The Wall Street Journal has a great article up on NYC food trucks. Food trucks now derive a significant share of revenue from catering events and adorning their vehicles with paid advertising. These are two more competitive advantages gourmet trucks have over traditional restaurants.
In case you haven’t followed the food truck phenomenon, it is a surprisingly contentious issue. Much of the opposition to food trucks comes not from the public health commissioner but from the brick and mortar restaurants with whom the trucks compete. The start-up and maintenance costs of traditional restaurants are much higher, they have to pay property taxes and a staff, and they can’t drive their food to where the hungry bellies are. It is easy to imagine how frustrating it must be to scrupulously abide by costly zoning rules and steep commercial property taxes only to see a falafel truck pull up a few doors down from you and divert some of your lunch traffic. Sometimes, things get heated. The one advantage restaurants still have is the ability to draw revenue from the sale of table-side booze, but that, too, may be evaporating.
Fellow University of Arkansas alum Baylen Linnekin owns the subject of food truck freedom. He has written extensively about their business and social impact at Reason.com and has presented on their innovative use of social media at the Conable Conference on Cuisine, Technology, and Development, Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester New York. He is the Executive Director of Keep Food Legal, the first and only nationwide membership organization devoted to culinary freedom.