And just because a restaurant comes along doesn’t mean the trucks go away, in some cases. As Clover Food Lab expands, Muir says, “Now we’re using [the trucks] to figure out real estate and to see where we’ll open new restaurants.” And while Riffs works on expansion plans, Lofback says, “The truck is probably the most profitable thing we have now. [Plus], I think about it as an intelligent business decision: it’s constant advertising.”
Mostly, though, the life of a truck lives well-beyond its owners. After you add a fully functioning kitchen and put a system for cooking in place, the trucks can be passed along. Biscuit Love, which got its start thanks to the generous loan of a truck from a fellow local chef and restaurateur, eventually moved into its own retrofitted Airstream trailer. When they eventually open a restaurant, Sarah says they want to pay it forward. They recently collaborated with an area high school student who wanted to test out an Indian-Southern truck concept. They worked alongside him for the day, temporarily transforming the truck into the Namaste, Y’all concept. Perhaps the truck would go to someone like him, or another business owner looking to get out of the gate. “We’ve had a whole bunch of people who have loved us in the right ways and we made the right relationships,” says Sarah. “So what’s the point if we can’t help to breathe life into something else?"