A recent survey by the National Restaurant Association (aka “the tastier NRA”) gave brick-and-mortar eateries a little extra incentive to consider jumping on the food truck bandwagon. According to the research, 59 percent of hungry Americans said they would visit a food truck if their favorite restaurant offered one.
Honestly, we’re a little surprised that the number wasn’t higher. Think about it. You’re shopping, you’re hungry, you turn the corner and see a four-wheeled version of your favorite restaurant. Why wouldn’t you visit that truck? Actually, the answer probably lies in the one thing food trucks can’t offer that brick-and-mortar restaurants can: Atmosphere.
But the lack of ambiance doesn’t seem to be slowing the food truck movement, which has been in high gear for several years now. Even though the food truck trend seems to be concentrated in the West and Northeast, those in the South and Midwest can still get their fix thanks to TV shows like The Great Food Truck Race on the Food Network.
The same National Restaurant Association survey revealed that 18 percent of people spotted a food truck in their community this summer. That number, we’re guessing, swells to 147 percent among those living in Los Angeles. As for how people find food trucks, 73 percent said they “just saw it on the street,” 54 percent took their pick in an area where food trucks are known to gather, 39 percent heard about a particular offering from a friend, and 13 percent got the tip from social media.
Admittedly, the food truck trend – if you can still call it a “trend” because the practice is really here to stay, it seems – is a topic we’ve been meaning to cover more often here on the Pavone Food blog. We’ll finally follow through on that intent with several food truck blog entries in October. Stay tuned.