Food Truck Rally Fun

There are few things in the (professional) life of food truckers that can get them excited as food truck rallies. Oh, who are we kidding- We just plain love them and it has nothing to do with being “professionals”! To our delight, the next NYC Food Truck Rally is just around the corner and we have been gearing up all week to prepare. Just in case you didn’t know, the Rally will be held on Sunday, August 19th from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Prospect Park’s Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. If you’re arriving by subway, take the 2 or the 3 train to Grand Army Plaza and simply walk up Flatbush Avenue or Plaza Street until you see the monument and traffic circle. And, of course, the 16 food trucks that will anticipating your arrival!

We have received a few questions from food truck enthusiasts and we wanted to address them here for all the community to see:

1) “Can I bring my dog/cat/iguana, etc.? Pretty please with a cherry on top?!”

Well, as long as your pet is friendly, we welcome him or her with open arms! We love animals (… except those pesky pigeons- Ugh…) and we love the idea of the animal community partaking in our rallies! Do keep in mind that there will likely be other animals and little kiddos around so if your pet is still taking classes at obedience school, it might be best to bring home a doggy bag in lieu of bringing Fido this time.

2) “Ex-cuuuuse me- Why isn’t my favorite food truck on the list?”

This could be for a couple different reasons. First and foremost, is your favorite truck a member of the NYC Food Truck Association? If not, they aren’t eligible for these particular rallies as they are exclusively for members. If your favorite food truck is a member of the NYCFTA but not scheduled to be at the rally this Sunday, they may have already been committed to another event on this day. It is also entirely possible that all of the spots for the rally filled up before they had a chance to apply to be there. Again, food truckers look forward to the monthly NYCFTA Food Truck Rallies and everyone wants to come hang out with you! Please feel free to inquire about specific trucks for future rallies- We aim to please. Lastly, consider trying out one of the 16 trucks that will be there- After all, you always need a second favorite, am-I-right?

3) “Oh, shoot! I, like, totally forgot I promised my best friend I’d volunteer with him this Sunday- Is this my only chance to attend one of your rallies?!”

Ok, look, we’ll let it slide this time (but you better really be volunteering!) Fortunately for street food fans everywhere, the NYCFTA Rallies are monthly occurrences so there will be future rallies on Sunday, September 16th and Sunday, October 21st. Be there or be square.

And finally, we wanted to share the list of food trucks you can expect to see this Sunday. After all, we know you’ll want to devise a strategic plan of attack before you arrive.

Andys Italian Ices
Big D’s Grub
Bongo Brothers
Coolhaus
Domo Tacos
Eddies Pizza Truck
Green Pirate
Kelvin Natural Slush Co.
Mexicue
Mike & Willie’s
Morris Truck
Phil’s Steaks
Rickshaw Dumpling Truck
SNAP Truck
Taim Mobile
Wafels & Dinges

We look forward to seeing you and invite any and all questions you may have. Please tweet them to us or show us some facebook love!

Food Truck Trends

Welcome back to our blog! Being a slightly new phenomenon in itself, part of the excitement of the food truck community is the fact that it is constantly evolving. Customers give feedback both in-person and online every day and truckers learn new ways of operating. So without further adieu, let’s take a look at some of the most recent trends in the food truck industry:

Locally- sourced ingredients: The public has become so much more educated and therefore more discriminating about where there food comes from; food truck operators are taking note. Rather than using freeze-dried vegetables and meats that are flown in from different states and countries, truckers have begun building relationships with local farmers who can supply them with fresher ingredients. These days, you will often find food truck chefs visiting green markets and sites such as basis to meet vendors who can provide them with better quality ingredients for a fair price to feed their fans.

Eclectic cuisine: What started as simple hot dog carts and ice cream trucks has morphed into an incredible array of international options. Though food truckers are not working with much room for storing or cooking food and they face new competition every day, they know that whatever they create must be Good with a capital “G”. On top of that, they must also be creative. Enter fusion fare and focused specialty trucks. While Korean taco trucks, Mexican barbecue, and Jamaican comfort food have become the norm, truckers continue to push the envelope. In the near future, keep an eye out for Native American eats, traditional Nordic dishes, and Algerian dessert trucks.

No longer only accepting cash: Does anyone carry cash anymore? Food truck entrepreneurs realized that they were losing potential business when they had no way to accept debit and credit cards and knew they needed to find a way to make it easier for their customers to pay. Developers to the rescue! Nowadays, many trucks accept debit and credit cards via smartphone/tablet card reader attachments such as Square and apps such as LevelUp and Tapviva. You can also now find food trucks on delivery/pick-up food sites such as SeamlessWeb and GrubHub.

 

Corporations jumping on the bandwagon: No longer only one, two, and three-person business ventures, trucks are now being operated by chain restaurants looking to test new menu items, to reach new communities, and to be available for large events such as concerts and festivals.

Power in numbers: Because food trucks are a relatively new phenomenon, the entrepreneurs who open them oftentimes find themselves going up against antiquated city laws and regulations. Expensive parking tickets and the possibility of being towed away are constant threats to the food trucker; many have decided to ban together to change these regulations and to work around them. For example, the NYC Food Truck Association represents 42 food trucks in the City and is in constant contact with city officials on their behalf, attending city council meetings and maintaining a respectful dialogue about the issues. Because there is no public parking space for food trucks in the City, the NYCFTA also negotiates with landowners to use their empty land as food truck lots. If you would like to help us out with our mission to create fair operating conditions for NYC food trucks, please sign our online petition!

 

What are your thoughts on some of these trends and what others have you noticed? Please share your thoughts with us on Twitter and on our facebook page!

 

New content coming soon!

We hope that you enjoy the recently updated NYC Food Truck Association website.  Please take a look around and let us know what you think.

We’re working on a bunch of posts to share all that we’ve learned about:

  • The current mobile food regulations in NYC
  • Trends in mobile food in NYC
  • How other cities across the country regulate mobile food
  • The inside scoop on how our members got started
  • New menu items on your favorite trucks
  • Trucks that are able to grow into restaurants
  • Lots more!

If there are particular issues, questions, or concerns you have about food trucks in NYC, let us know and we’ll be glad to incorporate your ideas in to future posts for the site!

Thanks again for visiting!

David Weber
Founder & President, NYCFTA