Not with a truck but I've worked in professional kitchens. You'll need a food handler's permit yeah, but they aren't that hard to get. Just need to know some basic food safety. Shouldn't be prohibitively expensive, at least they aren't in California. I think I paid like, $10? I'd expect to spend $50k-$70k on a proper "food truck." A cart would be way cheaper obviously. Whatever you use will have to be compliant with city health codes and whatnot.
It's good to have a profit goal but I'd also work out a rudimentary business plan first. You'll need to decide on a menu, figure out what you need to make it and what you have to work with (cart/truck/etc), how much that will cost you, how long the stuff will keep (taco shells will be fine longer than say fresh meat), figure out cost of insurance/permits, and then work out how much you need to sell every day just to break even on the costs and then work out what is feasible to do - obviously you can't sell 100 tacos a minute so there is some upper bound. It also doesn't make sense to buy 100 lbs of meat that will spoil in 2 days if your projected sales won't actually go through that much meat in 2 days. Stuff like that is good to work out beforehand but wowo do people just not do that and then end up with tons of spoiled food in their fridge that never even had a chance of getting sold in time.
For example; say you charge $10/plate for X which costs you $5/plate (let's just lump in the daily costs of insurance/permits/equipment/etc. in with the cost of ingredients), $5 profit per plate. To reach your goal of $300 you'd have to sell 60 plates, over 3.5 hours it's about 17 plates an hour. Then see if that makes sense - with those numbers it makes sense to me (but obviously I pulled those numbers out of a hat). If you have to sell 1000 tacos in 3 hours to break even because you're not charging enough then not so much!
I think a late night food truck or cart with munchies for college kids is a great idea.
granit wrote:biggest black hole for me is I don't know where to start legally other than I need a business permit and then the health codes associated with a cart or how permits work are beyond me at the moment.
Just going to have to bite the bullet and consult with an attorney specializing in that in your area, I think.