The 7 Items to Complete Your Food Truck Equipment List

When you have a truck that stands out among a $1.2 billion industry, some potential food truck franchise owners ask the Masshole Lobster Truck guys questions about breaking into the industry. One of the most common questions is about a food truck equipment punch list.

They range in ways we are asked, but many of the questions sound the same, and for a good reason.

With more than 35,500 food trucks operating nationwide, food truck equipment requirements can become tedious. They can differ from state to state.

Some parts can be expensive, and others are so difficult to find. What’s necessary and what is not an immediate buy while rolling along to make a profit?

You can launch the first truck of your fast food empire inexpensively, but where the immediate options to fill the food truck can be confusing.

More: how to start a food truck business

We decided to make this blog post to service the many aspiring chefs who need the hand-up like we once did. We hope to invest in this outstanding community by paying it forward and keeping it rolling.

If you are searching for food truck equipment for sale but aren’t sure how to prioritize those equipment options, bookmark this post and let us know how else these Massholes can help you out.

Washing Equipment

A three-compartment sink particular item can’t be stressed enough to purchase for your food truck equipment needs. As the adage says, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” and that is number one in this industry.

One side is to wash your equipment. Another is for handwashing. As anyone who deals with food, you know cross-contamination is one of the most vulgar words used in the industry.

Nothing touches each other, which means your clean and dirty dishes. While you are at it, mark down on your trusty food truck equipment requirements all the cleaning and safety supplies, you need to manage a (literal) squeaky clean shop.

Washing equipment includes: cleaning and sanitizating chemicals, gloves, sponges and scrubbers, soap/hand sanitizer dispensers, towels and wipes, trash cans.

Maintenance Equipment

This is where your food truck equipment sets apart from the competition. Remember that adage? It all starts with that wash, rinse, and sanitize sink.

Get your floor mats, chemicals, sponges, trash liners, and whatever you can use to sweep up the place to keep your food truck as beautiful as possible. Think about it: If your kitchen looked like a tornado ran through it, would anyone want to eat food that came out of it? Not one morsel.

Warming Equipment

food truck warming equipment

Once you get your food cooked, clean, and ready to serve, they need to be kept at the proper temperatures. This is both for your protection and your patrons.

Warming and holding items are a top priority on your food truck equipment shopping list. You probably have a fry dump station so you can salt fries (or whatever else you are taking out of the fryer).

Even if you offer soup on the menu, it can be set there until they are ready to serve to your customers. Most countertop food warmers act as a holding station for food that needs to stay warm. It may be as crucial as food truck cooking equipment, but your food must have a home.

Cooking Equipment

food truck Cooking Equipment

Since it was brought up, let’s talk about the food truck cooking equipment. This may be the most complex round of your expenses. You will determine what products you need to check off and purchase off the food truck equipment list. Cooking equipment includes griddle or flat top grill: griddles, range, charbroiler, microwave, fryer, exhaust hood.

Are you more of a griddle or range person to cook? Will you need a microwave or a toaster? Most food trucks grab a fryer or a charbroiler.

Few have a salamander, but they are great for browning the food or melting cheese to give entrees that beautiful color before serving.

Food Truck Refrigeration Equipment

food truck refrigeration equipment

Regarding the need to keep food at the right temperature, a prep or under-counter refrigerator is crucial. It should be circled in red for any food truck equipment requirements.

There are even countertop refrigerators or salad preparation refrigerators. Each one is made for a particular need. Some can be used for the same items, but others (i.e., ice cream, butter, milk) need to be kept as cold as possible and away from other things like meat or vegetables.

Food Preparation Equipment

When you think about your food truck, where will you prepare your food? Where is the expo station? Where will you keep those main ingredients and put everything together?

For food truck equipment, the prep stations are essential. Consider your cutting boards, knife rack, or stainless work tables to start things.

Elsewhere on your food truck equipment list will be your skillets, saucepans, turners, bender or food procesor, thermometers and food pros. These items make the magic, so don’t go thrift shopping for these.

Staging Equipment

Last but not least, your food truck may differ from others in your community. Some options have tables set outside under a nice awning. Others hand the customers the plate and plasticware, and that’s the end of the customer service experience.

Whatever you do to create that impression, ensure that your food truck equipment list has plenty of eating supplies that serve, squeeze, and dispense.

From dinnerware to utensils, cups to napkins, and the all-important food wrap. It sets the stage for customer care and then returns for seconds!

Food Equipment FAQ

Do food truck equipment requirements vary by state?

Yes, equipment requirements can differ from state to state, so it’s essential to research the specific requirements in your area.

What maintenance equipment should be on my food truck equipment list?

Essential maintenance equipment includes floor mats, cleaning chemicals, sponges, trash liners, and tools for sweeping and tidying up your food truck.

What types of washing equipment are essential for a food truck?

A three-compartment sink is key for maintaining cleanliness and preventing cross-contamination. Additional washing equipment includes cleaning and sanitizing chemicals, gloves, sponges and scrubbers, soap/hand sanitizer dispensers, towels and wipes, and trash cans.

What cooking equipment should I invest in for my food truck?

The necessary cooking equipment depends on your menu, but common items include griddles, ranges, charbroilers, microwaves, fryers, and exhaust hoods.

What staging equipment should I consider for my food truck?

Include dinnerware, utensils, cups, napkins, food wraps, and any items needed for serving, squeezing, and dispensing food. This equipment creates a memorable customer experience.

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Adam Bylicki, Masshole Lobster Truck founder

Adam Bylicki


Originally from Massachusetts, after retiring from the U.S. Army and global security services jobs, Adam Bylicki launched in 2022 Masshole Lobster Truck, a mobile food business that brings the taste of New England-style lobster rolls to San Antonio and beyond.

With a strong belief in hard work, customer service, and quality food preparation, Adam and his team are now expanding their business and offering franchising opportunities.

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