Can an awning go on a food truck?

We recently attended a food truck festival, and many of the top trucks had an awning. I spoke with a couple owners to find out why they added the shade to their truck.

We also asked them ‘Can you put an awning on a food truck? If so, is it difficult?: Yes, you can add an awning to a food truck. It is also not an overly difficult truck upgrade.

Why would you want to add an awning to your truck?

Restaurants and bars have had awnings and shades over outdoor eating areas for years. Adding an awning creates a nice dry environment around the window when it’s raining or snowing. It also creates a shade for the cooler spot on hot summer days. The shade can also keep the truck cooler making creating a more pleasant atmosphere inside.

Can awnings be branded or at the very least increase the visibility?

One owner told us that his sales on rainy days went up 40% after adding an awning. Having the dry space for people to order and get their food led a lot of people to do his truck whereas they normally would have gone to a sit down restaurant or ordered grubhub.

Are food truck awnings different than RV awnings?

No. They are very similar. You want an awning that can be attached to the vehicle securely. It needs to fully close while the vehicle is moving. The only differences are that we prefer a more heavy duty frame for food trucks and to place the awning higher.

When you have an RV, the only people who enter or exit are going to be friends and family?

The food truck will have foot traffic from complete strangers. You don’t want someone running into one of the support poles. Additionally, on windy days you want to make sure they frame doesn’t really move since there will normally be people underneath the shade.

Do you need a motorized awning for food trucks?

No. A lot of owners go with the motorized option because space is at a premium. The motor fits in the frame so that it doesn’t take up space, and the remote control is quite small. If you go with a manual awning, you will need to keep the crank or pole inside the truck which is quite a bit smaller. We always recommend being outside your truck when you open or close the awning to make sure that no one is around while it’s moving. You don’t want the liability of hitting a pedestrian when you’re extending the shade. Being outside also protects you from people who may claim to be hit even if they were not.

Can I DIY an awning for my food truck?

We *STRONGLY* discourage this from a liability or negligence issue. Remember this is a place of business, and you will be held to a different standard than an RV. By going with an awning from a reputable company, you are lessening the culpability that a lawyer could go after in a lawsuit. Our favorite food truck awning cost less than $400, and the increased sales can recoup this amount after a few days

How much does a food truck awning cost?

You can get a small awning for the service window for less than $400. If you want a larger fabric based awning, we recommend spending around $800. You will want an solution-dyed acrylic fabric shade and aluminum/galvanized steel frame.

Wrapping up?

In closing, we hope that we’ve answered all your questions about awnings for a food truck. If you still have questions, feel free to contact us or send us a tweet. We do our best to respond to all tweets and emails.

Last Updated:August 30, 2023