It was fun, seeing all the food trucks assembled at Market 707 on Saturday in Toronto. They are the hot new trend all over North America; Last fall the Atlantic covered the scene, interviewing a manufacturer of the trucks:
“Our clientele has changed as a result of the changing public perception,” Djahani says. The trucks “used to be known as ‘roach coaches’ with sub-pare fare,” he notes, but today they've captured urban imaginations and appetites with a wide array of ethic and gourmet offerings. His company’s customers are now “younger, hipper” entrepreneurs, he says, many with culinary school degrees and a strong grasp of social media.
Real value is being created in the streets with the upswing of this industry, with thousands of entrepreneurs investing (at many times their entire life savings) to start a business and serve their fellow Americans quality food at an affordable price. This doesn't feel like a fad to me.
But I noticed a couple of things on my first experience with the new style food truck. Their gasoline or diesel engines were running the entire time they were parked there and you could smell it. All of their food is served on disposables and there did not seem to be much provision for dealing with it, although the two trucks in this photo had recycling and one used pressed paper instead of plastic.
Then there is the impact on the bricks and mortar fixed restaurants, soon to be a retronym to separate them from the mobile. Where other young people starting restaurants are paying property taxes and putting down roots in their neighbourhoods. These trucks are so transient and skip out on a lot of the obligations that the fixed restaurant have.
And then there is the food. There are not a whole lot of mobile salad bars that I have seen; it tends to the heavier and the greasier, and there is no published nutritional guide.
In his review of the issue, Pablo leaned towards the food truck; I am not so sure. What do you think?