A food truck is usually a large open motorized vehicle, typically with a seating area for as many as eight people, tote an assortment of groceries, prepackaged meals, snacks, beverages, and other treats, and sometimes contains the kitchen area where prepared food is cooked on board. Gettin’ Fresh – Grand Rapids Food Truck has some nice tips on this. Some, such as ice-cream trucks, simply sell prepackaged or frozen food; others have portable kitchens on board and prepare food as needed, or they simply heat prepared food in a traditional brick and mortar restaurant. Either way, they are a great alternative to a restaurant because the cooking and preparation take place at the customers’ tables. In addition, food truck owners can often use their vehicles as a means of tax deduction.
In the past decade, a great number of small restaurants have popped up around the country in towns, starting small and popular, such as at festivals like the Food Truck Festival which draws crowds of thousands to local restaurants and food trucks. Food festivals have even made their way onto television in the form of Food Network shows like Top Chef and Top Secret Restaurant. However, the food truck has experienced a resurgence of popularity thanks to the popularity of franchises, starting with the nationwide phenomenon of the Hot Wheel car restaurant. In these franchise programs, trucks deliver a single themed menu at designated locations, serving up everything from burritos to popcorn to ice cream.
With the success of franchises, many companies have jumped into the business by offering mobile gourmet trucks, often including a mobile kitchen area and counter. These allow hungry drivers to sit down and enjoy their meals, allowing them to continue down the road to keep up with their friends. The social media aspect of gourmet trucks has also allowed for expansion, as many of these trucks include a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, as well as an Instagram account. By using social media to get the word out about a local mobile food truck, as well as encouraging loyal customers to visit in person, food trucks can expand the customer base and boost revenue through the roof.