FOOD TRUCKS ARE THE LATEST CRAZE IN THE FOODIE JUNGLE.
But they’re not a new concept; in fact, food trucks have been servicing many major metropolitan cities for more than a decade. They provide simple, quick meals without the stigma of “fast food.” What’s new in the food-truck (and meeting) worlds are variety and accessibility.
I did an informal poll of 100 meeting planners to find out if they had eaten from a food truck and if they would, given the opportunity. Five percent said they have and would again; the other 95 percent said they sure would like to.
Now, take that information and consider its business ramifications. Catering a sales meeting isn’t new, but hiring a food truck to do it is. And it’s convenient. Chicago, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., all have great food truck options. You can dine on anything from falafel to burgers. And with their recent popularity, food trucks are now the subjects of numerous maps and apps that can help you plan your perfect event.
The best tool I’ve found for tracking food trucks is Foodtrucksmap.com. This free website only requires a zip code to find active food trucks in your meeting area. The interactive map displays current location and hours of operation for each available truck. Meanwhile, Lara Cooley, a meeting planner in Washington, D.C., recommends a great website for aggregating the twitter feeds of all local food trucks: Foodtrckfiesta.com.
Mobile apps can also track and find food trucks. I tested several available for the iPhone, and found many equally beneficial. However, my favorite app is Eat St. from the Food Network. It allows planners to see locations, menus, operation hours and profiles for all their favorite restaurants on wheels. And to sweeten the deal, the app is free.
So, the next time you need a unique catering idea, consider hiring a local food truck. One is coming soon to a city block near you. One+
core meeting skills,
food and beverage,
One+ January 2012