Why Are Bicycle Mobile Restaurants Popular?

Jan. 19, 2020

Food trucks are slowly becoming obsolete as more businesses move to bicycles for their mobile restaurants. Bicycle restaurants provide a low-cost, low footprint alternative with several economic benefits and positive impacts on community development. When food trucks first came into the market a few years back, they received praise and recommendation from those running them, as a feasible alternative to brick and mortar restaurants. Today, bicycle mobile restaurants are receiving the same appreciation and come with various merits. Here is a brief look at some of the reasons why these pedal-powered food carts are becoming a mainstream trend:

a) They require low startup capital

Bicycle mobile restaurants need minimum capital to launch compared to brick and mortar restaurants and food trucks. A typical bicycle mobile restaurant costs around $5000 to start, which is significantly cheaper than purchasing a food truck. These carts also come pre-built with all the necessary appliances like coffee brewers and service counters. As such, this option is more suitable for low-income business owners that can quickly raise the capital requirement. 

b) Very easy to run and manage

Bicycle restaurants are very easy to run and can be managed by one person. This venture is the ideal sole proprietorship and does not require many employees. Because of this, you can quickly train others and set up several mobile restaurants in different places. However, you will still need basic management, accounting and sales skills to run a successful bike mobile restaurant. It is perfect for serving beverages such as coffee and accompanying confectionaries.

c) You can set it up anywhere 

Another reason why mobile bicycle restaurants are becoming more popular in developed regions is their minimum set-up requirements. Unlike brick and mortar restaurants, you can set up your bike anywhere you choose as long as zoning laws do not restrict it. Some best locations to set up your bicycle include in parks and outside clubs or even during local events and festivals. You do not need to own a piece of land or real estate to run your restaurant.

d) Hefty profit margins

Street cafes, especially those that operate from a mobile bicycle cart, are some of the most profitable businesses you can launch with minimal help. You can enjoy gross profits of up to 90%, which is way above the average gross of most street-run businesses. What’s more, these restaurants have low operating costs and do not necessarily require any skill pre-qualifications. 

e) Very flexible

You can run a bicycle mobile restaurant as a part-time venture in the evening or early morning or even occasionally during festive seasons. The flexibility you will enjoy is incredible and there are no low or high seasons. Unlike many brick and motor restaurants, that only receive demand during peak periods, you can move your bicycle mobile restaurant to the next hot hangout or event. This means you have access to peak periods all year round.

f) Eco-friendly

Ever since the green movement took off, customers and business owners have been in favor of products and processes that have the least impact on the environment. Bicycle mobile restaurants are very eco-friendly and have a low footprint. Unlike trucks, they do not release any fuel emissions. They are also easy to produce and take up fewer resources to manufacture. This makes it the perfect option for those with environmental preservation concerns.

Starting a bicycle mobile restaurant

Bicycle food carts are becoming quite trendy, which makes now the right time to invest in the startup. However, there are several things to review if you want to be the proud owner of a successful pedal-powered restaurant. Primarily, you should refer to the business plan as it contains all the critical details of your business. Nonetheless, you will require the following things for a start:

1. High-quality bicycle food cart

There are several different bicycle mobile restaurant designs available in the market, so finding one should not be a daunting task. However, not every model you come across will depict desirable features and conveniences. It all boils down to the food items you will be selling. If you plan to serve different varieties of coffee, then you need coffee carts. On the other hand, a stall-type bike would suit those who intend to serve fruit salads, bites and shakes. Make sure the cart has all the necessary appliances and infrastructure to meet your needs.

2. Permits and licenses

You will need to register the business, register for taxes, apply for an EIN and acquire all the necessary local, state and federal permits required for the business. It is also recommendable to form a legal entity like an LLC around your business to protect your assets in case you get sued. Also, remember to review the zoning restrictions and town regulations concerning running a bicycle mobile restaurant. Since the business deals with food, you will require a food-handling certificate and other accreditations.

3. The menu

The menu is what you are offering to customers, so it is vital to make it diverse. You do not necessarily need to have numerous choices in your menu unless you want to. Focusing on a specific niche like coffee lovers can prove fruitful. The goal here is to prepare delicious meal items and drinks that can keep customers coming back to your restaurant. It is also crucial to review competition, market prices to design your menu and pricing with these in mind. Also, the personnel handling food preparation, service and follow up must be skilled, courteous and proactive. 


Bicycle mobile restaurants are proving to be economical alternatives to food trucks. The benefits range from environment preservation, through low emissions, to huge profits and low minimum startup requirements. What's more, with EV and electric bicycle technologies, there are various options for those who want ultimate convenience and distinction in the market. When looking to start a bicycle mobile restaurant, make sure you have done your comprehensive research, including demand, target market, competition, location and cash flow projections. It is also essential to invest in high-quality equipment and service items. You can go a step further by building a strong brand and online presence around your business.