Auburn, CA: Auburn Food Trucks Bring Variety, Convenience to Campus

By  Melisa Hardie, Amanda Redfoot and Carol Nelson | Auburn University

Food trucks have become a familiar sight around the country and have recently emerged as popular dining options for those on Auburn University’s campus.

The first trucks arrived on campus last year, and Tiger Dining continues to work to bring new options to campus. Current campus food trucks include Tex’s Tacos, featuring Tex-Mex cuisine, and local favorite Momma Goldberg’s; others, like Kona Ice and Honeysuckle Gelato, continue to make trips to Auburn seasonally or for special events. The newest addition, Munch Food Truck, offers a fresh and healthy Asian menu. Another Tex’s Taco permanent venue at Terrell Food Court opens this month with an expanded menu and late night hours.

“With the growing popularity of ‘street food’ nationwide, the university recognized multiple opportunities for Tiger Dining to better serve students by increasing points of sale and decreasing lines,” said Jon Waggoner, interim director of dining services. “We wanted to create the exciting, healthy options that student feedback was indicating as a central demand and concern.”

The food trucks are part of Tiger Dining’s response to student demand for faster service times and increased variety of food options on campus.

“It started as somewhat of an experiment with different food options and space and turned into an extremely popular commodity,” said Gina Wells, Tiger Dining marketing manager. “First instinct drove us to reach out to trucks that were already successful in their home base and already had a great following. We then used our current knowledge of the traffic flow, class breaks and other known research on the campus to derive where they should be located and the best hours of operation for our customers.”

Waggoner said that one of their main goals is to encourage the social engagement of students, contributing to the “Living Learning Community” model, by providing popular, healthy options on campus and enabling students to return to studying more quickly, allowing them to enjoy the overall on-campus experience.

Tiger Dining created the name, Tiger Traxx, to represent the food trucks and they are regularly working to bring new variety and value to campus. Under the name Tiger Traxx, students, faculty and staff can follow the trucks on Facebook, Twitter and the dining app, which is part of the official Auburn University app, to access hours, locations and specials.

“The Tiger Traxx food trucks are always being updated in an effort to continuously provide new variety and value,” Wells said. “We’re always looking into the possibility of bringing new trucks on campus and welcome any suggestions that students may have or any food truck owners who are interested in approaching us to discuss their concepts. This spring semester we welcome a new Asian concept within a food truck called Munch, which offers a variety of fresh and healthy cuisine with choices like a Thai cucumber salad, veggie potstickers and a popular favorite, the bim bim bap – a rice bowl with pork, chicken or tofu and served with mushrooms, kimchi, bean sprouts, onion and topped with a poached egg.”