Big names such as Sizzler, Johnny Rockets and Subway are steering into the mobile food truck scene.
LOS ANGELES – Familiar names are putting their food on the street — literally. The Los Angeles Times reports that sandwich chain Subway and barbeque chain Sizzler U.S.A. are entering the mobile food truck trend, which doesn’t appear to be stalling.
“Ten percent of the top 200 chains will have trucks on the road within the next 24 months,” predicted Aaron Noveshen, a restaurant industry consultant who co-owns the Pacific Catch restaurants in San Francisco and the online food-truck portal Mobi Munch. “They’re all talking about it,” he told the newspaper.
In Los Angeles County alone, about 4,000 food trucks are licensed to do business, with about 115 considered gourmet and operated by “ambitious young chefs who offer unusual foods and use the online service Twitter to let customers know where they will be parking on any given day.”
The trend has gone national, with the Food Network recently launching a reality TV show in which seven teams of cooks drive catering trucks across the country in a race to make the best food and win over diners.
“It’s definitely here to stay,” said chef Mary Sue Milliken of the mobile food truck trend, whose company has two trucks in Los Angeles. She told the newspaper that the trucks allow restaurateurs to bring food to people in congested areas or places that can’t support a full-on restaurant.
NACS Magazine featured a story on the rising trend of mobile food trucks in the November 2009 issue.