Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tales From The Truck: The Future of Food Trucks

Thursday, April 4, 2013 | 10:05 AM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments

A while back in my first blog post on the history of food trucks, I promised a follow-up post about what we see as the future for food trucks. Food trucks are far from hitting their peak. We are part of a market that is still developing and there are endless opportunities for prospective operators who want to open food trucks and sell the food they are passionate about, and think will fit a missing niche for consumers. Food trucks are great additions to any city around the world; they get customers out on the streets and in turn create a sense of community and interaction with your fellow city goers.

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In July 2011, Technomic, a food industry consulting firm, reported 91 percent of customers believe that mobile food trucks are not a passing fad, but instead a trend with "staying power." At the same time, however, existing regulations on parking in public areas has made it difficult for food trucks to get permits. As local governments realize the value of food trucks in terms of utilizing public space, fostering entrepreneurship, job growth, and tourism, they are more likely to ease local laws that restrict parking permits and other regulation on food trucks.

One aspect of food trucks that is exciting from a local innovation standpoint is how they act as an incubator for entrepreneurs to start a viable cash flow business. These entrepreneurs then have the ability to turn a successful food truck into a brick-and-mortar establishment to become a more stable part of the community. Think of it as a test trial before operators invest all of their time and money into a brick-and-mortar restaurant.

The recent growth in food trucks is driven by two major forces: the growth of food truck culture in new cities and the enhanced access to food that trucks provide in areas where choices may be narrow. Mobile food truck patrons appreciate the value and quality of mobile food and will continue to embrace the industry as long as operators deliver clean, delicious, and exciting products at a reasonable price. In addition to the mobile food truck culture and business growing, there will also be a wide variety of opportunities in supporting industries that will develop as the food truck market matures. Operators will be looking for better ways to run their trucks such as more eco-friendly power supplies, quieter generators, marketing partners, and information technology resources.

This is an exciting time for mobile food in America and the industry is growing fast. For example, I had a great conversation with a student a couple months back who was curious about the operation of food trucks, what it took to start it up, make the menu, and operate day-to-day. He explained to me that he and his roommate were selling Belgian waffles out of their dorm room and had a notion of starting a food truck; these are the kind of minds that will be running the mobile food truck industry in the future and I’m looking forward to it. The weather is getting nicer, so I hope to see you all for lunch soon!

Until next time...

The Hungry Hungry Husky food truck serves lunch Monday through Friday from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm.
Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see where the truck will be parked each day
and head over to to check out the H3's new spring menu!


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