From Los Angeles to New York, street food is springing up everywhere. Projections suggest that by 2020 food trucks will be a billion dollar industry. Since 2009 the food truck business has grown 80%. Food trucks are here to stay and here’s 20 reasons why this trend is so hot.
20. Changing Perceptions
Gone are the days when mobile kitchens were called “Roach Coaches”. People understand that street food businesses are held to the same (sometimes higher) safety and sanitation standards of any restaurant.
Lunch wagons give an inexpensive meal for the budget conscious foodie. Traditionally, street food is less expensive than conventional dining options.
18. Social Media
Chuck wagon operators are masters of digital communication and they use it to drive sales. Their tweets, blogs, Pinterest entries and Facebook pages are constantly evolving marketing platforms that the public has embraced.
17. Lower Overhead
Mobile kitchens have a cheaper operating cost than brick and mortar restaurants. With no rent to pay or buildings to support, food trucks can run a lean and lucrative operation cheaper than their traditional dining competitors.
16. Lower Startup Cost
To open a fixed location restaurant requires two to three times the amount of capital than it does to start a food truck. Realistically an entrepreneur with 75 thousand dollars could have an operating food truck business.
15. Location, Location, Location
The mobility of a chow wagon gives the owner the freedom to change his site daily, even every few hours if he so chooses. That pizza shop that you go to can’t drive their building to fairs, festivals and events.
Lunch wagon operators are a tight-knit community that work together so that everyone benefits from each others business. One food truck parked on the street may go unnoticed by a hungry lunch crowd. Four food trucks on a corner creates a scene.
A big rig is a rolling billboard. Every minute that they are on the road they are advertising. The sight of a wildly colored step van covered with logos in a business district generates buzz and drives sales.
12. Fast Food
You want your lunch hot and fast? A food truck provides time starved diners a quick bite without the waiting time of a sit down restaurant.
11. Healthy Options
A lot of mobile kitchens are serving deep-fried candy and hot dogs but many are serving vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals to cater to healthy tastes. Some food trucks have gone so far as only serving health options.
Consumers like choices. A few food trucks parked on the street give hungry people a custom tailored menu where they can mix and match their meal according to their tastes. You can have dim sum for an appetizer, walk over to another truck and get burritos and if you’re still hungry, check out a frozen yogurt cart.
Every conceivable ethnic, cooking style, and regional food are represented by food trucks. Consumers can eat Maine lobster on the west coast or California cuisine on the east coast. Diners can dig in to Korean, Italian, French, Thai, Ethiopian, Greek, American or Japanese cuisine. If you’re a food truck follower, the world is your oyster.
8. Fusion Flavors
Japanese tacos? Yes. German Gyros? Bring it on. Mexican Pizza? More please. Creative chefs are pushing the fusion envelope to create unique, interesting and tasty offerings to delight adventurous foodies.
7. The Fame Game
Tom Colicchio, Spike Mendelsohn, Jamie Oliver and Jose Andres have run food trucks. Some famous Chefs use mobile kitchens to test concepts and recipes for their restaurants. Food trucks allow celebrity Chefs to experiment with recipes without risk and reach a broader market. This trend will continue because people love celebrities.
6. Fun Factor
Street food is an inexpensive entertainment option. Owners try to offer an enjoyable dining experience to their patrons on the street. Workers can escape their cubicles and experience a carnival like atmosphere on their lunch break. The brightly colored rigs are fun, the food is fun and the folks taking your order are fun.
5. The American Dream
Socially conscience foodies understand that street food vendors provide jobs and a community in the cities where they run. People are more willing to give their hard-earned cash to a local business owner than a faceless corporation.Street food vendors also boost sales in the retail areas where they work. If your retail business is lagging, consider inviting a food truck to your business.
4. Fresh Air
When the weather is pleasant, nothing is better than getting outside. A quick stroll in the park to a lunch wagon is what the doctor ordered to lift the spirits of eaters in the concrete jungle. Who wants leftover Chinese in the office that you spend 50 hours a week in?
From the evolving menu options to new units on the scene, food trucks present a novel approach to eating out. Mobile cuisine provides an interesting dining niche to consumers who have grown tired of being constantly barraged by messages from chain restaurants and corporate fast food.
2. Fresh and Local
Mobile kitchens are bringing the farm to table concept to cities across the world. Chefs are buying proteins, dairy and produce from local sources and producing better food than some brick and mortar restaurants. Consumers can taste the difference between those micro greens grown down the road as compared to the salad processed in a factory hundreds of miles away.
1. Street Food Tastes Good
Whether it’s a burger or escargot, street Chefs are creating amazing meals. The variety, quality and deliciousness of mobile cuisine is staggering and embraced by the world. From savory, upscale dinners to artery clogging deep-fried desserts, street food tastes good and as a result, food trucks are here to stay.