Breakfast is a proven menu approach for your food truck business. Traditional items like waffles, bagels, eggs, and coffee all have a relatively low food cost. This means realizing the industry standard margin of 33% food cost per menu item won’t be a challenge.
In addition profitability, there’s strong consumer demand for breakfast. You only need to look as far as the “Breakfast Wars” heating up between fast-food chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s and other chains to appreciate the market value of this timeless menu. According to a study conducted by CivicScience, 38% percent of people in a survey reported eating breakfast at a restaurant or during the commute to work at least one time per month.
If you’re thinking of offering a morning menu for your food truck, here are 27 breakfast ideas to consider. If one of these peaks your curiosity, dig into our expanded resources / podcasts on the subject to learn more. You can jump directly to some of our top picks below:
- Breakfast Burrito
- Coffee Truck
- Donuts and Pastry
- Made-to-Order Omelets
- Keto-Friendly Breakfast
- Vegan Breakfast Truck
- Smoothies and Juice
- French Crepes Truck
Breakfast burritos are tortilla wrapped snacks filled with eggs, sausages, beans, tomatoes or avocados, and cheese. They’re like your regular Mexican burritos but filled with your usual breakfast ingredients. From a business perspective when you see big chains like Taco Bell starting to serve breakfast burritos, you can bet this is a strong indicator of a valuable market.
Other choices may include grilled chicken or bacon with rice or shredded hash browns inside. The ingredients are easy to find in most grocery stores and they’re also easy to make in a limited space which makes it ideal for your food truck business. Of course you can easily repurpose these core ingredients to serve breakfast tacos or quesadillas. The flexibility to reuse ingredients across different dishes is one of the beautiful aspects of running a Mexican food truck business.
As you may already know, ingredients to make breakfast burritos are low cost making this an appealing food business from an operator perspective. Sausage, cheese, potatoes, eggs, bacon, tomato, and wraps are all cheap and consistently priced in grocery stores. You can even up-sell guests on premium ingredients like guacamole and sour cream to further increase revenue.
If you’re interested in starting a Mexican breakfast truck, check out our used inventory of taco trucks here.
Serve your customers the caffeine they need to start the day. Offering a simple cup of brewed coffee in the mornings can reel people in. If you don’t mind adding variety to your coffee menu, you can also add cappuccinos, tea, lattes, and iced coffee. You can learn about the daily operations, startup costs, an equipment checklist, and more in our in-depth guide on starting a coffee truck.
- Coffee trucks can be purchases for $30,000 – $90,000 depending on age of unit and equipment.
- You could start a low-budget coffee trailer or a pushcart for well under $15,000.
- Coffee has strong margins. Drip coffee that costs .50 cents to make (including cup, water, beans, cream, sugar, stir straw) can be turned around and sold for $2.00 – $3.00. Specialty coffees can be sold for even more.
- Coffee trucks are usually busiest during the morning when people habitually drink the beverage or in the afternoons when people are looking for a pick me up.
Donuts and Pastry
Many look for a quick breakfast on the go and donuts and pastries are just the right breakfast items to offer. If space is your concern, you may make a batch of the pastries and donuts at home or in your commissary in the mornings then warm them up in the food truck. You may make donut sandwiches as well with bacon and eggs as the fillings. These breakfast items will surely draw in the crowd on their way to work.
Survey Results: What’s the Average Income for a Food Truck Vendor?
According to data from our food truck income survey, many food trucks make a third or more of their income by doing catering events. The best thing about food trucks is the mobility of it so you can cater to events while providing guests with the food truck experience.
Popular catering events for breakfast food trucks include corporate catering, fundraisers, birthday parties, and charity walks. You can offer packages good for 20 – 30 people wherein they can enjoy breakfast sandwiches, waffles, pancakes, and coffee for the duration of the event.
More than 205 million Americans are expected to eat bagels annually by 2024. That means well over half the U.S. population chomps down at least one bagel annually. As a food truck, you can offer a wide variety of bagel options such as blueberry, Asiago cheese, and even ham and bacon. You can also go for the classic cream cheese with smoked salmon in between.
From an operational standpoint, selling bagels with cream cheese or breakfast sandwiches are the ideal menus for food trucks. These sandwiches don’t take long to assemble so you can serve customers without long wait times. Bagels are also the ideal to-go food that can be carried out and enjoyed by customers on the way to work or at home.
Due to space limitations on the truck and to simply operations, you’ll want to boil and cook bagels off-site. You can still serve high-quality bagels by ordering fresh from a local bakery.
Related Reading: 51 Authentic to Awesome Bagel Shop Name Ideas List
Customers love watching food being made. If you serve made-to-order omelets you can offer a meal and a show by allowing guests to see their breakfast being prepared. Speaking from personal experience, the cracking of the eggs, mixing of cheese, mushrooms, ham and other ingredients on a flat top is mesmerizing.
In addition to the entertainment aspect of made-to-order omelettes there are a lot of practical reasons to love the concept as well. First, you can keep your food cost pretty low. Unused eggs for example can be stored in a refrigerator and served the next day while maintaining the same level of quality. Ditto for many of the toppings like cheese, vegetables or meat. This reduces food cost and improves profitability at the end of the day.
Second, this concept has plenty of flexibility. You can serve specialty diets like Paleo or individuals seeking a high-protein meal. There’s no limit to the creativity of this dish.
According to recent news reports, keto now holds the title of America’s favorite diet. Don’t be intimidated by the word keto. Offering keto-friendly breakfasts will make things a lot easier for you. This is because a keto diet does not contain sugar and carbs which makes meals that align with this diet easy to make.
Examples of simple keto breakfasts include:
- Ham and cheese cups
- Bun-less sausage sandwiches
- Vegetable frittatas
Should you wish to involve sugar in your menu, you can substitute it with stevia or erythritol. You can also make keto bread with almond flour beforehand so you can offer keto breakfast toasts on your menu.
You can make vegan food more accessible by featuring this menu option on your food truck. According to industry data, 6% of U.S. consumers claim to be vegan. This is a staggering 500% increase in consumers since 2014. All the published data suggests even more people will transition to this diet in the coming years.
Some examples of menu items that align with this specialty diet include fruit smoothies made with almond or soy milk, tofu scrambled “eggs”, and chia pudding. You can also find a supplier for vegan nuggets or sausages if you want to add substitute meats to your list. Having vegan breakfast choices on your menu can be a smart option if you plan to vend at healthy events like 5Ks, mud runs, charity walks, or outside gyms / yoga studios where a healthy target market tends to gather.
Smoothies and Juice
We live in a time where smoothies are considered a breakfast or other meal replacement. Not the ones filled with lots of sugar and artificial flavors. We’re talking about smoothies filled with kale, cucumber, whey protein, citrus fruits, bananas, and more. According to industry reports, the fruit and industry juice market is expected to reach $225 billion by 2025.
With a smoothie and juice food cart, you can offer different types of breakfast drinks for people heading to work. You can offer green smoothies (vegetable-filled smoothies), mixed berry smoothies, and fresh fruit or vegetable juices. You also won’t need a lot of equipment but you’ll have to invest in a high-quality blender and juicer aside from your food truck. But there are downsides to operating this business too. For example, the cleaning required to maintain these mobile kitchens is significantly higher than other food types.
Check out our full case study how to start a juice or smoothie truck here.This interview with audio companion breaks down exactly how much you can expect to pay to start a juice truck and how to accurately estimate your profit margin.
Pancakes are another timeless breakfast staple. You’ve got an unlimited number of toppings to pick from including flavored syrups, whipped cream, fruits like raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and nuts. You can serve tiny silver dollar pancakes or large size. The combinations are almost endless with this menu.
You can also easily offer this in your food truck business since you’ll only need a griddle to cook them. If desired, you also have the flexibility to provide healthier pancake options made from ancient grains, sour dough, or gluten-free ingredients. Like many of the other breakfast options on this list, the food cost for making pancakes is low.
Crepes are like thin and delicate pancakes. They’re served with powdered sugar dusted on top or with fruits, ice cream, or even chocolate. They’re a sweet breakfast snack or dessert and are very popular for their soft and tasty texture. These have been a staple food item for food carts around the world for more than a century so you know you’ve got a proven winner with this one.
When you serve French crepes as part of your breakfast menu, you can provide add-ons so your customers can choose to customize which fillings or toppings to put. You can also turn these crepes into delicious lunch options by serving them similar to a burrito with heartier ingredients like ham or bacon.
Yogurt is considered a healthy food due to its nutritional contents such as calcium, protein, and probiotics that strengthens one’s digestive system. It can be paired with cereals, fruits, nuts, and seeds such as chia or flaxseed. The tangy taste of it is what makes it so unique. But one only needs to add honey or syrup if they wish to make it taste a bit sweeter.
Providing yogurt in your food truck breakfast menu can give your customers a healthier option. No other hefty preparation is needed for this since you’ll just have to store it in the refrigerator. The concept also doesn’t anything in terms of cooking so you can really accelerate your service times using this idea.
Some would say cereals are the lazy kind of breakfast. But we say cereals are very delicious and remain as a breakfast staple whether you’re up to cooking or not. You can also get creative with a bowl of cereal. Have you ever had simple cornflakes with milk, fresh mangoes, slices of bananas, and strawberries? They’re such a treat and make for an innovative mobile food concept.
Offering cereals at your food truck business can be a hit with kids. Carry a line of some popular cereal types from frosted cereals to granola and even bran. You can offer different types of milk from full cream, skimmed to almond or soy. Give customers creative options for fruits, marshmallows, nuts, and other toppings they’d like to add to make the experience more memorable and unique.
Muffins may look like small pastries but they’re quite filling. You can have them with blueberries, cherry, chocolate, corn, or cinnamon. Bake these in the morning so you can offer them fresh and then give discounts when there are still some left in the afternoon. Selling them for breakfast along with coffee or fresh juice makes for a great combo pair.
Millennials love avocado toast. If you live in an area where avocados are abundant and affordable then you might want to include avocado toasts on your breakfast menu. If you live in California, this is a terrific option since the produce is cheap and readily available year round. These are open-faced toasts with sliced or pureed or smashed avocado on top.
Bread choices can be anything you want such as sourdough, whole wheat, or multigrain. Your toppings can also be endless such as hard-boiled eggs, ricotta cheese, smoked salmon, and many more. You’ll also want to sprinkle some everything bagel seasoning on top for extra flavor and appearance.
Avocado toasts are nutritious since they’re loaded with fiber and healthy fats. These toasts are quite tasty too. Serving them on your food truck business will get your customer’s attention, especially those who are living a healthy lifestyle. This is an Instagram-worthy breakfast item.
Steak and Eggs
Steak and eggs is a hearty breakfast favorite. It’s also easy to whip up since all you need is that delicious steak and eggs cooked sunny side up (or however your customers like it). No other complicated preparation is needed.
Serving this in your food truck can be a bit more complex because customers may request a specific cook like medium or well done. This can create challenges for inexperienced cooks. You’ll also sacrifice wait times with this concept if the meat is made to order. The other challenge with this business will be maintaining low food costs since steak is a premium item.
Along with waffles, pancakes, and crepes, French toasts make for a heavenly breakfast meal. The toast, which is soaked in milk, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla, and then cooked in a skillet and drizzled with syrup will make a person’s day. They’re easy to make and the ingredients are simple which makes this an ideal item for your breakfast menu.
Give your customers a different kind of oatmeal experience. Serve up some rolled oats soaked overnight in milk, nuts, seeds, and berries. Place them in beautiful sealed jars and sell them for breakfast. Customers will be attracted by the packaging and they’ll stay for the taste. Presentation is key with this menu idea.
Another factor to keep in mind with this concept is due to preparation time, once you run out of inventory you’re done for the day. You can’t just whip up overnight oats. The meal takes time to prepare correctly. Managing inventory and trying to figure out exactly how much to make will be an ongoing challenge.
Offer a delicious quiche for breakfast and can be served hot or cold. These egg pies or tarts with potatoes, bacon, cheese, and vegetables are delicate and savory. You can prepare them beforehand and just pop them in the oven when you’re ready to serve them at your food truck business.
Related Reading: How I Sold Over 1 Million Protein Bars
English Muffin Breakfast Sandwiches
How does an English muffin with sausage, eggs, and cheese sound for breakfast? Assembling these types of breakfast sandwiches is also quick and easy and can be done in a limited space of a food truck. This aligns well with other food truck breakfast ideas like bagel trucks.
Granola bars may not be the most filling breakfast snack but it gets you through the hectic workday morning. It’s also easy to make with just simple ingredients involved. You can make these a day before and pack them up once they’ve cooled and sell them as part of your breakfast menu.
Serve up some breakfast hash by combining eggs, potatoes, bacon, and vegetables. It’ll remind your customers of home cooked skillet meals giving them a taste of comfort to start their morning. This is an extremely easy meal to make in bulk. You can cook a lot of hash and the same time and serve it into different plates. Also the main ingredient is potatoes in this recipe, which is extremely low cost.
A bowl of oatmeal is a great way to kick-start the morning. Have a make-your-own oatmeal station and let your customers choose which flavor of oatmeal they’d like such as chocolate, cinnamon, strawberry, or the classic plain one. You can also offer different toppings such as fruits and nuts. This is another menu idea with limitless topping combinations.