Updated: Mar 5
If you want to keep costs low second-hand food truck equipment is the way to go
When I started my first business in the mobile catering industry funds where tight and my concept was untested.
I didn't want to spend large amounts of money on something that could fail and I needed money for other areas of the business.
So I decided to buy most of my food truck equipment second hand from other food truck traders on platforms such as Facebook and eBay
But as the food truck industry has grown over the years there are a lot more places to buy used food truck equipment.
I will provide a list of places you can source used food truck equipment. From fryers and food truck grills to exhaust hoods and everything in between.
So if you are like me you and you are looking to save some money on food truck equipment read on.
Facebook Market place
Similar to gumtree (for those who know what it is), the Facebook marketplace is as the name implies a marketplace where people sell all types of used equipment.
You can often find a wide range of used restaurant and food truck equipment for sale.
You can also negotiate on price as its all private sellers.
I have to say, Facebook groups are one of my favourites resources for finding second-hand food truck equipment for sale.
There are niche groups within the main Facebook platform, where food truck trader advertise their second food truck equipment, food trucks or trailers.
It's also a very good place to get tips from the other food traders and to find out about what events are on. I've actually got quite a bit of new business with events in these types of groups.
Below are some groups for used food trucks and trailer equipment in the US & UK.
This is not an exhaustive list and I'm sure there are many other groups in your state or country selling used food truck equipment
I've never actually brought used food truck equipment from craigslist but doing research for second-hand food truck equipment I was surprised by the number of advertisements that came up with that term
Types of used equipment suitable for food trucks
A lot of catering equipment used in commercial kitchens can also be used in food trucks. However, a lot of equipment is advertised on the web as "used restaurant equipment".
This can pose difficulties when trying to perform a google search for "used food truck equipment".
So here is an example of the sorts of used equipment you can buy for your food truck on the websites you will below.
Rice cookers and warmers
Sandwich and panini grills
The type of commercial equipment used in a food truck will often be the same as in restaurants.
Below are some websites that specialise in buying and selling second-hand restaurant equipment.
You can buy all types of second-hand equipment such as washing sinks, refrigerators and cookers to name but a few
Burkett's sells reconditioned restaurant equipment and has been going since 1977, based in Ohio.
Thet sells all types of equipment such as panini grills, microwaves and ovens.
This site sells both new and used catering and restaurant equipment but have a section on their website eradicated to used equipment.
For example, they have second-hand exhaust hoods, griddles, grills and countertop gas broilers that can be used for your food truck or concession trailer.
A City Discount
A city Discount markets its website on selling "pre-owned & used commercial restaurant equipment with prices much less than MSRP (Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price).
Thet ship nationally often with free shipping.
They also have used catering equipment on their auction on eBay
This site specialises in restaurant equipment for commercial use and has been buying and selling catering equipment since 1966 (same year England won the World Cup).
They have warehouses In Detroit, Columbus and Philegpia and have a department that sells reconditioned equipment.
They also offer free nationwide shipping.
Cullincini Restaurant Supply
I would not say I have saved the best website until last but it is definitely the most comprehensive in terms of the used equipment they offer.
You shouldn't have any problem finding the right type of equipment for your food truck at Cullincini.
You will also find used food truck equipment on a number of auction sites where you can place bids for items that you may need.
Some popular ones for used catering equipment include:
Probably the best-known auction site, eBay offers a wide range of used food truck equipment that you can either bid on or buy now for a set price.
You can also contact the seller directly to see if they are willing to negotiate on the price
I actually bought my first second-hand concession trailer from eBay
Main Auction Services
Main Auctions is a family run company and have bee trading since for more than 35 years
They buy and sell second catering equipment and let you bid on there current stock.
At the time of writing, you can bid on items such as stainless steel work surfaces and food truck sinks.
Bid On Equipment (auction site)
This site is similar to eBay in that you can bid based on a minimum offer, buy now or contact the seller.
I'm impressed with the huge array of used catering equipment they have in stock.
They also have a dedicated concession food trailer section with items such as ice cream and coffee makers.
This is a government auction site that allows different government agencies to sell their surplus assets, such as used kitchen equipment.
Like Bid on Auction, they also have a very wide selection of used goods you can purchase suitable for your food trucks.
Buying used food truck equipment has its pro's and cons.
Aside from getting a shorter warranty with reconditioned goods than brand new stuff, there is always the risk of buying faulty goods from private sellers.
Gas-powered equipment tends to be more stable than electoral equipment as it tends to have fewer components to fail.
My philosophy is even if I can get a year or two out of a second-hand food truck fryer or exhaust it will allow you to make money.
And the money saved can be spent on other areas of the business like pitch fees or stock.