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The Business of Food Trucks

Published on Wed, 02/20/2019 - 10:38am
food truck

When you bite into a sizzling street taco that you bought at a Kansas City food truck, you probably don’t think of the Library. Yet, in the last two years, 286 people have attended Mid-Continent Public Library’s food truck education classes. Through Square One Small Business Services, MCPL has made it its business to help entrepreneurs across the region get their dreams rolling. When asked why food truck businesses fail, the Square One team has a simple answer: “It’s never about the taste of the food,” says Morgan Perry, Square One Business Specialist. “It comes down to difficulties with the business plan, strict government regulations, and branding.”

That’s why Mid-Continent Public Library created programs like its popular food truck workshops, led by experienced food truck entrepreneurs. The next food truck workshop will be held on Sunday, April 14, and will be taught by Brandon Simpson, owner of Jazzy B’s food truck, Kim Niebaum of the CoffeeCakeKC food truck, and Xander Winkel of the Ennovation Center. These experts will lead aspiring food truckers through the steps of opening their own food truck business and will cover topics ranging from truck design to navigating regulations and reading financial statements. As an added bonus, attendees will get to tour an actual food truck and sample its cuisine.

After all, food trucks in Kansas City have become more than a fad. Whether you’re shopping downtown or attending a local festival, chances are high that you’ll see one on a street corner. These small businesses face a lot of competition and compliance issues in the $2 billion industry. According to the Food Truck Nation’s latest report, the average U.S. food trucker will face 45 different government-mandated procedures and spend around $28,276 on permits and licenses in one year alone. So, despite the relatively low start-up costs of a food truck compared to a brick-and-mortar restaurant, it’s not a simple business to start.

The Library is here to help ease the learning curve. If you’re interested in owning a food truck business, we recommend you start by attending an MCPL food truck workshop. Then check out the Library’s collection of guides like Start Your Own Food Truck Business. If you’re still unsure how to get started, reach out to Square One’s team of business specialists for a free one-on-one consultation. They’re here to connect you to resources that will get your business in gear.

We can’t wait to eat at your truck one day!

Devon C.
Square One Small Business Services at MCPL


Good Morning,

My name is Mitch with the Veterans Business Resource Center out of St. Louis. We work with transitioning veterans looking to start their own business. We have a client looking to start a food truck of sorts and would love to send him to your training if you have any upcoming or scheduled virtually. Just let me know! Thanks!

From Mitchell Fitzpatrick (not verified)
Tue, 07/28/2020 - 09:17am

Hi Mitch! Thanks for reaching out! Email us at and we can help you connect with the information.

From Morgan (not verified)
Tue, 07/28/2020 - 04:38pm

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