Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Greensboro Food Trucks

So the theme of this semester has been food trucks for me. Weird- I know right? It started off with a class project me and another student began with a group of students at the university in Louvain La Neuve and in which we've designed a business plan to bring Belgian fries to Greensboro. It's been an interesting and fun time, but it's made me look at the whole food truck business very closely.

Not to bore you with numbers, but by 2017 the Food Truck Industry is supposed to reach 2.7 Billion dollars and represent 3-4% of nationwide restaurant sales. That may not seem a lot, but considering the industry was practically non-existent in 2008 that's quite dramatic.

Today cities like Fort Worth have their own Food Park, which would be a perfect opportunity for Greensboro in such locations as the old Wilson Steel Mill. Of course the industry faced a lot of push-back from competing restaurant owners when it began a few years ago who viciously attacked the trucks with everything from health-concerns to parking problems, but today food trucks are an accepted part of everyday life.

UNCG is currently hosting a Food Truck Rodeo every Tuesday behind the Elliot University Center which allows students and local residents to experience various different vendors and their food creations. Some are very unique and bring diversity to the food landscape like Parlez Vous Crepes, a crepe (pancake like food) vendor, or Bandito Burrito with their chorizo (Mexican sausage) and pimento cheese tacos (these things are like crack).

I love the idea of food trucks because they're compact, efficient, and create huge profits. One food-truck owner we interviewed stated that he has never done more business than the day he was on campus. According to the National Restaurant Association, individuals tend to spend more at food trucks than typical restaurants too. 92% of customers spend more than $8, with dinner sales reaching $15 per person.

The bottom line is this is an industry ripe to create new businesses. Owners actually care about their customers, and their food, and it's a highly beneficial business for the community. It's something I hope to see a lot more of in the future here in Greensboro as the city removes legal hurdles to foster entrepreneurship.

List of Food Trucks in or around Greensboro (incomplete)

1. Parlez Vous Crepes
http://www.parlezvouscrepe.com/

2. Bandito Burrito
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bandito-Burrito-Truck/383413455070874

3. King Creole
http://kingcreolefoodtruck.com/

4. The Great Escape
http://thegreatescapenc.com/

5. Taqueria Al Azteca
http://www.taqueriaelazteca.com/

6. Baguetteaboutit
http://baguettaboutit.com/

7. The Ice Queen
http://www.facebook.com/IceQueenIceCream

8. Hickory Tree BBQ
http://www.hickorytreebbq.com/