Long Live The Growth of the Gourmet Food Truck Movement

While watching NBC New York a bit ago a passing topic of conversation between the news anchors found me also pleasantly surprised to discover that food truck popularity and obsession is also prevalent in the Empire State.  Granted, NYC is still credited for being my first awesome food truck experience when I was visiting the city in 1999 and enjoyed the glory that was a New York City gyro from one of the city’s kiosks.  Divine was the best way to describe said snack of a gyro I purchased at $4 off the streets of New York which was found to be equally delicious.  So perhaps it should come as no surprise that the gourmet food truck wave that has hit the west coast – I recall being at Off the Grid AND also enjoying a furikake kimchi burger on the side of the road in Las Vegas from Fuku Burger just a few months ago- is also a craze here in NY.  I tell you that cupcake I had in SoHo from the Cupcake Stop was really good.

The food truck craze and advertising prowess can very easily be credited to  the advent of Twitter and Social Media.  In essence Twitter has allowed mobile small businesses to market their whereabouts in the most efficient matter.  If you’re a fan or have heard that a certain “gourmet” food truck (OR any other trendy new invent for that matter) is amazing, you’re likely to want to also have a taste and experience it for yourself so you can then verify and spread the news of the find yourself.  Afterall, that’s human nature and what makes Word Of Mouth vitality the most compelling and prolific advert of all.  Few endorsements are as trusted or interesting than an endorsement by a friend and family member who has good taste or is knowledgeable on a subject matter – since they are someone you know and trust who has tried, tested and found something to be true enough to share.  Very few people would share something at random without any real merit to a friend or even an acquaintance if it was at best mediocre, some might but on the whole most people share what they have genuinely appreciated so you can too.

The ability for food trucks to set up camp and utilize the power of mobile and twitter, by attracting loyal customers to

interact with and engage with on Twitter and mobile applications is what makes for success.  In order, for any Twitter/Facebook campaign or mobile campaign to be successful, it is necessary to drive a need from your target audience to follow you – give them information and have them feel supported and fulfill their desires and lives in a  relevant manner.  The sweet spots that food trucks deliver have to do with announcing their location – so that hungry fans can find them and also by announcing any new menu items, keep track of customer satisfaction or complaints, and perhaps take note of any useful suggestions.  It’s elementary but effective and everyone feels connected – as though their opinions matter and most importantly, everyone is well fed and happy.

If not for the web, food trucks wouldn’t be able to leverage the growth potential it has now with the power of the internet and mobile communications.  A few years past, Chez Spencer which has incredible French food was one of the first in San Francisco to debut a gourmet food truck, complete with escargot lollipops and more.  The only trouble was, Twitter and mobile communications as they are today did not exist and it was next to impossible to discover when or where the Spencer On The Go food truck would appear.  On occasion, we were lucky if we received notice via a friend who spotted the truck and texted the location to us, but if your friend didn’t know you were a foodie or worst forgot to text, there would be little traffic for the food truck since this was still an underground innovative concept.  Thank goodness that Twitter, Facebook and mobile have all become available to allow this amazing food truck and many other gourmet food trucks that offer innnovative, creative and delicious treats are becoming more and more available and popular.  Long live the Gourmet Food Truck Movement!

Food trucks are amazing as a marketing vehicle in and of itself – when done right the luxury marketing phenomenon, can become one of the best ambassadors of a brand, well known or avant garde, especially for traditionally retail brick and mortar oriented companies.  The truck itself when branded correctly is a very literal marketing vehicle, on the streets getting eye balls to check out colored signeage and peak curiosity.  Better yet the truck is mobile and can either attract attention and make money on the go, as ice cream trucks have for ages and ages now, or move from one high

You scream, I scream, we all scream for Ice Cream!

traffic spot to another quickly and make money throughout the day – all one has to do is now one’s city in order to take advantage of where people would be on foot and looking for food options during breakfast, lunch, 3pm sugar level drop snack hunts and dinner.  Best yet, the trucks are becoming popular catering options for events spanning from concerts, festivals, food and wine benefits to movies in the park, store or business launches and more.  On the go marketing power offline, online and in mind at its best…it would be interesting to get some idea of the profits these trucks rake in, but one thing is for sure, it might just make sense for people in the restaurant business and perhaps other businesses to be more and more literally and web mobile.  If there’s one thing that the mobile and food truck revolution we are currently experiencing has shown us, it is that becoming more accessible, available and being where ever people might have a need as folks become more and more mobile and empowered to find greater conveniences closer to where they work and live and spend their free time is definitely welcome and likely here to stay.

Frankly, being the foodie I am I would go to no ends to sample some delicious morsels.  So much so that when Japacurry showed up on my Foursquare feed a week ago, I trecked over 8 blocks to find the place – albeit to discover they’ve moved on – but with an ever determined goal to give this amazing curry a try.  Be warned JapaCurry!  I know how to make a killer Japanese curry dish as it is…so it better be pretty darn special!  Actually, it would be fun to maybe attempt a food truck food tour across the country, that’d definitely be an adventure not for the faint at heart – what with moving targets being the objective.

    • Chris
    • January 25th, 2011

    The Japacurry truck is under attack by local business that don’t want to compete with the legal food truck locations!

    http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2011/01/japacurry_harvest_and_rowe_oust_food_truck.php

    Jay the owner of Japacurry will be setting up a new location downtown in the next week , his curry is the best ! Worth walking 16 blocks !

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