When I first watched Chef, I was so impressed and excited by the idea of food trucks. It wasn’t the first time I had seen food trucks, but it was definitely the first time an entire movie was focused on food trucks in general. The way the chefs live, how the food truck business works and how stark the difference is between setting up a food truck restaurant and a brick and mortar restaurant. Standing on the outside, it definitely looks easy, but the process is actually quite difficult. However, the end result is always totally worth it.
Of late, I’ve been reading stories about food trucks all over the world and there was even a food truck festival in Mumbai very recently. Which tells you that these things are finally coming to India. Food trucks might not be everywhere in the country, but they are definitely in bigger cities where people would actually be more open to the concept and find it appealing to actually buy food out of a truck. While not very different from buying food from a roadside stall, the magic of a food truck is that people running the trucks are very often those that would have started out with full fledged restaurants and wanted a change of pace. Then again, some of the food trucks are run by people who just love food and love cooking and want to share it with the world.
why food trucks are awesome
Imagine walking down the street and suddenly you’re hungry and the closest place that you can go to is a fast food joint. Sure, it’s cheaper and you get a lot for the money you’re spending, but it’s also incredibly unhealthy and it isn’t exactly what you want at that point. A food truck parks at various places along busy streets so that people walking past and shoppers can stop for a quick bite. Some food trucks even have chairs and tables laid out so that you can take a seat and enjoy the meal you’re about to eat. Food trucks aren’t that expensive, and even if they are, you are getting freshly made food that is delicious and totally worth every rupee spent. The way I see it, food trucks are giving you food that the chefs are passionate about. They’re not just going through the motions and making food that they think you want, but food that they want to make and that’s a huge deal for them. And for us, as customers.
Food trucks also serve the kind of food you wouldn’t find in a restaurant, because they have the liberty to mix cuisines and they are the boss of themselves. There’s nobody to answer to but themselves and that’s a really huge deal. Plus, food trucks can reach a much wider audience. You can make the food you love for the people that really want to eat it. Very often, there are certain dishes that cost more than most people can afford and they wouldn’t even consider eating it because of that. But when serving it out of a food truck, the overhead costs are less and chefs cut down the price to make everything more affordable. That’s how they can reach a wider audience and it means that customers everywhere get to try something new too!
why it’s difficult to run a food truck
On the flip side, getting a food truck into functioning order is a big step. But what really takes time and sometimes your patience is also the fact that you need a whole lot of papers and permissions before you can take your food truck out for a spin. And even once you get all those in place, finding the perfect spot to park your truck and make that a permanent spot is tough. And then there’s the whole headache of paying rent on the truck. Some people might own their food trucks, but others would be renting it. And maintaining it isn’t an easy job either. Like running a restaurant, everything needs to be smooth or things are completely destroyed without even trying that hard. The difference between a restaurant and a food truck is that there’s less clean-up after closing time, but the rest of the time, it’s just the same.
Food trucks have a steady stream of customers and you can’t turn them away unless you run out of food, because you’re losing business. Restaurants can turn people away and tell them that the tables are all full. Food trucks run from the moment they open till the moment they close for the day and even then the work is not done. It takes a lot of work and determination to run a food truck. And once you get through all the hurdles and hoops that the world and the government lay out for you, it’s a little easier to get things done.
But all said and done, food trucks are the future and India needs to hop onto this and get their processing part down right and more people need to take that chance and start food trucks, because there are tons of people who would grab at a chance to experience that.