Buffalo: Food for Thought

Buffalo's "Lloyd" Food Truck

By Jim Fink | BizJournals.com

Buffalo's "Lloyd" Food Truck

As community leaders, especially the Buffalo Common Council, continue to wrestle with the rise of mobile food trucks, they should keep this in mind – a just released survey from the National Restaurant Association finds that the public wants them, and lot of them.

The survey found that 59 percent of those polled said they would frequent a truck, if one was operated by one of their favorite restaurants. The survey was conducted between Aug. 25 and Aug. 27 and polled a cross-section of 1004 adults.

Last year, a survey asking the same question found that 47 percent of those polled said they would give business to a food truck.

In other words, food trucks are cool. They’re chic. They are wanted.

Want proof of the popularity of food trucks? Go look at the line up by Lloyd’s taco truck when he is parked along Main Street during the lunch hour.

Among the facts culled from the NRA survey found:

• That one-fifth saw a food truck in their community this summer.

• More than one-quarter of those who saw a food truck, bought something from the operator.

• In the northeast, 24 percent of those polled said the saw a food truck. Only the West Coast had a higher response at 29 percent.

So what’s the take away from all this?

Food trucks are popular and their popularity is growing.

“Convenience is a major driver in restaurant growth,” said Hudson Riehle, NRA senior vice president of research. “Food trucks are certainly a convenient option by essentially bringing the restaurant to the consumer. Mobile foodservice can be a good way to extend an existing restaurant brand beyond the four walls of the establishment.”