What’s in a name? Quite a bit if you’re in the food truck business. After all, the name of your truck will play an important role in formulating that critical first impression with potential customers. When someone hears about your food truck they immediately form opinions about the cuisine on your vehicle, your personality, and other ideas on what it might actually be like to dine at your mobile restaurant.

So… Still struggling to find a name for your food truck? This article should help you with some real-world suggestions that haven’t already been claimed. We’ll share a few ways you can be strategic about how to name your food truck and share examples of businesses that employ similar methods to title their own business.  Ready for a landslide of food truck name ideas? Let’s do this!

Name Creation Strategies:

keep calm, truck on

Tell People Exactly What You Serve

Prospective customers will make prompt decisions about whether or not to eat at your stand. In fact, many will invest less than a couple second determining where to invest their lunch dollars. Make sure you don’t select a name that confuses people. One way to ensure people are clear what you do is to name your food truck after the featured nearby item. It’s simple, but it works. Here’s what we mean.

A couple businesses that have pulled this off successfully include The Grilled Cheese Truck, a franchise based out of Southern California, and The Bacon Truck out of Boston. When you hear or read these names there’s nothing ambiguous about it. You know exactly what you’re getting into when you visit these trucks. It might be obvious, but there are plenty of examples of food trucks successfully using strategy to name their truck. As long as your able to execute well on the food item of choice this can be a simple and effective way to come up with a name.

Personality

Another way to grab attention for your truck is to express a bit of your personality. One of the best (in our opinion) in the business at this is Hey!… You Gonna Eat or What? based in Austin, Texas. I mean seriously… When you hear this name you’re pretty much obligated to at least look at the menu.

Of course, Hey!… You Gonna Eat or What? is much more than just a catchy name. They’ve won numerous food truck competitions based on the quality of their food as well. A catchy name can help capture the imagination of a potential customer, but the food is what’s going to keep them coming back.

While it’s helpful to add a jolt of personality into your truck, you want to be aware of how people perceive you. Not everyone has the sense of humor and you certainly don’t want to come up with a name that’s offensive to some people. If you have a name that’s too far out there you’ll have a tough time vending at family-friendly events like fairs or festivals.

Get Nostalgic

motley crue

Nostalgia is a power emotional tool. It has the power to take us back to the simpler times of our youth or depending on who you talk to bring back bad memories of high school they’d rather forget.

But, if you can find a way to tap into nostalgia appropriately it can lead to a powerful promotional advantage. Take for example Motley Crews Heavy Metal Grill based out of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, who have capitalized on the power of 80s rock to help capture the imagination of their fans. I’m personally waiting for that special someone to come out with a Backstreet Boys inspired food truck to relive my high school glory days.

Related Reading: Download My Food Business Canvas with Template

Use a Name Generator

Finally, in case you haven’t heard, there’s this thing called Google that can really help you with a lot of stuff. After a few quick searches we here at the FoodTruckEmpire.com team found that there’s a handy post over at Shopify.com that directs you to 10 different online tools that will (almost) automatically come up with a memorable brand name without the need for any imagination. Why waste time trying to be clever when you don’t have to?

Finally, while it certainly helps to understand branding in food truck space, you’ve still got to get the basics right if you want to be successful longterm. Serve great food and make sure you can get that product out the window fast. And if you’re really serious about starting a food truck, be sure to check out this article on writing a business plan. It’s one of the most important steps you can take to set yourself up for success.

Ice Cream Truck Name Ideas

The ice cream truck is a staple of the suburban America of yesteryear. This is the ideal business to use the nostalgic naming approach described earlier in the piece. When we think of the ice cream man, we think of simpler times back in the day. Here are a few ideas that could work well:

  • The Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Cart
  • Nostalgia on a Stick
  • Simpler Time’s Ice Cream
  • Heritage Novelty Desserts
  • Classic Cream’s
  • Way Back Treats
  • Timeless Memories Treats
  • Authentic Delicacy
  • Pittsburgh Ice Cream Company
  • Rolling Retro Pops

This is one of the simplest types of mobile units to start, especially if you plan on serving novelty treats. Based on our industry survey of owners, ice cream trucks bring in $200 – $300 per day in average gross revenue. If you’re in the market for a used ice cream truck, check our online marketplace.

BBQ Truck Name Ideas

BBQ is yet another timeless mobile food menu. Hundreds of years before the modern food truck movement became a thing, people have been smoking and grilling meats in all sorts of mobile environments.

There are a lot of naming strategies that can be applied to this business model. First, you could name the business after yourself. Dave’s BBQ Catering has a nice ring to it. Including your name creates more of a personal connection too.

But showing some personality works well in this space too. There are dozens of competitive BBQ teams  using a smoked butts pun right now. This type of truck just more easily lends itself to that sort of thing.  Here are a few suggestions you could try:

  • Pete’s Amazing BBQ
  • Steve’s Steller Que
  • Madeline’s Meat Magic
  • Slow Smoked Buttz
  • Rocking Ribs
  • Momma’s Big Rack
  • Lucy’s Finger Lickin’ Barbecue
  • Ray’s Legendary Chicken Wings
  • Harry’s Happening BBQ
  • Rolling Brazilian BBQ

If you’re looking for a BBQ smoker trailer right now, you can check out our used inventory.

Mexican Food Truck Name Suggestions

The taco truck has been around since well before food trucks were even cool. Tacos are the perfect street food with a hard or soft-shell delivery method to transport food from truck to hand to mouth. These products pretty much sell themselves and don’t need much of an explanation. Here are some random thoughts that could help you with a lightbulb moment:

  • The Tantalizing Taco
  • Back in Black Burrito
  • Latin Sunrise
  • Rolling Through Mexico
  • A Hint of Tequila
  • The Organic Burrito
  • Flying Fish Tacos
  • Driving South of the Border
  • Carla’s Catina
  • Jose’s Jalapeño Bites
  • Victor’s Victory Tacos
  • Packing Al Pastor

Grilled Cheese Food Truck Names

For whatever reason, grilled cheese is a fun food. Maybe it’s because it’s a food associated with childhood? We may never know the answer, but this staple lunch or dinner option is the ideal product to serve from a mobile unit. Here are a few inspiring name you can try:

  • Say Cheese!
  • Italian Grilled Cheese Van
  • Who’s the Grilled Cheese Man?
  • Gourmet Grilled Cheese
  • Two Slices of Bread and Two Slices of Cheese
  • Velma’s Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
  • Mac and Grilled Cheese

Dessert Food Truck Names

Frozen Yogurt Truck in Action.

Dessert food trucks come in many specialties: cookies, donuts, churros, pies, cupcakes, frozen treats, candy or other baked goods. The strategic advantage of starting a dessert truck is these pair perfectly with other food trucks that usually focus on meals like dinner or lunch. As a dessert truck, you’re not directly competing with these sorts of concessions and can get invited to a lot more events because you add value to the dining experience. Here are a smattering of ideas you can use for inspiration:

  • California Cupcakes
  • Rolling Bake Shop
  • Delightful Desserts
  • Panic Button Pies
  • Dang Good Donuts
  • Cassies’s Cookie Kitchen
  • Teddie’s Treats
  • Betty’s Roaming Bake Sale
  • Chatting Churros
  • Bonanza Bakery
  • Kaleidoscope Cupcakes
  • The French Way Desserts
  • Dark Chocolate Dessert Truck

Terrible Names to Steer Clear Of

There are some names that should be banned forever. These are the worst of the worst. The ones you’ll wish you never heard of. By all means, do not use these. They are really bad.

  • Shrimp Pimp
  • Me So Hungry.
  • Dave’s Got Crabs.
  • The Dump Truck.
  • Recycled Food Truck.
  • The Greasy Weiner.
  • I Dream of Weenie.

I truly hope this post will help you come up with a memorable food truck name that peaks peoples curiosity and encourages them to try your truck. Remember, even if you come up with the catchiest food truck name of all time, you won’t be in business very long if the food doesn’t deliver.

Want to start your own food business?

Hey! 👋I’m Brett Lindenberg, the founder of Food Truck Empire.

We interview successful founders and share the stories behind their food trucks, restaurants, food and beverage brands. By sharing these stories, I want to help others get started.

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