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Keep on Trucking

May 7, 2011

The LA Times has an article here about food trucks in the Los Angeles area. With such a high demand for this once esoteric food service, the market has grown quickly as more and more people enter the market to offer their own take on food served from trucks.

Unfortunately, many of the trucks that have entered the market are more interested in making money rather than serving good food as they find ways to “cannibalize” their competitors in order to gain market share.

One owner said that you could make a short-term profit, but it’s becoming harder for trucks to remain in business long term as costs increase due to increasing demand for the trucks and supplies themselves.

Can the market continue to support so much competition? One way to answer that question is understanding the food truck industry has its own unique culture. Roy Choi, considered the father of food truck, describes it as follows:

“The thing about taco trucks that people don’t really understand is that it’s not about cheap eating. Why do you think families bring their kids to eat on folding chairs? Not because it’s cheap but because it’s part of the culture. It’s only in America where it’s not considered a beautiful thing to be sitting outside with your family enjoying the weather. It’s only here where we have to sanitize everything.”

One owner describes how natural selection plays a part in determining which trucks are able to survive in the market. The ones that are best fit and able to adapt to the changing culture will be the ones that stay in business, while all the others will become extinct.

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