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Social Media – Mobile Food News http://www.mobilefoodnews.com News for the Food Truck Industry... Food Trucks, Carts, Mobile Catering, Lunch Trucks & Mobile Kitchens Fri, 10 Jun 2016 13:37:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.3 National News: Why Food Trucks Locate Where They Do http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2016/03/national-news-food-trucks-locate/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2016/03/national-news-food-trucks-locate/#respond Tue, 08 Mar 2016 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=74639 Five big takeaways from a unique new study.

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By Richard Florida  |  City Lab

BluIz60 / Shutterstock.com
BluIz60 / Shutterstock.com

Back in 2012, the U.S. food truck industry for the first time blew past the $1 billion revenue mark (it in fact reached $1.5 billion that year), making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the national food and restaurant market. Still, food trucks are often seen as the enemy of local restaurants. Just as cab drivers have taken to protesting Uber and other ride-hailing services, brick-and-mortar restaurant groups have rallied in cities across the nation to ban or limit food trucks.

But what do food trucks actually mean for urban economies? What impact do they have on local restaurants, food industries, and our choices as consumers?

A recent study from Elliot Anenberg of the Washington, D.C. Federal Reserve System and Edward Kung of UCLA takes a detailed look at the economy and geography of food trucks in our nation’s cities. To get at this, the study uses unique data on food trucks from the U.S. Census Bureau and a dataset of daily Washington, D.C. food truck locations, as well as social media data from Twitter and Google Trends. The study is particularly interested in the connection between food trucks and new digital technologies—especially social media—and how food trucks make use of them. Here are its five big takeaways.

1. Twitter is a big factor in food truck location.

The classic theory of location, outlined more than a half century ago by Harold Hotelling, uses ice cream trucks to explain retail competition. The example goes like this: Two ice cream trucks are competing for sales along a stretch of beach. While it might make sense for them to set up shop on opposite ends of the beach to avoid competition, both decide to station themselves at the center of the beach to gain access to the most consumers. But if more and more ice cream trucks come into play, a search for new locations and new niches begins.

Modern food trucks obey a similar logic. In fact, they are a fantastic case study for this kind of location problem since, as the study points out, they suffer from “spatial information friction.” This means that factors such as congestion, parking troubles, or mechanical failure can prevent a food truck from arriving at its intended destination.

To examine how food trucks use the internet to cope with unforeseen circumstances, the study turns to the Twitter feeds of 200 food trucks in the Washington, D.C. metro area from 2009-2013. After identifying tweets that included location information, the authors found that 2.3 percent of all tweets from D.C. food trucks reference an unintended change of plans. While this number may not seem like a lot, it means that there is about a 1 in 13 chance that a food truck will not arrive on time at its anticipated location. The study also found that tweets indicating location uncertainty tended to occur last-minute, and around lunchtime. New information technology really does seem to connect food trucks to their markets and consumers in real time.

2. The connection between food trucks and digital technology is greater in big, dense cities.

The study uses Google Trends to track the relationship between social media and the size of the food truck market from 2007-2014. As the figure below shows, bigger cities yield a greater number of food truck searches, which the study uses as a proxy for the size of their markets. The study notes that internet technology seems to have had a greater effect on food truck location in big cities, where markets are larger and things like congestion or parking trouble are more likely to inhibit mobility.

Looking more closely at the chart, however, knowledge and talent hubs like Washington, D.C., San Diego, San Francisco, and Raleigh have far more searches than their populations would otherwise suggest. Meanwhile, larger cities like New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia have far fewer searches than one might expect. It could be that residents of big, dense cities don’t have to search as hard to find a food truck nearby (although there are other barriers to their mobility). Or perhaps the tech-savvy knowledge workers of Washington, D.C., L.A., and San Diego are simply more adept at using the internet and social media.

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3. When it comes to location, variety matters a lot.

One of the study’s biggest findings revolves around the connection between food location and the variety of choices open to consumers. To get at this, the researchers created a computer program that tracked 70 unique locations for over 200 food trucks in Washington, D.C. According to their findings, the average food truck visited nearly 8 different locations between May 2012 and March 2013, with 93 percent of trucks visiting at least two different spots. The most popular overall locations were L’Enfant Plaza, Farragut Square, and Metro Center.

Variety, therefore, is a key factor—if not the key factor—in the economic success of food trucks. In fact, going back to the same location day after day appears to have a strong negative effect on financial performance. Visiting the same location two days in a row caused trucks to lose $257 a day, roughly 38 percent of their average daily profits. This effect was even more significant than if it was raining or snowing (a loss of 26 percent), if it was cold outside (19 percent), or if the truck charged a ten percent sales tax (31 percent). This points to a genuine consumer desire for a variety of food truck options, the authors argue.

4. Food truck location is spiky.

The top ten areas for food truck location in Washington, D.C. accounted for a whopping 75 percent-plus of total food truck visits. These locations also happen to be the largest employment centers in D.C. Each week, an average of 23 food trucks visit the top ten D.C. locations, compared to nearly twice as many brick-and-mortar restaurants (42.3). But in areas such as Navy Yard or near the State Department, where brick-and-mortar restaurants are more scarce, the study finds a greater variety of food trucks. Thus, while many local restaurants argue—and some city governments agree—that food trucks take away from their business, the study finds that this is not the case. While brick-and-mortar restaurants may be hindered by zoning restrictions, high rents, or lack of available land, food trucks have the added benefit of being able to access underserved areas.

5. Food trucks cause households to spend more money on eating out.

To determine the impact of food trucks on consumer spending, the study collected data on household consumption from the Consumer Expenditure Survey, which controls for income and education. Ultimately, the study concludes that the share of money spent on food away from home was positively correlated with the Google search activity for food trucks (again, a proxy for the size of the food truck market). While food trucks tend to be cheaper than standard restaurants, the authors argue that food truck variety—not price—had the greatest impact on this type of household spending. That’s not only a good thing for cities, but for the people who live in them as well.

Top image: BluIz60 / Shutterstock.com

http://www.citylab.com/tech/2016/02/food-trucks-location-geography-economy/460308/

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Superior, WI: Workshop offered at UWS on starting food truck business http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2016/01/superior-wi-workshop-offered-at-uws-on-starting-food-truck-business/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2016/01/superior-wi-workshop-offered-at-uws-on-starting-food-truck-business/#respond Sun, 24 Jan 2016 14:43:12 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=73982 The “How to Start a Food Truck in Northwestern Wisconsin” workshop will cover licensing, marketing, financing and include practical advice from an industry expert. That expert, who is from Eau Claire, Wis., will have his food truck there.

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By Reporter  | The News Tribune

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Want to start a food truck?

To help aspiring food truck operators understand what’s involved in running such a business, a free workshop will be held at the University of Wisconsin-Superior on Jan. 25.

The “How to Start a Food Truck in Northwestern Wisconsin” workshop will cover licensing, marketing, financing and include practical advice from an industry expert. That expert, who is from Eau Claire, Wis., will have his food truck there.

The workshop is sponsored by the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center and University of Wisconsin Extension. It will be held from 1-5 p.m. Jan. 25 in Room 201 of the Yellowjacket Union.

To register, call (715) 395-1363 or visit bit.ly/foodtrucksuperior.

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/business/3921255-workshop-offered-uws-starting-food-truck-business

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Brisbane, AUS: StreetEats launch shifts the food-truck paradigm http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2015/04/brisbane-aus-streeteats-launch-shifts-the-food-truck-paradigm/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2015/04/brisbane-aus-streeteats-launch-shifts-the-food-truck-paradigm/#respond Fri, 24 Apr 2015 15:00:37 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=70497 The app, which allows users to order and pay for food from their smartphones and was pitched at last month’s Germinate event, created a more convenient dining experience for the night’s customers but meant vendors had to adapt their serving habits.

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By Contributor  |  The Tech Street Journal

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Food vendor app StreetEats launched last week with a party that drew hundreds and demonstrated the challenges of upsetting hospitality conventions.

Held at Wandering Cooks in South Brisbane as part of local food festival ‘Thank Truck it’s Thursday,’ the event hosted trucks The Bone Lorry, Juan More Taco, Just Steak It and Pizzantica operating StreetEats for the first time.

The app, which allows users to order and pay for food from their smartphones and was pitched at last month’s Germinate event, created a more convenient dining experience for the night’s customers but meant vendors had to adapt their serving habits.

Describing the party as “enjoyable mayhem,” co-founder Chris Illuk saw StreetEats help feed hundreds of guests and, when usage became too intense, have to be temporarily disabled by The Bone Lorry.

“We were really stoked on the turnout, and it really put the app through it’s paces because these guys were getting absolutely pelted with orders,” Illuk said. “We’ve got functionality for vendors to control the flow of order by turning mobile ordering off, as well as rejecting orders when they’re really overwhelmed.”

“But I think it’s incumbent on us to help even more to control that flow, to give users an idea of how busy it is before they order as well as make it even easier for the vendors to do little things to help them control the flow of orders,” he said.

Illuk believed an app is unnatural to how a kitchen usually functions. While vendors traditionally serve customers one-by-one, creating a bottleneck StreetEats is designed to remove, this tradition has the benefit of controlling the pace of orders.

“But at the same time, nights like this are not every night, and still this helps the vendors,” Illuk said. “In a situation like this where you don’t have all vendors running [the app], the vendors who were running it would be the vendors who win because they can collect more orders.”

StreetEats co-founder Chris Illuk checks in on The Bone Lorry. Photo: Kaitlyn Plyley.
StreetEats co-founder Chris Illuk checks in on The Bone Lorry. Photo: Kaitlyn Plyley.

StreetEats will continue working with the night’s “incredibly patient” food trucks as the team works on perfecting the app. They had ordered but not received official hardware prior to the night, and the vendors were operating with trial hardware.

For their part, the vendors enjoyed the novelty of implementing one of Australia’s first food truck apps (following tracking platforms like wherethetruck.at), as well as hundreds of paying customers.

Only The Bone Lorry had to cancel orders, and vendors like Just Steak It’s Lior Erlich appreciated both the influx of customers and the app itself.

“[StreetEats] is awesome, I don’t have any complaints,” Erlich said. “Obviously we’ve been working with a hand-written ticketing system, so still we need to get used to it, but the app was working.”

“We were understaffed, that was our problem,” he said. “People waited a bit longer than they should have but the food goes out.”

As to the future, StreetEats is focused on a location-based rollout, and are targeting venues such as Eat Street Markets, Downy Park Food Truck meetups, Logan’s Eats and Beats Festival, the Gold Coast’s Night Quarter, and festivals such as Night Noodle Markets and the Brisbane Festival.

“Basically all of those events that have a food component, where StreetEats comes into its own,” Illuk said. “Where it’s either an event like this, where people get utility out of street food from the fact that it’s really busy, or even daytime food events, where it lets parents sit down with kids.”

“StreetEats is not just for hipsters,” he smiled. “Hipsters like new shit, but they’re terrible long-term customers because next week there will be more new shit.”

http://tsj.io/2015/04/24/streeteats-launch-shifts-the-food-truck-paradigm/

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Chicago, IL: Cheap eats Chicago Food Trucks http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2015/03/chicago-il-cheap-eats-chicago-food-trucks/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2015/03/chicago-il-cheap-eats-chicago-food-trucks/#respond Thu, 19 Mar 2015 22:00:13 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=69336 Food Trucks are a great way to get a high quality and less-expensive meal on the go and you’re also helping small business owners.

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By  Carol  |  Chicago on  the Cheap

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Food Trucks are a great way to get a high quality and less-expensive meal on the go and you’re also helping small business owners.

Due to restrictive rules in the City of Chicago our food trucks are relegated to areas that are at least 200 feet from the nearest restaurant and trucks can only stay in one spot for two hours.

The best way to find the trucks is through twitter.  Many trucks provide a schedule of future stops.  As the trucks come back in full swing I’ll review my favorite deals.  Here’s what I have so far:

  • Beavers Donuts – 4 mini donuts for $2.  Not the breakfast or lunch of champions but yummy.  @BeaversDonuts
  • 5411 Empanadas – $2.50 per empanada; mix and match they’re all delicious. @5411empanadas
  • Pierogi Wagon – handmade pierogis are always a treat around @PierogiWagon
  • Soups in the Loop – a rotating menu of soups $6 @SoupsInTheLoop
  • Southern Pitch – healthy southern food $8-10 @southernpitchft
  • Tamale Spaceship – tamales are hard work to make from scratch and these are authentic 2 for $8. @tamalespaceship

Here are the downtown truck stop locations:

  • 30 E. Lake
  • Adams and Clinton
  • Clinton and Madison
  • Clark and Monroe
  • Daley Plaza – Also hosts a weekly Food Truck Fest info here.
  • Franklin and Randolph
  • LaSalle and Adams
  • Madison and Wacker
  • Randolph and Columbus
  • Willis Tower – Also hosts a monthly Food Truck Fest infohere.

It also looks like the City is working on getting some trucks on the Riverwalk.  Stay tuned!

http://chicagoonthecheap.com/cheap-eats-chicago-food-trucks/

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Austin TX: Two of SXSW’s Hottest Food Trucks Dish on Instagram’s Marketing Powers – East Side King and Chilantro reveal social media strategies http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2015/03/austin-tx-two-of-sxsws-hottest-food-trucks-dish-on-instagrams-marketing-powers-east-side-king-and-chilantro-reveal-social-media-strategies/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2015/03/austin-tx-two-of-sxsws-hottest-food-trucks-dish-on-instagrams-marketing-powers-east-side-king-and-chilantro-reveal-social-media-strategies/#respond Fri, 13 Mar 2015 19:00:45 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=69087 Food trucks have become a South by Southwest Interactive tradition, and options galore will line several streets in downtown Austin, Texas, where the tech festival begins Friday.

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By Christopher Heine  |  Adweek.com

 TX-Austin-sxsw-food-trucks-hed-2015

Food trucks have become a South by Southwest Interactive tradition, and options galore will line several streets in downtown Austin, Texas, where the tech festival begins Friday. And every one of the artisanal sellers will be tweeting while posting via Facebook and—more than ever this year—Instagram to create chatter around its offerings.

But does social media still work for such purveyors?

“A few years ago, I was pumped for the Kraft Mac and Cheese truck, but the line was somewhere between four hours and two days long,” quipped Molly Sugarman, a South by veteran and vp, managing director of Treehouse at Horizon Media. “That’s generally the issue with any SXSW food truck hyped through social media, so I usually skip them.”

Well, that actually sounds like a ringing endorsement for the social-marketing-and-food-truck combo meal. Here are two food trucks with social media followings that are among the biggest of their ilk in Austin.

Chilantro (kimchi)
Facebook: 14,350 fans
Twitter: 11,140 followers
Instagram: 3,410 followers

East Side King (Thai/Japanese fusion)
Facebook: 6,970 fans
Twitter: 9,924 followers
Instagram: 4,299 followers

While these stats would be tiny for a national chain, they represent considerable audiences for a smaller foodie marketer. What’s changed in recent years is that Instagram has become a foodie player. It reflects a larger trend of brands utilizing Instagram even more than Facebook.

Here’s a couple recent examples from East Side King’s Instagram page:

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The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app is perfect for food trucks because of its visual and mobile nature. Expect more local restaurant players to pour more time and resources into Instagram as well as other social channels, suggested Deana Saukam, a rep for East Side King. Even though her marketing team is on the smaller side, Saukam said it will typically post messages every day during SXSW.

“I believe that through social media, we are able to connect with our guests outside of our locations—when they’re not at [a truck]—and this helps build a larger audience and drives sales,” she explained.

Jae Kim, Chilantro president, added: “Instagram has become a tool for us to communicate and appreciate our customers through an image. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ [applies] to us because our image of food speaks [loudly].”

While interactive channels help consumers discover good eats, rest assured some folks at South by Southwest will unearth their next bites the old-fashioned way.

“I frequent Austin food trucks similarly to how my drunken self from college found late-night food,” said Vin Farrell, global chief content officer at Havas Worldwide. “Not with technological sophistication and digital tools we have today, but with more instinctive and tactile methods. The conversation in my head goes something like this ‘Me hungry.’ And the part of my brain that associates my immediate need for food at SXSW does not look to social media for solutions to my hunger. It’s the sights, the sounds, the smells of a modern-day, open-air market that will inform my decision on what to eat.”

Fair enough, Farrell. Fair enough.

http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/two-sxsws-hottest-food-trucks-dish-instagrams-marketing-powers-163409

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Austin, TX: Kelis Food Truck @ SXSW brought to you by Roaming Hunger & Ninja Tune http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2014/03/austin-tx-kelis-food-truck-sxsw-brought-to-you-by-roaming-hunger-ninja-tune/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2014/03/austin-tx-kelis-food-truck-sxsw-brought-to-you-by-roaming-hunger-ninja-tune/#respond Wed, 12 Mar 2014 10:00:31 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=66423 Heading out to Austin and looking for a quick, FREE bite? Singer/Songwriter and popstar, KELIS, will be serving hungry festivalgoers from her very own food truck during music week at SXSW, March 13th-14.

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By Staff | Roaming Hunger

Heading out to Austin and looking for a quick, FREE bite? Singer/Songwriter and popstar, KELIS, will be serving hungry festivalgoers from her very own food truck during music week at SXSW, March 13th-14. Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Jerk Ribs w/ Jerk BBQ Sauce
  • Duck Confit Sliders w/ Ginger Sesame Glaze
  • Shredded Beef Sliders w/ Wild Cherry BBQ Sauce
  • Coleslaw

The experience, brought to you by Roaming Hunger, will be promoting Kelis’ forthcoming album, FOOD, and will be making stops at each of her SXSW showcases. “Food,” the new album from R&B singer Kelis, is a rich and complex banquet of sounds that might come as a surprise to those who know the singer only from her 2003 hit “Milkshake,” says in an article by Deborah Sengupta Stith of Austin360 (http://www.austin360.com/weblogs/austin-music-source/2014/mar/03/singer-kelis-serve-saucy-treats-food-truck-during-/)

Kelis is a Le Cordon Bleu certified chef whose cooking is every bit as good as her music. The FOOD truck will be appearing for several hours in multiple locations on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th March. It’s a great opportunity to meet Kelis, eat some of the best food you’ll ever taste, and contribute pictures of your own culinary delights via social media to win prizes. Best of all, you’ll hear the stunning, lip-smacking new album by this maverick musical legend.

March 13-14: Find where the Kelis food truck will be parked at SXSW by following her twitter feed @IAmKelis and @RoamingHunger

Visit Kelis’ website: www.iamkelis.com
Visit the Kelis Roaming Hunger truck page HERE (http://roaminghunger.com/kelis-food-truck)

About Roaming Hunger:

Roaming Hunger connects foodies to food trucks. Whether it’s a catering a large corporate event, a branded promotion or a trip to your local food truck lot, we provide consumers and businesses with access to the best food trucks and innovative dishes in the country.

With food trucks and food carts approaching a $2.7B industry, Roaming Hunger’s website and app draw in more than 5M truck views per year, $100M in gross catering requests and showcasing over 4,000 food trucks and carts throughout North America.

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National News: How Twitter Accounts are the New Food Truck http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2014/01/national-news-how-twitter-accounts-are-the-new-food-truck/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2014/01/national-news-how-twitter-accounts-are-the-new-food-truck/#respond Fri, 24 Jan 2014 18:35:16 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=66307 Here’s a look at five ideas that could impact the way we live, work and play.

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By Matt MacFarland  | The Washington Post

Feeling like opening a business? Start with a bunch of small bets and invest in the winners. Alex Tsamouras provides customers with a jumbo lump crab sandwich on the Feelin’ Crabby food truck. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)
Feeling like opening a business? Start with a bunch of small bets and invest in the winners. Alex Tsamouras provides customers with a jumbo lump crab sandwich on the Feelin’ Crabby food truck. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

Here’s a look at five ideas that could impact the way we live, work and play.

1. Twitter as the food truck.

It takes a brave soul to launch a restaurant as a majority fail within a few years. A less risky approach for the aspiring food entrepreneur is to open a food truck. The financial commitment is significantly smaller. If the food truck proves itself and builds a following, those customers are likely to follow it to an eventual restaurant, boosting its chances of success there.

We’re seeing how a similar script can play out with media companies. Given the limits of advertising and fierce competition online for consumers’ attention, starting a Web site from scratch is a herculean task.

A safer and smarter way to wade into the business is to launch a handful of Twitter accounts, see which one gathers a massive following and then take the “restaurant plunge” with the top account by launching a Web site. At the Atlantic, Alexis C. Madrigal has a good read on two teenagers who run the popular Twitter account @HistoryInPics:

My analysis of 100 tweets from the account this week found that, on average, a @HistoryInPics tweet gets retweeted more than 1,600 times and favorited 1,800 times.

For comparison, Vanity Fair‘s Twitter account — with 1.3 million followers — tends to get a dozen or two retweets and favorites on any given tweet.

The account has over 900,000 followers and the teens plan to launch a Web site once @HistoryInPics and its sister account @EarthPix hit a million followers. Because social networks drive so much Web traffic, it makes tremendous sense to stake a place on one of them before starting a Web site.

2. Google, the energy company.

For my money there’s no more interesting company on the planet than Google. Here’s a deep look at their interest in energy and what it means for utilities, via Utility Dive:

Google has invested over $1 billion in renewable power plants over the years and appears poised to be a major player in the energy sector for years to come. … In 2011, the company consumed 2.7 million megawatt-hours of electricity — roughly the equivalent consumption of Austin, Texas.

3. A cheap battery to store renewable energy on the grid.

Aquion has developed a sodium ion battery, a cheaper alternative than the lithium ions batteries that are the norm in smartphones and laptops. Wind and solar power can’t replace traditional power sources until we can efficiently store these renewable energies on batteries. From the MIT Technology Review:

By providing an affordable way to store solar power for use at night or during cloudy weather, the technology could allow isolated populations to get electricity from renewable energy, rather than from polluting diesel generators. Combining solar power and inexpensive batteries would also be cheaper than running diesel generators in places where delivering fuel is expensive.

4. Monsanto’s “supperveggies.” From Wired:

The company is introducing novel strains of familiar food crops, invented at Monsanto and endowed by their creators with powers and abilities far beyond what you usually see in the produce section. The lettuce is sweeter and crunchier than romaine and has the stay-fresh quality of iceberg. The peppers come in miniature, single-serving sizes to reduce leftovers. The broccoli has three times the usual amount of glucoraphanin, a compound that helps boost antioxidant levels. …
The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli — plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow — aren’t genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same tech­nology that farmers have been using to optimize crops for millennia.

5. South Korea: The world’s most innovative country? Thursday I mentioned how the country is eyeing a 5G network that would be phenomenally fast. That kind of infrastructure is to be expected from a place known for innovation. Sweden took second and the United States third in Bloomberg’s rankings.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/01/24/how-twitter-accounts-are-the-new-food-truck/

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National News: Real-Time GPS Positions Help Business http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2013/10/national-news-real-time-gps-positions-help-business/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2013/10/national-news-real-time-gps-positions-help-business/#respond Wed, 02 Oct 2013 19:25:03 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=63513 These food trucks are mobile restaurants cooking up anything a person can imagine, and doing so with fresh ingredients at reasonable prices

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By  Contributor  |  GPS-Tracker Shop

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One of the biggest crazes currently taking Southern California by storm is the food truck. However, these food trucks aren’t the roach coaches  serving up microwaveable burritos on construction sites. Instead, these popular food trucks are offering Korean BBQ, Texas style home cooking and a variety of fusion dishes. These food trucks are mobile restaurants cooking up anything a person can imagine, and doing so with fresh ingredients at reasonable prices. Although many of these modern food truck companies have cult-like followings, having what is essentially a mobile store front can make it difficult for patrons and consumers to know exactly where a particular mobile restaurant is located at any given time. This is the reason why so many mobile restaurants are equipping food trucks with real-time GPS trackers.

GPS Tracking For Food Trucks

Most food truck operations understand their local market, utilize both twitter and Facebook to stay connected with their fans and have to know where mobile assets are positioned at all times in order to maximize potential profit. This is why real-time GPS trackers are the perfect fit for this particular form of service-based business model. Through ShareSpot technology that is free to any user of theSilverCloud GPS system, companies can paste an HTML code on their company website or facebook page that will allow anyone to access the location of any food truck. This data is not only easy to interpret, but it can also be accessed by any mobile communication device or cellular phone with Internet capabilities. What is even cooler is that the same real-time GPS tracking solution will help mobile restaurants manage food trucks in the field, improve routing efficiency, eliminate excessive fuel consumption and provide auto-theft security.


“Food truck operations really love the ShareSpot technology offered exclusively through SilverCloud GPS systems because it allows them to better connect with the customer”, explained a fleet tracker specialist for GPS Tracker Shop. “We the growing popularity of food trucks in metropolitan regions as well as smaller markets, the use of real-time GPS trackers will only continue to rise, helping those businesses with logistics, safety and marketing.”

Mobile restaurants or any service-based businesses seeking more information onGPS tracker devices for vehicle management can contact GPS Tracker Shop for more information about the benefits of GPS monitoring technology.

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New York, NY: Brian Webb of Hey Joe! Filipino Street Food on a Filipino Food Trend and Maharlika Filipino Moderno in NYC http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2013/08/new-york-ny-brian-webb-of-hey-joe-filipino-street-food-on-a-filipino-food-trend-and-maharlika-filipino-moderno-in-nyc/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2013/08/new-york-ny-brian-webb-of-hey-joe-filipino-street-food-on-a-filipino-food-trend-and-maharlika-filipino-moderno-in-nyc/#respond Thu, 15 Aug 2013 00:35:51 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=60909 Call it "Pork Blood Stew" and people might not be so inclined to give it a try. Especially not off a food truck.

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By Lauren Saria  |  Phoenix New Times

Lauren Saria Chef Brian Webb in the driver's seat of the Hey Joe! truck
Lauren Saria
Chef Brian Webb in the driver’s seat of the Hey Joe! truck

This is part two of our interview with the man behind the deep-fried barbecued eats of Hey Joe! Filipino Street Food. Today, chef and owner Brian Webb dishes on what’s really inside his new Filipino steamed buns and talks about the potential for Filipino food as a culinary trend. If you missed part one, in which he shared his story from techno-paper pusher to fine dining to food truck, you can read it here.

A lot of Webb’s job as chef is re-packaging traditional dishes in a more approachable way. Take the Filipino dish diniguan, for example. The well-loved savory stew of pork and usually a whole lot of offal (lungs, kidneys, intestines, snout, and other good stuff) is simmered slowly in a mixture of pig’s blood, garlic, chili, and vinegar.

Call it “Pork Blood Stew” and people might not be so inclined to give it a try. Especially not off a food truck.

But if you serve it with pork belly and chicharones and call the whole thing a “Triple Pork Plate”? Well, now that sounds pretty good.

“I’m not surprised people like the food,” Webb says. “It’s just getting it in their mouths. People will eat a lot if you present it right.”

He’s got other tricks up his sleeve, too, including his newest addition to the Hey Joe! menu: steamed buns. Traditionally, kua pao are sweet off-white buns stuffed with chicken or (my personal favorite) sweet barbecued pork. Webb introduced the new dish to his menu a few weeks ago but is doing them up with a little twist.

He’s stuffing the Chinese-inspired dumplings with traditional dishes like diniguansigsig(roughly chopped boiled, braised and fried pork head) and the more approachable, pork belly in black bean sauce.

Brian Webb Local Breakfast: Pork "The Meat Shop" Meatballs, Chili Acre farms egg, Local bun, banana catsup
Brian Webb
Local Breakfast: Pork “The Meat Shop” Meatballs, Chili Acre farms egg, Local bun, banana catsup

If you’re wondering by now where Webb learned to cook all these time-consuming dishes (the kind my Filipino grandmother would spend all day preparing after spending the entire day before prepping) the answer actually pretty logical: from a Filipino grandmother, his wife’s mother. He’s also co-opted recipes from restaurants back in his wife’s native country, most notably a barbecue recipe from Dortin’s BBQ stand in Lapu Lapu. Though the owner pretended not to speak English, to avoid having to share his secrets, Margita’s mother obtained it from the owner’s mom. Talk about connections.

Webb is careful to make it clear that what he’s doing doesn’t necessarily reflect the food of the entire country since most of his recipes and techniques have been gathered from Margita’s family and the areas around Lapu Lapu City.

“We do highly regional cuisine, from maybe a quarter-mile of the Philippines,” he says. “My cookbook is her family.”

Which isn’t to say he turns a blind eye to what’s going on in the grander scheme of Filipino cuisine. Quite the contrary, in fact. Webb uses social media to keep in touch and share ideas with chefs in the Philippines on a regular basis. And he keeps a close watch on what’s going on it the kitchen at Maharlika Filipino Moderno restaurant in New York City, one of the few places in the country doing (and successfully, at that) upscale Filipino cuisine to appeal to the food-conscious masses.

Webb calls it “Filipino food with attention to the details.”

It’s what he wants to bring to the Phoenix dining scene table someday. Webb believes Filipino food, like other Asian-ethnic cuisines, has the potential to catch on and maybe even become the next big thing. But that will require more open-minded, passionate chefs and diner. As well as, Webb says, for Filipino-Americans to develop their pride in their native cuisine.

“I’m trying to put down the pre-connotations that Filipino food has, both within the community and outside.”

Favorite place to eat out: I’m a big fan of Pomo Pizza and Pane Bianco

Favorite dessert: Creme brulée

Drink of preference and where you get it: Bud Light from my fridge

The Phoenix food truck scene is . . . really tasty. A lot of trucks are serving top notch dishes. Last month I went to several top name trucks in northern and southern California. I felt the trucks in Phoenix have a higher quality of food.

Lauren Saria
Lauren Saria

 Advice for future food truck owners: Have enough money in the bank to support you and the business for the first year. Food trucking is like starting any other business, and you shouldn’t expect a paycheck for at least the first year

Best thing you’ve eaten in Phoenix: Smoked confit, wild boar belly from Posh. I have cooked and eaten a lot of pork belly and Posh’s is the best that I have had.

Best thing you’ve eaten abroad: Spider conch on the small island of Cabolan. It a small non-tourist fishing village on a island in the middle of Cebu Strait. The conch we pulled fresh out of the ocean.

How do you keep up with culinary happenings around the world?
Social media like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter is great for this. I have been able to make different connections with trendsetters in the Philippines and all around the world. I even keep up on what specials some restaurants in the Philippines are serving

One food trend you’re totally over: People hating on food trucks. Food trucks have been in the Valley for over 30 years. But it seems like it is almost trending now to hate on them.

What’s your dream job?
I’m doing it!

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/2013/08/lauren_sariachef_brian_webb_in.php

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Durango, CO: Food Vendors Keep Truckin’ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2013/08/durango-co-food-vendors-keep-truckin/ http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/2013/08/durango-co-food-vendors-keep-truckin/#respond Thu, 08 Aug 2013 01:35:20 +0000 http://www.mobilefoodnews.com/?p=60387 The food cart movement that is popular in large cities throughout the West is showing up in force throughout the Four Corners.

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By Chuck Slothower  |  The Daily Times

Augusta Liddic The Daily Times (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
Augusta Liddic The Daily Times (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

DURANGO, Colo. — The food cart movement that is popular in large cities throughout the West is showing up in force throughout the Four Corners.

Food carts have popped up in Durango, as well as in Farmington, Aztec and Flora Vista.

They promise immediate revenue and relatively low start-up costs. Many are operated by the owners, with no additional employees necessary.

Christopher Mellen, 35, opened Travelers World Cafe in Durango in April. Mellen spent recent years climbing in Nepal and hitchhiking from Chile to the United States.

“I think of myself as an activist with a project – and I happen to be a really good cook,” he said.

Travelers World Cafe is parked at 610B E. 8th Ave, behind Kangaroo Express. Mellen purchased an Airstresam food trailer from Tim Turner of Zia Taqueria and agreed to pay rent to Kangaroo Express.

The menu changes frequently. On one recent day, the entrees were massaman curry and chicken shawarma, a Lebanese flatbread sandwich. Travelers also has small bites, smoothies and sorbet.

Travelers operates as a worker-owned cooperative, with profits split equally among each worker.

“The dishwasher will make as much as the owner,” Mellen said. “We’re trying to create an egalitarian environment where people are treated better than the traditional work environment.”

In Farmington, Jacqueline Klock started Dip N Chicken food truck after tiring of her job as a supervisor for the Red Apple Transit bus system. Klock and her husband, Randy, park their renovated motor home in Orchard Plaza on east Main Street on weekdays, selling steak fingers, chicken fingers and other deep-fried dishes.

Klock said she enjoys operating her own business.

“You’re independent, working for yourself,” she said. “You have total freedom.”

In Flora Vista, former construction equipment rental salespeople Anthony O’Gorman and JoJo Gomez reopened Red Solo Cup food truck in March after closing for the winter. O’Gorman and Gomez jumped into the food truck business after the equipment rental firm they worked for was bought by a larger company.

Jon Austria The Daily Times (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
Jon Austria The Daily Times (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

“I saw that as a go-ahead signal to go ahead and pursue my midlife crisis,” O’Gorman said. “We hope it’ll be a long-term thing. Ideally, if it works – and we believe it will – we would probably expand our hours. I’ve got all sorts of ideas – I’d like to have music there and just make it a destination for people.”

Food trucks have boomed in cities such as Los Angeles, Denver and Portland, Ore. O’Gorman was inspired by food trucks on trips to Austin, Texas; Miami and Los Angeles.

“What we’re trying to do, really, is emulate the food truck movement across the country,” he said.

Red Solo Cup, 800 N.M. Highway 516, focuses on burgers, using beef from Sunnyside Meats of Durango, and potatoes from Navajo Agricultural Products Industry near Farmington.

“We’re looking for a higher quality of food,” O’Gorman said. “We’re trying to do all that local kind of stuff.”

Many of the Four Corners’ food carts emphasize local food ingredients, finding it easier and more rewarding than buying from large food purveyors.

“We’re trying to shift things to fresh and local and what we believe in,” said Mellen.

In Aztec, Kathy’s Place serves Mexican food from a truck in a gravel lot alongside U.S. Highway 550. And Durango has a burgeoning food cart lot on north Main Avenue that includes Mariana’s Authentic Cuisine, Chacha’s Food Truck and Skillfully Decadent Desserts.

Regulating food trucks is a responsibility split by several governmental agencies.

Food trucks in New Mexico and Colorado must pass restaurant inspections. In New Mexico, those are conducted by the state Environment Department. In the Durango area, inspections are conducted by the San Juan Basin Health Department.

The cooks said they take cleanliness seriously, in part to combat the perception that food trucks aren’t as clean as permanent restaurants.

Augusta Liddic The Daily Times (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
Augusta Liddic The Daily Times (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

“We’re very careful with sanitation, especially in a food truck,” Mellen said.

Dip N Chicken, because it operates within Farmington city limits, also obtained a city of Farmington food catering/vending wagon and truck license.

San Juan County CEO Kim Carpenter said the county has some ordinances that could be interpreted to apply to food trucks, but regulating the mobile businesses isn’t a priority for code compliance officers.

“Right now, our guys probably really wouldn’t mess with that,” he said. “A lot of people out there are trying to make a go at things, and more power to them.”

Durango has seen some resistance from restaurant owners who are wary of food carts undercutting them.

“We had some concerns from people who have restaurants that are brick and mortar,” said Nicol Killian, planning manager for the city of Durango. “We don’t get into that economic side of it.”

Food carts or trucks can be classified under Durango’s city codes as either permanent or seasonal. If permanent, they must meet the same requirements as any restaurant. If seasonal, a food truck has only six months in one location before it must move to a new location.

Travelers World Cafe and the food carts on north Main Avenue in Durango are classified as seasonal. Michel’s Corner Crepes at 598 Main Ave. is a permanent food cart.

The north Main location could become permanent if the gravel lot were paved and a few other improvements made, Killian said. Travelers’ location would need more extensive work to be brought up to code.

Jon Austria The Daily Times (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)
Jon Austria The Daily Times (Jon Austria/The Daily Times)

Mobile food entrepreneurs must also work with property owners. They typically pay a modest rent.

Food trucks are using social media – primarily Twitter and Facebook – to attract customers and keep them abreast of the truck’s changing locations, for those that move around.

“That is how the promotion is done in the food truck business,” O’Gorman said. “Twitter and Facebook is where you would get people to follow you. You would post different ideas for menu items, and try and get feedback. We do have a lot of conversation on Facebook.”

Mellen said food carts have a fun factor. Travelers World Cafe, he said, aims for “local food with a street presence that’s vibrant and tasty and exciting.”

http://www.daily-times.com/businessjournal/ci_23805704/food-vendors-keep-truckin

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