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What Is the Food Truck Business?

Learn about the food truck business from restaurateur Paul Bolles-Beaven in this Howcast video.


Years ago, the only food truck you could find was the one selling ice cream, and mostly to children. Now, you can eat just about anything out of a food truck. In fact, just the other day, I was standing in Union Square Park, and there were eleven food trucks lining one side. And it was extraordinary, you could get everything from pizza, to Korean food, to sushi, to cupcakes. It was all there. You could have had an entire day of culinary experiences out of a truck.

Now, I think the food truck business is basically like the restaurant business, but there's some freedom there. You don't have a lease, you don't have a landlord, you don't have to pay rent. Now, you have a vehicle that you have to build out and outfit and pay for, but it's very different. You don't need as much plumbing, I'd imagine, and you also never have someone say, "I don't like my table." All you're doing is providing food. You can have a very small staff, and you can drive to your business. Let's say the business at Union Square Park is not so great, you can start the ignition and drive somewhere else. Now, just to be fair, there are only so many places you're allowed to park your food truck and sell food, and there is some sort of permitting process for that that is not very easy.

It's also important to note that food trucks are a limited permit in New York City, and in fact, it's very hard to get a food truck permit now, and there's quite a long waiting list. Also, the Health Department has made sure that they work very hard to keep food trucks safe for their clientele. So now, if you own a food truck, you have to park it in a licensed facility overnight so that it can't be tampered with. So, it sounds like a lot of fun, it provides a lot of freedom, people are definitely interested in it, but it's not a free ride.

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