According to The Boston Globe, things are really starting to heat up for Boston food trucks and their fans. By April, more than 50 trucks will be serving hungry Bostonians all around the city – not bad for a trend that just started only six months ago.
The Globe reports that food trucks are popping up in parts of the city where folks hadn’t seen the likes of gourmet kitchens on wheels before, and Boston residents are loving it.
Trucks across the city now serve everything from Southern comfort food to Asian barbecue. The trend has become so popular that local truck chefs have their own food festivals and cooking contests, and some operators are even opening their own brick-and-mortar restaurants. Meantime, there is a growing network of businesses such as truck repair and emergency staffing to support them.
“It’s become a job creator,” said Edith Murnane, director of food initiatives for the City of Boston. “It’s incubating new businesses, and it has become a real launching pad, for healthy, creative food in the city.”
Clover Food Lab emphasizing fresh, seasonal foods started with one food truck, and has grown exponentially to a workforce of 250 people with two restaurants and seven food trucks. Despite the booming success, new industry and countless jobs created for the economy, bricks and mortar restaurant owners are bitter about the possible competition these gourmets on wheels are bringing to the city.
“I understand the restaurants’ complaints. They are investing huge amounts to serve their customers,” said Peter Christie, chief executive of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association. “But I also understand food trucks saying, ‘This is an emerging market and we’re trying to make it work.’ ”
However, a few savvy restaurateurs have jumped on the food truck bandwagon themselves, rolling their own mobile kitchens out to the streets.
“Overall, the restaurant scene in Boston is doing incredibly well,” Christie said. “And I think the mayor and city planners have done a good job controlling” the food trucks.
Boston prohibits food trucks from operating within 100 feet of a restaurant serving the same type of food, which helps keep the restaurant owners at bay, and the rule doesn’t seem to affect the food truck operators. The new food trucks have even created more city jobs with plans to hire additional health and safety inspectors. The city has allocated some 20 locations where food trucks can congregate to serve the masses, bringing hundreds of thousands in rent revenue.
“With so many more trucks, we’re seeing a lot of competition for the best spaces,” said Jesse Brackenbury, chief operating officer of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. “This industry has a lot of creative, entrepreneurial people, and it’s fun to work with them and see their success.”
Last year, the Greenway hosted the city’s first annual Food Truck Throwdown, a competition between vendors from New York and Boston. The event attracted more than 20,000 people, and will be held again this year, along with new events involving vendors from other cities.
Read the entire story on The Boston Globe: http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/01/25/food-truck-trend-goes-into-overdrive-greater-boston/s2nUm9yY9MQWbHqaerPIFM/story.html