3 Big Food Truck Innovations
The food truck business is nothing if not innovative. The limitations vendors face everyday—from the size of their trucks and the availability of good curb space to ever changing local regulations—practically cry out for creative thinking (not to mention thick skin). Here are just three of the many ways the food truck industry is pushing the limits of its traditional constraints this year:
Trading Lottery Picks:
When Washington, DC adopted a lottery system two years ago to dish out prime food truck locations more fairly, the solution was praised by the city and vendors alike. But it became clear almost right away that there needed to be some mechanism for trading assigned spaces and days between trucks. Informal trading flourished, with vendors citing event bookings, days off, and capacity problems exchanging slots via word of mouth or message board. Still, things got lost in the mix, and that inefficiency led to missed opportunities. Now, the local food truck association (dmvfta.org), along with students from George Mason University have come up with a better solution. Yes, there’s an app for that.
Ordering All Your Supplies Online:
Some parts of running a truck are more fun than others, but I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys ordering supplies. So, why not order everything you need online? Improvonia co-founders Konstantin Zvereff and Jag bansal have come up with an ingenious online ordering system that allows restaurants and food trucks to order all their supplies from all their suppliers in one click. The best part? It’s free for food trucks to use, and their simple app allows you to place orders wherever you find yourself parked. Sign up free at Improvonia.
New Twists on Truck Design:
This one is long overdue. While food trucks are obviously constrained in many ways by the need for a few key components (four wheels and an engine, for starters…) and a street-legal setup, that is no excuse to stop looking for innovation in truck design. No one has undertaken this task more radically than Peugeot, which unveiled an incredible, “collapsible bistro” on wheels at Milan Design Week this month. The truck and trailer combo literally unfolds to cradle its outdoor space and customers. Not sure if or when the concept will take off and arrive stateside, but the more creative thought given to better truck design the better.