The food truck is a type of fitted kitchen in a mobile truck. It is part of the street food trend that consists of eating more "on the go" instead of spending a lot of time at the table, especially during working days. The menus range from classic sandwiches and hamburgers to mozzarella sticks with vegetables, sushi or fresh products cooked and served in portable containers.
The food truck market is growing in France. Prices vary from less than 5 euros to about 15 euros for a meal. More and more independent businesses and individuals are embarking on this activity as it requires less initial investment than opening a restaurant, which attracts many people who want to start their own business. The price of a truck can vary from 40,000 to 250,000 euros.
It is an American, Kristin Frederick, who gave a new thrust to this concept in France in 2011 thanks to American recipes and a good marketing campaign on social media. The food truck market has grown considerably since then. Where there were only about 50 in France in 2011, this figure grew to about 450 in 2015, then between 600 and 650 trucks in 2017.
The operators on the food truck market in France are mostly professionals or individuals who launch themselves independently or in partnership in the activity, based relatively close to home. Seasonality is also an aspect to be considered depending on the nature of the products sold. There is still no real interaction between the different players who generally try to occupy locations far away from competitors. The strategy is to go to the customer and not to attract distant customers.
Focusing on good-quality products and non-industrialized processes should drive the concept, but the risks associated with regulations such as health standards or the permit to sell on public roads, which remains a major obstacle in some cities such as capitals, should not be overlooked. Key success factors include the location, the choice of vehicle according to the concept and location, the management bases and even the decoration of the truck.
The food truck market has some limit nowadays, as they are becoming too numerous in certain cities, such as Marseille. The Phocaean city has consequently limited the number of authorised food trucks in order not to congest spaces and to limit competition for fixed restaurants. Nevertheless, applications for authorization continue to flow in.
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