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Become a Mobile Food Entrepreneur

One of the newest food trends in Southern California these days is “mobile food.” Patrons follow a food truck’s tweets and will get their gourmet mobile food on a street or in a “mobile food court,” but they have to be “quick.” Otherwise, the restaurants will drive away.

Hudson Riehle, the senior VP of research for the National Restaurant Association (NRA), believes that there is an increasing demand for mobile food venders, especially in big cities like LA, New York, and San Francisco. Their typical customers are those of 18 to 44, who demand freshly prepared, yet restaurant-quality food. Being quick and cheap is important. A complete meal at a “food truck court” typically runs from $5 to $10. When a truck is packed, people are willing to give another truck with a shorter line a trial.

I feel food truck business offers a great opportunity for young entrepreneurs. Compared to regular restaurants, investing in a food truck has several advantages:

1. Capital investment could be very low.
2. Labor costs are minimal. No wait staff is needed. Two or three employees, including cooks, could be sufficient.
3. A food truck can offer fewer items on the menu, which could lower the operation costs.
4. Owners are more flexible in changing operation hours, menu items, and even locations.

For the first time, food trucks, as an emerging trend, will be featured in NRA’s annual trade show in Chicago this year. Truckers in LA have already formed the Southern Californian Mobile Food Vendors Association. What do you think? Will you try mobile food next time when passing by a food truck? Will you invest in a food truck and/or start your own mobile food business?

References:
GoogleNews (Associated Press): http://tinyurl.com/linchikwok05182010-2
(Pictures were also downloaded from this site)

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