Freedom from heavy regulations like govt shutdowns/lockdowns


-Take your business on the road, traveling to out of state fairs, etc.

-Low cost startup

With all the upsides of starting a mobile business, we not only see first time business owners take advantage of starting a mobile food trailer, but also established businesses and large companies have been using food concession trailers as a way to expand their own offerings and marketing.

Our low cost mobile businesses has even brought so much upside to helping large Mall chains bring another price pt offering to their own vendors and attract new vendors to the low price startup cost.

With the attractable look and customization options for branding, going with a mobile trailer or cart business is good for preparing for future lockdowns. Taking your established business mobile is also a smart business decision all around to attract customers and bring another avenue of income for your business.

For any additional questions about ordering bulk units, dealers, or franchising, we do encourage people to feel free and give us a call (909) 717 7886 or (909) 246 9972 or send an Email to

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26 sept 2022

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