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What Is the Difference Between a Mobile Food Truck, Trailer & Cart? September 24, 2019

Williamsburg, Brooklyn
What Is the Difference Between a Mobile Food Truck, Trailer & Cart?, Brooklyn, New York

Recent decades have seen the explosion of mobile food trucks, food carts, and food trailers. Some of the best dining options in any city are offered by these eclectic mini-restaurants. They each serve food from a mobile, wheeled installation; however, there are some essential differences between the various options. Here’s what you need to know. 

What Makes a Mobile Food Truck Different from a Food Trailer & Cart?

Kitchen Facility

Food trucks offer a kitchen area of 10 to 26 feet, with an average mid-range of 15 feet. Food trucks have versatility in the type of cooking they can offer; for example, they can have both a grill and a deep fryer. A food truck may be equipped with RV style hookups for water and electricity and have an onboard sink, propane fuel, and refrigeration.

mobile food truckFood trailers are built into a trailer that is towed behind a vehicle. The kitchen size can vary widely from four feet to 50 feet. They can, like food trucks, have a fully functioning kitchen with water and electricity hook-ups. 

Food carts are the smallest mobile food vending option, as they are intended to be moved manually. They lack a full kitchen, running water, and electricity. 


Mobile food trucks are built into a vehicle, so it’s easy to move them as one unit without any additional transportation. While a trailer and truck may be of equal length, trailers are harder to maneuver than trucks because they are towed behind another vehicle.

A food truck can move if necessary during an event. Some food trailers may be too wide for a regular street-side venue while a food truck can be anywhere a parked car can go. Carts can be operated from a sidewalk, parking lot, or street area and are the most versatile in size; however, they lack flexibility in terms of transportation, as they are moved on foot. 


If you are considering starting a mobile food business, cost may be a factor. Food trucks are the most expensive, as they provide a car and kitchen in one. Trailers are a mid-level option, and won’t require automotive repairs, but you must have a vehicle that can tow the trailer. A food cart is an entry-level choice, but it’s not workable for complicated food items or an extensive menu. 


If you are starting a mobile food truck, trailer, or cart business and need custom design services, choose Shanghai Mobile Kitchen Solutions in Brooklyn, NY. They serve major locations along the Atlantic Seaboard, from Boston to North Carolina. Their mobile units are guaranteed to pass city inspections. Call (800) 253-4815 to be connected to a team member, or visit the website to see a full range of services. 

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