The food truck revolution goes on.
We have said before that customers love to experiment on varying experiences at varying times, and food trucks, having given them that sort of adventure, is reported to gain momentum in the food industry.
The National Restaurant Association reported lately that this culinary culture is continuously being considered as one the hottest trends in the industry today. It has been the subject for TV shows; and food truck festivals and food trailer parks have sprung all over the country.
In the association’s recent study, it’s been cited that 18% of their respondents (they surveyed a total of 1,004 American adult consumers last August) came across a food truck in their area last summer, and 28% of these consumers who caught sight of these mobile restaurants made a purchase. The report also confirmed that 59% of their respondents are likely to go to a food truck if their favorite chain or independent restaurant offers one. This is a leap from last year’s report of 47 percent.
Hudson Riehle, vice president of the NRA’s Research and Knowledge Group stated that, “convenience is one of the factors that drives customers to dining places, and food trucks provide them with that option. Our research proves that in a span of only one year, customers who are willing to buy from a food truck have significantly increased. We also realized that mobile foodservice has a more noticeable presence in the Northeast and the West than in any other parts of the country.”
The report also showed that consumers who are living in the Northeast (24%) and the West (29%) were more likely to spot a food truck in their vicinity last summer than those in the Midwest (9%) and in the South (15%).
The West comprises Alaska, California, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Hawaii, Nevada, Montana, Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, Wyoming and Utah; while the Northeast region includes Maine, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
The respondents were asked how they have were able to find the food truck that they visited, and 73% said that they just happened to see it on the street, with chefs in their chefs clothing cooking up their specialties. Others said they purposely went to the place where food trucks usually gather and selected their choice (54%), while 39% found out about them through a friend. Thirteen percent found it because of social media.
Adults who have children, comprising 70%, are more likely to patronize a mobile foodservice that is offered by their favorite dining place than those without children, which comprises 52%.
More than 2/3, or 69% of the respondents who said they would love to see food trucks of their favorite restaurant are aged 18-44, while 38% of them are 65 years old and older.
“The existence of food trucks is often associated with entrepreneurs and chefs in quality chef clothing, but as the trend increased, with majority of our consumers saying that they would love to patronize a food truck offered by their favorite restaurant, mobile foodservice now present restaurant operators with opportunities to expand their presence and operations,” Riehle said.
And yes, all things considered (economy, sales performance, expansion opportunities, the rising trend), restaurateurs may well benefit from this thought.