Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

MAR 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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90 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • MARCH 2018 THE FOOD TRUCK PHENOMENON The road hasn't always been smooth but food trucks continue to flourish with new brands, mobile extensions of brick-and- mortar restaurants and catering operations. By Lisa White E ric Silverstein's food truck business has undergone an evolution since launching eight years ago. The former attorney's original plans to open a restaurant went in a new direction when the recession hit. He credits his sister for pushing him to take the plunge and start The Peached Tortilla food truck concept in Austin, Texas, in 2010. Silverstein compares his food truck journey to a seed that has sprouted many tree branches. "I started with a leased truck, be- cause I didn't know anything about maintaining it. Then I built two trucks, which became a thriving catering business," he says. In 2015, Silverstein was ready to move forward with his initial plan and built a 2,500-square-foot restaurant. A recent expansion transitioned that into the 4,500-square-foot Peached Social House, which includes a catering kitchen, 100-seat event space and offices. In March, he will open his first kiosk restaurant at the airport in Austin. For Silverstein, the food truck business was a jumping off point for something bigger. However, not every food truck aspires to expand into full-fledged catering or a brick-and- mortar location. Matt Geller, president of the Los Angeles-based Food Truck Association, estimates 2017 final numbers will show mobile food vending to be a $2.5 billion market in the U.S. "This is com- pared to an estimated $600 million segment in 2011," he says. Los Angeles-based market research firm IBISWorld re- veals 43 percent of monthly food truck spending comes from 25- to 44-year-olds, compared to 20 percent coming from consumers younger than 25 years old. "No one has done a study on this segment yet, but by our estimates there are 6,500 gourmet food trucks throughout the country," says Geller. "There are currently about 350 gourmet food trucks in Los Angeles County alone." Coming into its Own Richard Myrick, editor-in-chief for and author of "Running a Food Truck for Dummies," started monitoring the food truck segment in 2010. At that time, he was working out of Chicago, which had some of the most stringent rules and regulations regarding the operation of food trucks. "Back then, it was difficult getting trucks into certain cities, and Chicago, along with other cities, was not keen on

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