Restaurants vs Food Trucks: Is There A War?

Mausam Curry N Bites
Food trucks arriving for the 2011 Festival

There will always be those newbies in the restaurant arena that believe there’s a war going one, Restaurants vs Food Trucks. However, a new study confirms the obvious, that restaurants should not feel threatened by food trucks.

Sit-down restaurants do not attract the same customers as food trucks. If you’re going to a restaurant for lunch, a food truck is not comparable. Likewise, if you are primed to have a food truck for lunch, and they are not at the expected location, most people will not choose a restaurant instead.

Fast food places, on the other hand…

NPD Group conducted a survey addressing awareness of respondents to mobile food options and also determined where people would eat if not at a food truck. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s or a local deli have more to fear from the proliferation of food trucks than table-service joints.

About 50% of respondents claimed they would have ordered from a fast food restaurant if a food truck had not been in the area; another 20% said they would skip a meal altogether if a food truck were not available.

The study discovered that consumers were visiting food trucks for the same reasons they were visiting QSR restaurants: “availability of ‘interesting’ foods and convenience.” While that may strike fear in the heart of a franchise owner, NPD also reveals that “many [regular users] make purchases from food trucks only very occasionally.” (Thanks Gothamist & Midtown Lunch)

It’s likely that’s why so many fast food restaurants are coming up with gimmicks like the KFC Double Down and the Taco Bell Doritos Locos Tacos.

Food trucks will always be around because one thing QSR restaurants cannot compete with them on is the freshness and quality of ingredients. When was the last time you saw fresh cilantro or raw red onions in a Taco Bell product?

(credit: NYSF)
(credit: NYSF)

So guys, forget that hollywood war pictures of Restaurants vs Food Trucks, cause it’s not there.