Food Trucks: An Old School Concept becomes a Hot Trend

A recent article on American Express’ website, Restaurant Briefing, indicates the most recent hot trend in the food industry is food carts and trucks. The trucks offer a wide variety of cuisines and sell their food on the streets of cities.  In Los Angeles, consumers drive miles to get to certain trucks and then stand in line for service.

Now some full service restaurants are joining the trend. They are purchasing or leasing trucks equipped with full kitchens.  Trucks tend to follow set routes and/or park at street fairs, colleges, athletic events, cultural attractions, or office complexes. The trucks are covered in design with the restaurant’s logo and graphics, which serve as a mobile billboard and advertisement.

Social Networking Builds Interest

Social networking plays a big part in this trend as food trucks “tweet” or announce their location, and vice versa, consumers blast out the info via email, Facebook and Twitter to their friends and social networks.

Mary Sue Milliken, co-owner of Border Grill, Santa Monica, CA, says they take their food truck selling tacos to spots where there is already a crowd, and where good food is not easily available. This can include sporting events, art shows, marathons, and various charity events.

Trucks are Mobile Marketing

Many restaurants have trucks selling food as a way to promote and build interest in their main restaurant. The trucks are also ideal for catering and corporate events. With the recession and many companies cutting back on offsite meetings, the truck comes to the location and prepares food for various types of meetings.  Trucks can even do things such as clambakes or luaus where everyone gets involved.

Those interested in getting into this new trend will have to consider costs. Trucks can be leased or purchased.  Some find used trucks to outfit with a kitchen. Many food service trucks have eco-friendly policies. All say learning the nuances of health and transportation departments’ rules and regulations can be a challenge.

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