Food trucks have become a convenient alternative for chefs wanting to provide quality food in a mobile and less costly venue. However, they are not a new idea—just one that is changing in popularity!
Around 350 years ago, New York (then called New Amsterdam) began regulating food sold on the street. However, it wasn’t until nearly 200 years later in 1872 that the first food truck hit the roads. These early entrepreneurs’ first mobile diners were horse-drawn covered express wagons. :)
"The presence of street food vendors in New York City throughout much of its history, such as these circa 1906, are credited with helping support the city's rapid growth." Wikipedia
A lot has changed since the 19th century. The food trucks of the 21st century can be fairly elaborate and some produce food that rivals brick and mortar restaurants. One of the main draws to a start up is the costs associated with opening, a food truck can be more than half the investment of a brick and mortar restaurant. However, there are some downsides…it can take up to ten years in some areas to get a food truck permit!
This trend is unlikely to go away, as the historical data shows. While the industry is generating about $650 million in revenue currently, it is estimated that in the next three years will skyrocket to $2.7 billion!
While the infographic below showcases some popular food trucks around the nation, you can find more in your area here: http://foodtruckdirectory.com/.
And, for some of my local favorite food truck gatherings (and well attended already):