The code has been cracked. Which code? The code of how to start and run a successful food truck business.
As any Los Angeles resident knows, food trucks have become big business in the last few years. We’ve all seen those long lines of dopes queued up for grilled cheese, motzaballs or the like. This is basically the same phenomenon that causes little kids to freak out when the ice cream truck rolls by, except now these kids are 34 years old and have iPhones.
Why is it that there is no graffiti on any of these food trucks? Can some tagger please get to work on this? Anyway…
This June, PasadenaSnob made the brave journey to the Food Truck Chow Down, an event in Downtownish LA where all the food trucks come together in one burnt-out field. White hipsters and asians subsequently arrived via metro rail to fork over $20 to get in, mill around, and eat.
Food trucks are the kind of thing white people and second generation asians love. Why? Because eating at a food truck combines several things these groups value – making a big deal out of nothing, being able to tell people you’ve “been there”, and cutesiness.
Judging by attendance, black people and mexicans have too much common sense to pay $20 admission for the privilege of paying $7 to eat a meatball on a bun while standing in a burnt-out field.
This Woodstock, as it were, of food trucks shouldn’t make sense to anyone, however – there are over 40 or so food trucks, but you can only eat from 2 or 3 at most without getting full.
Nonetheless, seeing all these food trucks side by side allowed us to fully understand, on a detailed level, the key ingredients in running a successful food truck business.
Do you have your pencil handy? We usually charge $199 for this info at our seminars…but now, free of charge, we present the Secrets To Having A Successful Food Truck Business.
Rule #1 – Pick a self-consciously cute name and theme.
The Meet ‘N Potatoes truck is a master at rule #1, as it is able to incorporate two puns (“Fries the limit!”) into its side panel.
TRUCK Norris…get it? Notice the crowd…white hipsters are drawn to anything with a Chuck Norris reference. Similarly…
…Alhambra residents are irresistibly drawn to the cartoonish characters on the Nom Nom truck. Great job understanding your customers, Truck Norris and Nom Nom!
Above – the Great Balls truck contains enough puns to make an 8 year old wince…but let’s move on to the next rule…
Rule #2 – You receive bonus points if you can achieve rule #1 in an ethnically or politically insensitive way.
Perfect example above with “Chef Che’s Argentine Cuisine” truck. Maybe I’m the only one who went to college here, but Che Guevara was a Stalinist terrorist responsible for dozens of murders. What’s next, an Osama Bin Laden Omelet truck? How do Cubans in L.A. feel when they see this truck celebrating a man who terrorized their nation? Perhaps someday the owners will find out, the hard way.
Not to get hung up on the Communist Terrorist Truck, here’s another example:
Above, an asian man walks away from the MeSoHungry truck after making a purchase. Shame on you sir! But there’s more…
Above: the Jogasaki truck is proud to combine two stereotypes with its slit eyed, sombrero wearing character.
Rule #3 – Your food must have an unnecessary “twist”. Everything must have an angle.
The Tornado Potato truck promises a “new style of potato fries”. What does this mean?
Looks like the “potato fries” are flattened and wrapped around a stick. Sometimes bits of sausage are thrown in. For what reason? So you can pay $6 for some fries instead of $3. Truly Tornado Fries are the answer to a question that no one has asked.
There are many more examples of this at the Food Truck Fair – you can’t just buy a taco – you can only get “filipino and hawaiian fusion tacos” (why?). The LudoBites Fried Chicken truck has southern style biscuits, but with honey (tastes bad). Beer sold at the festival had an orange slice in it (whatever).
Rule #4 – Your food must be unhealthy. Whenever possible, you must talk about how healthy it is.
Above – could the Cheeseball Wagon possibly be healthy, in any way?
Above – the Waffles de Liege truck promises “all natural ingredients!” and “No hydrogenated oils!”. That’s like saying, “Our cyanide contains no arsenic!” Let’s take a look at one of these healthy waffles.
Rule #5 – Slap twitter and Facebook logos all over your food truck. This shows people that you are trendy and “connected”. Uncool old people without twitter accounts should stay away!
Think about this. If you do follow one of these trucks on twitter or Facebook, 90% of the posts will be things like “tomorrow we’ll be not @ your immediate area!”, “today we’re 25 miles away!”, which pretty much equals spam. But it is a Food Truck Rule – so follow it, or else…
…you could end up like this proprietor. This man has a food truck that sells regular food at decent prices. He has no cutesy spin; no ridiculous “fusion”, no twitter logos. And he is totally being ignored. Heed our advice and follow our Food Truck Rules For Success, lest this be you!
If you were looking to start a food truck business, the best advice is – listen closely now – don’t do it. There are too many damn food trucks. If this were a stock you would short it, immediately. The businesses are getting too cute. The market is getting too saturated. And, kiss of death – at the festival there were info kiosks for those looking to start a food truck business.
Do yourself a favor and get into the Reiki massage business, instead.
Besides, my Symbionese-Liberation-Army-Stir-Fried-Bacon-On-A-Stick (offering chinese/soul food fusion) truck (our slogan: “stick it to the pigs”) is starting up soon, and I don’t need the competition. Be sure to follow us on Twitter!