Chicago is slowly making its way into the world of food trucks. Cities like Austin, Los Angeles, and New York have already established themselves as leaders in the industry. The wheels of change are slowly turning in Chicago and you can’t keep my city from good eats.
Before watching shows like “The Great Food Truck Race,” I wasn’t particularly sold on the concept. The image of coffee and sandwiches being sold to construction workers was so engrained in my head. Many food trucks often sell specialty products. As a matter of practicality, you won’t see 30 items on the menu. They tend to focus on maybe four to six items they can do well. I have the utmost respect for anyone preparing food in such a small space. It would be my worst nightmare as a cook to prepare food in such a small environment.
This past weekend, I headed out early to attend the Food Truck Face Off at Techweek. Organized by the Chicago Food Truck Hub, local food trucks battled it out to see whom would reign supreme. I had a chance to sample food from multiple trucks and interview some of their owners.
Traveling from location to location, social media plays an important role in the food truck scene. I would say there is even more pressure to get it right the first time. Constantly moving trucks, means the consumer has to make the effort to see where your truck is going to be. Loyal truck fans will follow them all around town. A bad experience means instantly bashing your business to all if their friends and followers.
Food trucks are also becoming popular for weddings, school dance, birthday parties, and special events. It is a filling meal at low cost. It also gives entrepreneurs the capital and experience to enter the restaurant business with lower overhead. The city of Chicago is working on becoming more truck friendly and I am definitely looking forward to do more research.