Fast Casuals, QSRs Most Likely to Run Food Trucks

Gandolfo's New York Deli has been offing the "mobile" franchise for over a year now.

By Elissa Elan | NRA

Gandolfo's New York Deli has been offing the "mobile" franchise for over a year now. Image: Archieve

Fast-casual restaurants are most likely to roll out a food truck operation in the next year or two, National Restaurant Association research has found.

According to the 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 22 percent of fast-casual and 13 percent of quick-service and family-dining operators said they would consider adding a food truck component to their businesses.

But the research also found a majority of full-service restaurateurs regarded food trucks as competition for their brick-and-mortar establishments. In fact, most operators questioned said they likely wouldn’t run trucks as additional revenue stream.

“There are some restaurateurs who consider food trucks as competition,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s Research & Knowledge Group. “But some operators view the trucks as opportunities for established restaurants to expand both their operations and presence. Mobile foodservice has been and will continue to be a good way of extending an existing brand beyond the four walls of the restaurant.”

The report noted that many full-service operators did not believe food trucks would become more popular in future. Among fine-dining restaurateurs, only 16 percent said they thought the trucks’ popularity would increase in that segment, while 30 percent of family- and casual-dining operators though the trend would grow in theirs. Among fast-casual and quick-service operators, 47 percent of the former and 43 percent of the latter said they thought food trucks would become more popular.

Not that long ago we learned fast casual and quick service restaurants are the current leaders of the foodservice industry.  So it makes sense for them to get on board with a huge industry trend that has providen to have staying power–food trucks.  NRA noted from the 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast that 22 percent of fast casual restaurants and 13 percent of QSRs would consider adding a food truck to their business.  About those opposed to the idea, NRA spoke with the Senior Vice President of NRA’s Research and Knowledge group, and he said there are restaurant owners who consider food trucks as competition.  It’s a very valid stance, especially as food trucks compete with restaurants and other food trucks…one would think… However, just from observing the food truck scene in Indianapolis, many trucks join forces!  So who knows what will happen.  For more information, read the full story on the NRA website.