By Diane Duncan | Butter Buds Foodservice
One of things I enjoy most about working in the food service industry is having a courtside seat at the game of ever-changing food trends − whether it’s fish tacos, bison burgers or gourmet mashed potatoes. Over the past several months, I’ve become fascinated with food trucks, to the point where I’m about to plan a trip to Southern California just to experience firsthand what’s going on in the food truck Mecca.
If you’re unfamiliar with the new mobile food movement, here’s the quick rundown. While it still includes hot dog, hamburger and sandwich carts and trucks – like those that work the construction sites – modern food trucks are often owned and operated by skillful chefs, with menus similar to what you’d see in many fine dining establishments. These days, food trucks serve Korean-barbecue, gnocchi and crème brulee.
Why the fascination? For starters, the creative marketing approaches taken by the owner/operators. Using social media tools, like Facebook and Twitter, they broadcast their locations, schedules, specials and “real time” updates that affect their operations – such as hazardous weather or quantities of offerings remaining (“Only five mushroom crepes left, hurry on down!”). Then there are all the fun food truck names. Los Angeles has the Papas Tapas Truck, South Florida is home to The Rolling Stove and my local favorite, The Angry Friar (a double-decker bus serving authentic British fish & chips) is located at the University of North Texas campus in Denton, TX.
According to MobileFoodNews.com, an online publication that’s a trusted resource to owner/operators and vendors in the industry, “In some cities, like L.A., Austin and New York, food trucks are quickly becoming an established part of the happening restaurant scene. It won’t be long before it’s common place for Fodor’s and Zagat to list food trucks as ‘not to be missed’ recommendations for tourists and foodies.”
My interest in food trucks is actually more than a hobby. The industry boom has been beneficial for my company, Butter Buds Foodservice. As you’d expect, food truck owner/operators need to be super efficient, especially with regard to ingredient inventory and labor costs. Over the past several months, our Buttermist and Garlic Buttermist products have been landing in food trucks, in part because they not only serve as excellent pan sprays, but also perform flawlessly as food sprays. For Food trucks churning out panini sandwiches, spraying natural butter flavor onto bread rather than melting and applying with a pastry brush is a great convenience.
These products are also good news for owner/operators concerned with putting healthier grilled sandwiches on the street. Both Buttermist products add zero calories, fat and cholesterol!
Next time you see a food truck in your area, take a peak, and don’t be surprised if they’re serving up crepes, tacos or spicy Korean food. This is certainly not your father’s mobile food industry!