Monday, August 31, 2015

Food (Truck) for Thought: Why I Want To Love Them But Just Don't

I've been to quite a few events and festivals with a row of Food Trucks - especially this year. I really want to love food trucks - but there are just a few things I can't wrap my head around. I'd love to have a discussion around this with proprietors and consumers and see if anybody else feels the same way I do. So that said - if you own one, know someone who does or just eat at them - let me know your thoughts.

There is one food truck I love -

Empanadas Aqui is my favorite. Now I love them because they're awesome people and they serve awesome food. But they do the a couple things that many others don't - and that's what is stemming this post - their food is easy to eat when standing and it's less than $5.

Here's a few points to consider:

  • When are festivals? In the butt-ass heat of summer. It's 95 degrees in the blaring sun and there's no shade to be found.

  • What are you doing at a festival? Standing. Holding my purse and cell phone and a beverage - and probably taking a selfie with my mouth open. (That's what the Food Hussy does.) Case in point:

 (Yes - my mouth is always open.) 

  • Are you the only truck there? No - there is a row of trucks (are they called a gaggle?) - and I - as the Food Hussy - don't want to eat at ONE truck. I want to eat at ALL of them! 
So what's my issue with food trucks? 

Many of them don't help me in any of those situations!! Let's break it down:

  • The heat - When it's that damn hot - I really don't want to eat heavy, hot foods. Grilled cheese, ribs, containers full of food, etc...
  • Standing - Let's see...I have to hold my purse, my phone, my drink, take selfies - and you hand me an 8" long wrap that's so hot I can't even hold it and floppy so there's no way to eat it unless I'm sitting at a table with silverware. Case in point: to the left. 
  • Multiple trucks - If there's a festival or multiple trucks - I like to be able to try multiple types of food from multiple trucks. But when your prices are between $7-$10 and your portion sizes are so huge - there's no room to eat more than one thing. 

So Food Truck owners - work with us! If you're going to a festival or multi-truck event - here are some ideas:

  • Lighter foods - I'm not saying you have to start making salads - but think about the heat factor and the sweat pouring down my face and come up with some option that has a cool factor to it.
  • One hand foods - Try keeping in mind ease of eating when creating your delicious treats - things that I can eat with one hand - in a wrapper - are great! 
  • Portion size - If your food is just something heavy - then give me the option for a smaller portion. Honestly - some of you have food that is completely drool-worthy - but it's really rich too. I'm not sure I am going to like a grilled cheese with pepperoni, mozzarella and honey - especially when it's the size of my head - but if I could get a half - I'm more than happy to jump in on that! You might think this would cut into your profits but I think if you provide these smaller (and more affordable) portion sizes - folks will be adventurous and try more food - and thus be able to go to more than one truck so you have a better chance of getting in on that piece of the pie!
So there you have it - my frustrations after attending multiple food truck events this summer. 

Does anybody else feel the same way? Or am I off track? What about you Food Truck owners?

And BTW - not meaning to pick on any one truck - these were just examples based on my experiences. I support the food trucks and want them to succeed. I just would like to be able to try more of you rather than just one per event. 

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