We usually think of food trucks as serving ’convenience food’ like hot dogs and gyros. Not anymore – there are food truck popping up all around the country serving everything from gourmet food to niche food items like the Taco Truck or the LA based Kogi who makes a fusion of Mexican and Korean food. The trend has been strong on the west coast and we are now seeing more and more of these mobile restaurants popping up on the east coast (mostly NYC). Food trucks like:
The question is, why ‘food trucks’ and is this a passing fad or should we expect to see more and more of these food on wheels companies in the near future? One blogger in NYC claims that, “In the not-so-distant future, storefront restaurants in Manhattan will be a thing of the past, and New Yorkers will buy meals exclusively from food trucks” [jaunted].
Most of these companies are starting up to build brand awareness and to offer another avenue of income for their existing restaurant. Others find this a lower cost alternative to entering into the restaurant industry without high start-up costs. Many new mobile food companies, however, run into other issues that can set them back including licensing, permits, regulatory issues, and other issues such as this comment by a west coaster in regard to restaurant owners and employees parking theirs cars to prevent the influx of food trucks:
“I work in 5700 Wilshire, where there’s typically a line-up of up to 10 food trucks. I’ve noticed that in recent weeks, employees from the restaurants across the street have been parking junky cars there in the morning and leaving them so the trucks can’t park at lunch time. They don’t seem to care about the tickets. Think the restaurants really losing that much business?”
Despite the issues, it seems that the food truck trend won’t be driving away anytime soon. Check out these unique and interesting niche food trucks that have opened up around the country: