Restaurants Considering Stepping into Food Truck Trend

Aug 27, 2013 02:54 PM EDT | By Dina Exil

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Restaurants might take a page from food industry. (Photo : Wiki Commons)

Food trucks are allowing restaurants to experiment with new offerings.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, as growing number of food trucks are roving city streets, restaurants are now discovering the ease and affordability of sidewalk meals.

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Food trucks are the fastest-growing dining industry in the United States. Over the past five years, the sector has grown an average 8.4 percent a year, according to industry analyst IBISWorld in Los Angeles. Food truck revenue, which last year reached $650 million, is expected to quadruple to $2.7 billion by 2017, according to Emergent Research, a small-business research and consulting firm based in Lafayette, Calif.

According to The Christian Science Monitor, the food truck movement is typically traced back to Roy Choi. Choi launched his Kogi BBQ food trucks selling fusion Korean tacos in Los Angeles in 2008. In his first year, Chio raked in $2 million selling $2 tacos. The trend quickly traveled up the coast to San Francisco, Seattle, and beyond.

Now, restaurant owners see an opportunity to expand their customer base by launching their own trucks. 

A 2012 poll found that 22 percent of "fast casual" and 13 percent of "quick service" and "family-dining operators" are considering adding a food truck, according to the National Restaurant Association, a Washington-based trade group.

Despite the rise in numbers for the food truck industry, the phenomenon has stirred controversy. 

Some restaurants have tried to slow down the spreading of trucks. According to The Christian Science Monitor, food trucks do not pay real estate taxes or rent, but they are being acused of hogging parking spots, stealing customers, and having noisy generators. 

In Des Moines, Iowa, the city council implemented regulations that would require vendors to set up in the same place every day and provide a restroom within 500 feet.  

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