Now, food trucks are poised to meet the needs of the on-demand world in which we live. The demand is present, meaning food trucks are continuously starting and failing. By the time you’ve finished this article, the number of gourmet food trucks operating in Los Angeles will be different than when you started reading (just kidding) (maybe) (probably not). Despite what reality shows tell you, success is no longer determined by who gets the best parking spot; the food truck with the most sales may not actually be on the street at all. Relying on good, old-fashioned foot traffic is a dated strategy. Profit-savvy trucks are filling their calendars up with private parties, food truck lots, and big events, a chain reaction of guaranteed business followed by brand exposure and potential referrals.
Ultimately, food quality will make or break a food truck, regardless of where the owner chooses to operate -- street service included. A unique menu and quality ingredients are the winning combination. Good food wins. If you don’t agree, go eat a fried chicken sandwich from the Free Range Truck on Fairfax or any taco from Guerrilla Tacos in Culver City. No, I’ll hold... Told you.
The future of food trucks really depends on the entrepreneurs, the chefs, and the dreamers. Food trucks are not just about the food, they are about the experience. The industry depends on people who think to themselves (probably in the shower), “Hey, you know what? Screw my restaurant job,” or, “I really don’t like accounting, and I’m hitting the road. I know that I have this awesome food idea, and I want to bring it to the people.” The people who can do that, and who have great food? They end up doing pretty well. They can even expand into launching their own restaurants, into putting their products into grocery stores, or even just launching more food trucks around the country.
But like any business, there is not one recipe for success. The best part of this is that as food trucks push into 2016 and the culinary dreamers bring these new, exciting foods to LA streets and events, the eaters of Los Angeles get to sample all of the flavors and dishes never before available to us. And guess what LA? When you’re out and about going to parties and concerts and bars and doing the things you love to do, thanks to the food trucks you will never have to settle for a cold popcorn, a stale hot dog, or an over-nuked burrito ever again. Success or fail, each and every food truck who ever roamed the streets has paved the way for the people of Los Angeles to have access to amazing food at an affordable price, anytime and anywhere.
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Ross Resnick is the founder of Roaming Hunger, the go-to app for booking and locating food trucks across the country. When he’s not face deep in chilaquiles, you can find him and his posse posting about food trucks online at @roaminghunger (fb/twitter/IG)