Are Malls the Best Location for Food Carts?

Today’s question comes from Erik (not his real name) and he asks:

I just came from a franchise presentation from a food cart company and the sales assistant said that as a beginning entrepreneur, I should not target malls as my location. Why so?


Good question. I actually agree with the sales assistant.

If you are a first-time entrepreneur, then food cart franchise is the recommended business for you because it gives freedom and opportunity to invest money without much effort of researching for particular target market in your business.

As a franchisee, you must be deliberately considering the strategic location for your food cart business. Of course, you will go where the fishes are. Usually, we see different food carts in crowded places such as transport terminal, schools and universities, business areas, and markets. Sometimes, many put their carts in residential areas, even to their garage to save space, rent and operating expense. There are locations which do not require business permit or license, it really depends on the location you choose.


%Franchising Philippines

Why malls are not (always) the best?

When it comes to malls and commercial centers, home-grown concepts are dominating the local franchises with food cart businesses from big time companies leading the pack. Malls permit food carts depending on their feature and quality. The typical food carts you see in the streets are unfortunately not allowed to operate inside malls for some reasons.

– First, they don’t physically conform to the policy or standard of the mall when it comes to the features and built of the cart. This also refers to the concept design of your cart. It involves specifications such as the size, selling area, and type of materials.

–  Second, and this is more important, since they are small types of food cart, the revenue is limited and not that too high compare to the high-end ones. Rent fees in the mall are overwhelming. As a tenant or franchisee, you must be able to prepare big sum of money for the advance deposit and monthly rent.

Today’s entrepreneurs opt for food cart business despite the consequences they might face in the future. But one thing for sure, food cart is much cheaper than putting up a restaurant. In fact, some giant fast-food chains are making use of food carts and kiosks to maximize sales, promote their name, and advertise new products as well. They use food carts all over Metro Manila particularly in train stations and crowded areas — those which are not in mall. And so should you!

Ask the Franchise Coach is where I answer (when time permits) personal emails about franchising and small businesses. Send your questions to: ask[at]foodcartfranchisephilippines[dot]com.

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  1. Miles Laurie Corrales says

    If I like to have a food cart at the mall, can the food cart be at a location which I don’t have to pay for rent?

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  5. Gigi says

    Hi there to all aspiring entrepreneurs! I’m a chef here in Montreal and yes I’m a pinay that’s been in the food industry for almost a fact I got a scholarship in culinary arts and will start my school this month.been on the local papers back in Vancouver when I started a cafe that’s sold our chicken adobo n asado using focaccia bread and they were a hit to Canadian palate.anyhow I’m interested to help u guys start your own biz without paying any franchise fee.all you need to do is sell my products,get your own space and I can provide the food concept is a Japanese style hamburger n fries.will call it “hambaagaa “Japanese word which means hamburger.ok here’s the concept.will make burger patty japa style that’s all natural ,no processed food and no artificial ingredients.also we will server the fries drizzled with some homemade Japanese sauces.sounds interesting? Ofcourse especially if its affordable.we can do that cuz you’re not paying any franchise fee .all you have to do is find your own space,cart and staff to man the get your supplies from us We will be your exclusive supplier.i hate paying malls to sell my product.its ridiculously expensive.itll eat up a big chunk of your biz.been there done here to help you guys. I want to help people who want to help themselves .only serious commissary will be in pampanga.

  6. Ed Ferrer says

    Is it possible to get a franchise from different franchisers only on the food items sold? I intend to put up a student’s center like a mini food court. Also would be interested to know the average percentage of cost of food delivered to selling price.

  7. Ed Ferrer says

    Just interested if it is possible to have a franchise where I just get the food supplies from different franchiser which I intend to sell in my own little canteen (sort of like a mini food court). Also would be interested to know what sort of gross margin a franchisee gets i.e. % of selling price – food cost. Thanks

  8. Liz says


    Gudeve! I’m planning to go in food cart business. I just want to know how the contract process. And if I’ll go with 2-1 food cart; can I choose Happy waffle and Burgeroo?

    Your response is very much appreciated.

    More Power!

  9. jojo says

    what is the risk in getting a foodcart franchise?can i really earn or recover for my ROI for a short period of time as they promise?

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