Wanna know how much a coffee truck can make?
Over $11,000 in one month on this coffee truck. Our margins were exceptionally high this month, with the overhead sitting at less than $2,000. Not every month comes in over $10,000 but I've had more than a few. On average, I see about $6,000 - $9,000 a month on the coffee trailer with 30-40 hours of work a week.
It's a large range because a lot can depend on the amount of money coming in from coffee cater or other events.
There was 3 large events that really propelled our income forward.
First Profitable Coffee Truck Event
The first was a hot chocolate contract I had gained the year previous. It was a local church who served hot coffee to their church members during the holidays at one of their masses. The host three different nights. Previously, we had catered one of their nights, however, this year they tripled their order. We served 6,988 cups of hot chocolate at 0.97 cents each. Cost per cup was 0.09 cents each.
6,988 cups x 0.97 cents per cup = $6,778.36
Are coffee trucks profitable?
Yes, especially when catering. Often new coffee truckers will want to look at the cost per cup, multiply by the cups sold so they can calculate total net profit. But the big flaw in math overlooks the catering side of coffee trucking.
Say there is an event planner who wants you to do catering. It's out of town and maybe late in the evening so you don't want to do. You quote the planner $499/hour. She then books you for 2 hours. At the event, you sell maybe 50 cups of coffee and sit around for 2 hours.
Total payout: $999.00 Cost per cup: $19.98.
Now, if I were to tell you that I sell coffee for $20 a cup, you would laugh! Funny thing is, that scenario happened!!!
Take home point: There is large money in coffee catering and it should not be overlooked.
Second Profitable Coffee Truck Event
The next large event was a holiday market where I sold hot coffee and hot chocolate at $3 each. Cost per cup was 0.24 cent each. On this event, I set up with hot chocolate and hot coffee (cold brew reheated on a camp stove, see recipe here) For this event, we just used a tent set up. I had the camp stove in the back (not under the tent) and a table set up under the tent with coffee and hot chocolate.
We grossed just shy of $2400. However, I had labor cost on this one. I had one employee help me set up and then pass out samples during peak hours.
Third Profitable Coffee Truck Event
The third event was a movie set from Netflix. I typically charge $299/hour for movie sets because we get bombarded with drink order (some 100 per hour). This one they needed me for 9 hours. I cut them a bit of a deal, but not much to be frank, as I was already over worked at this point. I charged $2250 for this one.
There were a few other events we did, however come the end of the month I was smoked and needed some desperate time off.
My second daughter was born on January 4th. I worked hard the month of December and decided to take the next 5 weeks off.
So can coffee trucks be profitable? I'd say so. But the more you work, the more you get paid.
Here's a YouTube detailing this month: