Food Trucks

October 9, 2013: Food Trucks

Hot trends are not necessarily new. Sometimes they’re older concepts reborn, or a newer idea building on its strength. Food trucks are both.

The revitalized food truck industry has been going strong for some years now since creative food entrepreneurs first decked out the trucks and started serving exotic or fun foods. Many predicted the trend would cool off-but they’re wrong. By 2017 food truck revenues are expected to hit $2.7 billion (four times more than they generated in 2012).

Food trucks aren’t for cheap eats, either. Customers spend an average of $9.80 for lunch and $14.99 for dinner at trucks. Since most (67 percent) food truck devotees grab their meals there because they think it’s “fun” or a chance to try something new, make sure your truck conveys the right atmosphere for the neighborhoods you’re driving through and that your food choices are not the “same old” stuff.

While not as cheap as they were when they first burst on the scene (and some cities are overregulating the trucks, adding to expense and hassles), food trucks are still a great way to get started in the food business. The average startup cost is between $55,000 and $75,000, which is certainly less expensive than opening a restaurant.

But food trucks aren’t just for startups. They’re also great ways for existing restaurant owners to expand and build brand awareness, experiment with new menu items or expand to new neighborhoods.

The continued appeal of food trucks is part of the artisanal food trend. Market research firm Packaged Facts reports 46 percent of American adults “like to eat food or beverage products with artisan appeal.” And as we told you several weeks ago, that trend is likely to continue with the newest artisanal food “innovation”-food halls, which are opening up all across the country.

Photo Courtesy: Atomic Eats