#FoodTruckFan: What Makes Food Trucks So Special?

Branding

I’ve been giving this question a lot of thought in the last nine months, since Pat first told us about his plans to start FoodTruckr. What is it, really, that makes food trucks so special? It’s food…from a truck.

When you break a food truck down to its components, it doesn’t sound that special. In fact, I have some friends (you could call them food truck haters) who are quick to point out the problems with food trucks: no seating, hard to find, and—my favorite objection—it’s food from a truck!

But clearly there’s something more, something greater than the individual components. Otherwise, people wouldn’t be so captivated by food trucks. If food trucks weren’t special, you wouldn’t have started one and your customers wouldn’t keep coming back. But you did, and they do. So what makes food trucks so special, really?

I have a few ideas, and then I’d love to hear yours. Here’s what I think are the magic ingredients that make food trucks special:

  • The permission to specialize: Nearly every truck has a “thing,” whether it’s three kinds of fish tacos or the perfect grilled cheese. When you open a restaurant, people push you to cater to everyone and every diet, but with a food truck, you’re allowed—even encouraged—to master one specific thing (fish tacos, please!). It transforms the truck from just another restaurant into a mission.
  • The joy of discovery: One of my friends says that every time she drives past The Grilled Cheese Truck, her husband insists they stop (whether he was hungry or not). The nomadic nature means that we never know when we’ll come across our favorite truck, and it inspires the same thrill as finding a forgotten childhood toy in our mom’s basement.
  • The sense of community: When is the last time you had a conversation with a stranger on the street? If a stranger tried to talk to me about anything beyond a request for directions, I know I’d be wary. And yet, I can think of a half-dozen great conversations I’ve had while waiting for my food truck order. It’s as if there’s a special “conversation safe zone” around the truck—everybody’s cheerful and ready for a chat.
You May Also Like...  How to Run a Food Truck 19: Promote Your Truck Through Yelp

Those are just a few ingredients in the magic alchemy of a food truck. What did I miss? Why do you think food trucks are special? Tell me in the comments below!

#FoodTruckFan posts are by Mindy Holahan.

***

Image by JeffreyW

Recently on FoodTruckr

How to Start a Food Truck 07: Learn About Commissaries FoodTruckrs, you’ve been doing great work lately in learning how to start a food truck—figuring out the basics of your business and getting started on all the research you’ll need to complete to put y...
Food Truck Friday: Advice For Mobile Kitchen Owners Who Are New To The Industry In the spirit of it being Food Truck Friday, we are about to unleash a ton of advice that is perfect for folks who are new to the mobile kitchen industry. If you can relate, then we highly recommen...
#FoodTruckFan: Winter Blues No More Winter is a tough time of year for a food truck fan living in the colder regions of the country. As I mentioned last time, I live in the Twin Cities. Today it's a balmy 11 degrees, but yesterday dropp...
Food Truckin’ Fest is a Texas-Sized Success Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to bring you a guest post from Mike Kelley, a software and business consultant from Arlington, TX. Mike approached us and offered to share his experiences from the T...
3 Ingredients To Create The Perfect Environment For Your Food Truck Employees Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Jeremy Adams. Jeremy is the President/CEO of Prestige Food Trucks, which is the world's leading custom food truck manufacturer. In his current...
FS008- Understanding Health Codes – A Conversation with Matt from the Minnesota Department of ... On today's episode of FoodTruckr School, I'm happy to welcome Matt Finkenbiner from the Minnesota Department of Health. Matt is here to help us understand more about the process of health codes...
How to Run a Food Truck 22B: More Marketing Tips for Advanced FoodTruckrs A couple weeks ago on FoodTruckr, we brought you six advanced food truck marketing strategies to help you grow your business and reach more new customers than ever before. Today, we’re so excited to b...
FoodTrucker Heroes: Where Ya At Matt From their tasty, lovingly homemade ingredients to their easy-to-follow location updates, some food trucks just get it. This week’s FoodTruckr Hero—Where Ya At Matt—is one of those trucks. Where Ya...
3 Reasons Why Your Food Truck Business Should Hire A Social Media Expert Is it finally that time? Is it finally time to hire a social media expert at your food truck business? If so, just know this: You are not alone. So many business owners in the food truck industry (...
3 Ways Food Truck Owners Can Continue Their Learning Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Jeremy Adams. Jeremy is the President/CEO of Prestige Food Trucks, which is the world's leading custom food truck manufacturer. In his current...
Things Not To Do When Trying To Grow Your Food Truck Business If you are thinking of ways to grow your food truck business, why not look at some of the things you shouldn't do? In this thinking, you will get a great perspective on what you should be avoiding. At...
2 Invaluable Keys To A Food Truck Entrepreneur’s Success Editor’s Note: Today we’re excited to present a post from Jeremy Adams. Jeremy is the President/CEO of Prestige Food Trucks, which is the world's leading custom food truck manufacturer. In his current...
How to Run a Food Truck 12: Overcome Roadblocks Last week on “How to Run a Food Truck,” we brought you a few key strategies to follow if you’re having trouble bringing enough customers to your ordering window. Dealing with slow periods is just one ...
Flashback Friday: Looking Back At FoodTruckr’s Top Party Food Ideas For The 4th Of July In the spirit of it being Flashback Friday, and the 4th of July being right around the corner, we are about to look back at FoodTruckr's top party food ideas for the -- you guessed it -- 4th of July! ...
FS017- Food Truck Propane Safety with PERC On July 1st, 2014, a horrific and tragic event happened in Feltonville, Philadelphia when a food truck exploded, injuring 13 people, including 2 critical injuries. Sadly, the two people who wer...

About the Author

Mindy Holahan is a staff writer and the #FoodTruckFan columnist. Indeed, she’s a big ole fan of food trucks, particularly if they sell fish tacos. She has a background in the hospitality industry, loves working with writers, and gets positively giddy about the intersection between cooking and science. Follow her on Twitter @HolaMindy for daily bouts of enthusiasm or on Instagram @HolaMindy for her adventures and epic failures in gluten-free baking.

Love it? Share it: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter