Food Trucks Matter
Food Trucks – The Trend That’s Not Actually a Fad
Remember that time when you forgot to pack your lunch and you had no decent restaurant around you? Or maybe you are recalling the time when your shift lasted a little too long, causing you to miss your meal. In times like these, you probably crave that “roach coach” that was usually stalking outside your workspace, coming at you with tasty nourishment.
In the past, food trucks were nothing really big. If you were lucky, you could get your hands on a couple of hot dogs or burritos that could hold your hunger until the next proper meal. Nowadays, however, food trucks have literally become mobile restaurants that bring you the meal you want.
It’s a tasty trend that you see everywhere – with people posting the dishes on their social media accounts. At the same time, they have become a necessity for those who are too busy to cook their own food – but still don’t want to skip on their daily meals.
The Affordable Solution
When you go to a restaurant, you end up paying on average of $20 to $30 – mostly because you’re paying not only for the food but also for the service. That waiter is not going to come at you continuously with refills simply because they’re nice.
However, when it comes to food trucks, the standard order is somewhere under $13 – which is godsend when you are struggling with an average to low income. This allows people to save money that would have otherwise gone to restaurants, where you can spend twice the sum on basically the same meal.
This is the reason why the industry revenue for food trucks saw a 12.4% increase over the last five years – and also the reason why we keep seeing more and more food trucks around the corner. In the USA, there are currently 4,130 food trucks driving from one place to another – and the numbers keep growing.
Thanks to this increase in popularity, the average food truck generates an average revenue of $290,556 – and the industry itself sports a total revenue of $1,200,000,000. This is a good number, considering that the costs for a food truck are somewhere around $85,000.
The industry is not growing because everyone is doing it. It’s growing because it brings profit – since people have to eat, after all.
The Location Matters
You may have a nicely-set food truck with the tastiest of foods – but if you place it in the wrong place, the chances are that you might not have such a good sale. So, the location is of utmost importance.
The most popular locations for food trucks are on populated streets or corners – in places of the city with the highest population. When rush hour arrives, people will prefer buying from a food truck rather than getting an expensive meal from a restaurant.
The next popular place for a food truck is more organized. Events attract people, and people need food. This is why, when an important event such as a festival, a deflation, or any other public celebration occurs, you will probably see a food truck around.
Food trucks are also hired to cater for private events. Weddings or private parties also gather a good number of people – all of which will need to eat. In these circumstances, the one organizing the event will call for the food truck that will prepare the dishes preferred by the majority – or by the one calling the shots.
Other popular places include industrial and construction work sites, as well as shopping malls. The conglomeration of people dealing with high effort levels will need food to keep their strength and go on with their workday.
It is also increasingly popular with millennials. Surveys show that they are more likely to appeal to a food truck rather than those who have reached a later stage in their life. This particularly happens in cities such as Los Angeles, where food trucks are literally around every corner.
A Variety of Gourmet Dishes
At some point, one might have a question: why would I go to a food truck when I could simply go to a fast food? In a way, you get food just as fast from both places. However, there’s a catch.
Fast foods are not known to be very healthy. Most of that food is processed to the core, fried in unhealthy fats – and most of the time, a three-day holiday, when you eat only fast food, would likely result in many extra kilograms.
For this reason, people keep looking for food trucks rather than fast foods. The dishes tend to be tastier – but at the same time, they are likely to retain the nutrients of the ingredients. It’s a healthier alternative to the kebabs, burritos, fries, hamburgers, and other typical foods you find in a fast food. You'll find when looking behind the person cooking your food that some of the most popular items they use to make your food are: countertop electric griddles (especially since gas is not as easy to hook up to a truck), fast portion steamers, food warmers, and ofcourse commercial fryers.
It goes without saying that you can find quick dishes such as hamburgers, fries, or chicken wings at a food truck. Still, they also focus on healthier gourmet food that more and more people seem to be attracted to.
Depending on the food truck, you may find a variety of dishes. Most of them use meat bought from local sources – fish becoming a more and more popular choice. Seafood has increased in popularity due to the fact that it’s lightweight.
The cuts are generally new and prepared on the spot – unlike fast foods, which generally reheat their pre-processed dishes upon ordering.
Furthermore, food trucks generally use artisanal fare ingredients, making them the more attractive, healthy choice. Combined with the unique spices and ingredients that they use, they are becoming increasingly more popular.
Last but not least, food trucks are leaning towards organic and natural ingredients – having established a working relationship with local growers and suppliers. This will mean a reduction in processed food – and a growth in food that can be consumed by children as well.
Do They Stay or Do They Go?
We can’t deny the fact that food trucks have seen a rise in popularity over the last few years – but is the hype going to wear off? Generally, rapid growth will see a just as rapid downfall – since people easily move from one trend to another.
Still, is this a fad? If so, when is it going to end? According to Hudson Riehle, the vice president leading the Research and Knowledge Group part of the National Restaurant Association, it won’t. He claims that “It is certainly a long-term trend, but it is certainly not a fad.”
This is mostly because people are seeing the convenience – and more and more vendors are getting permits to sell their foods in a food truck.
Normally, you would see restaurants being threatened by the competition, but they actually see it as an opportunity. More and more restaurants are considering buying their own food truck and expanding the business on the streets.
As long as there are people on the streets, they will eventually get hungry. Plus, since not all of them have the time or the money to sit back and relax at a table of a restaurant, the business is probably here to stay.
With fads, hype wears off as you see another aspect of interest – one that is actually easy to replace. However, as much as one may want, food cannot be discarded or replaced. It’s a primary need that must be fulfilled.
People probably had the same opinion about fast food before – it was an unhealthy fad that would end soon enough. However, the industry is still strong and kicking – since it’s an easy and convenient way to get your hands on food.
Similar to fast food venues, food trucks also represent a convenient way to get some food – and it’s a more affordable option, compared to restaurants. You get quality dishes that are healthy and come with a fair price.
So, are food trucks just a fad? According to surveyed people, it’s probably not. People love the option of having good-quality dishes available – without worrying that they will be drowning their bodies in calories without any nutrients.
If fast food lasted this long with all its unhealthy aspects, then it’s safe to say that food trucks will be here for just as long – and even more. People will always appreciate a good restaurant-level meal – and when it’s sold at such an affordable price, they will certainly not let go of it anytime soon.
Some people do consider it a fad – but that’s less than 1-%. In the event that it does die, it’s still something that will influence the future of the industry. No matter if the cycle will last long or not, this “fad” is a good idea that will have a positive impact on the future.
After all, people don’t need fads such as unicorns, memes, or fidget spinners. They do, however, need food – and that’s something that’s not going to change, as long as we remain humans.