An Appetite for Building Community

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An Appetite for Building Community
An Appetite for Building Community

Submitted by Hannah Hook on 5/16/2019

Food. The cornerstone of every culture. The element that brings us together around the table. We receive a snapshot of another place across the world by tasting a traditional dish. We imbibe with our friends, sharing laughter and flavor. We teach our children tradition by cooking grandma’s recipe.

The recent food truck industry boom gives us the opportunity to dive into international traditional, homecooked cuisine and modern twists of culinary fusion while simultaneously building a local culture in our urban areas. The entrepreneurial dream of opening a food truck is harbored by safe and reliable vehicle shipping due to the buying and selling of trucks all over the world. Shipping food trucks that couldn’t survive a cross-country drive has allowed for a booming industry to take hold that is open to anyone that can cook, and not just those who already have start-up capital.

The food truck industry is growing rapidly at nearly 8% per year (The Economist, 2017). This is no surprise because of the grassroots mentality of the industry and its ease of entry. There are now over 4,000 food trucks in America (The Economist, 2017), employing over 14,000 people (Sure Payroll, 2019), and earning an average of $290,556 annually per truck (Food Truck Nation, 2016). The majority of these entrepreneurs purchase a used food truck to start their businesses instead of attempting to build a new one from scratch or purchase a brand new one.

More often than not, these used food trucks are not available in the purchaser’s immediate area and are instead found nationally via food truck dealer websites. The equipment in these trucks, such as flat grills, fryers, freezers, refrigerators, and ovens, usually renders them too heavy to be economically driven long distances. Therefore, one of the start-up requirements for breaking into this industry is to find a shipping company that will take the food truck
from one location to another safely and cheaply.

By applying a focus on the food truck industry, companies like A-1 Auto Transport can recognize an untapped niche shipment market and be a part of an international modern culinary movement. Food trucks provide economic opportunity because of the relatively low start-up cost, ease of entry into the market, rising popularity among young people, and vehicle for growth. Individuals and partnerships that are passionate about the culinary industry, have a unique idea, and a taste for what’s delicious are over hip, urban areas and providing quick options for customers to explore the cuisine of all shapes and sizes from all corners of the world.

There is even a food truck in Singapore, Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice & Noodle, that is the recipient of a Michelin-star (Levius, 2017), proving that the best dining doesn’t necessarily have to be the most expensive. His S$2 ($1.42) chicken rice dish has made headlines and brought patrons from all sorts of economic backgrounds together to enjoy, allowing him to expand into a restaurant that seats 80. These trucks and hubs of trucks are places where all types of people gather to appreciate affordable street food fusion from all over the world while supporting local business and building community.

ake the food truck Curry Up Now out of the Bay Area, for example. They were the first Indian street food truck in this area but had the twist of serving the Indian food burrito-style. Within less than a decade they have expanded from one truck to four trucks, six restaurant locations, and two cocktail bars (Kapoor, 2017). Stories like this are more common than expected, but with the rise of this culture and community, only more success will be seen. There are even news outputs specifically for food trucks, like Mobile Cuisine, associations that food truck owners can join, and alliances that are built from attending the same festivals and events.

Consumers are equally committed to the food truck movement, with organizations like Roaming Hunger researching and recommending the best trucks in different areas. Some chefs choose the food truck industry after long and successful careers because they are tired of a corporate community, and want to return to a more local, individualized, and grassroots structure. Some chefs choose the food truck industry because they want to ensure that their national food is properly and genuinely represented in the market.

Some chefs choose the food truck industry because their passion lies in underrepresented specialized fare, such as vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free food. These highly unique touches and twists on the culinary industry are the reason that food trucks are so interesting and so quickly popular, allowing the customer to go on a gastronomic adventure, allowing the chef to take risks and try something groundbreaking, and allowing the community to have a more diverse collective palate.

As the food truck movement continues to gain a larger and larger presence in the culinary community, services like shipping food trucks will only become increasingly in demand. There are a number of opportunities for shipping companies to find tandem success with this industry boom. Not only are there plenty of food truck dealers to partner within shipping trucks all over the country as they are sold, but shipping companies can also network with food truck owners to provide services for them as they upgrade to new trucks or expand to multiple trucks. Infiltrating this market provides a new, niche business opportunity that supports small local business and engenders community culture.

In sum, the current popularity of food trucks gives rise to other related industries, such as the shipping industry. When a company moves a food truck from one location to another, they are not just moving a truck. They are moving economic opportunity, they are moving entrepreneurship, they are moving job growth, they are moving social networking, and they are moving community hubs. By being associated with food trucks, related businesses are the building blocks of a new urban culture that celebrates cuisine shares international customs, fuses traditional recipes, breaks old school culinary rules, and innovates the future of food.

Submitted by Hannah Hook on 5/16/2019

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