Ask anyone who lives within a major metropolitan area to pick their favorite food truck cuisine and you’ll get answers that vary from Kobe beef sliders to Korean BBQ tacos. The recent surge in food truck popularity – thanks in part to Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race as well as a greater interest in reasonably priced culinary creations – has led to scores of artistically painted trucks patrolling city centers in search of hungry office workers and curious pedestrians. But what effect has the food truck phenomenon had on in promoting eco-friendly business models and renewable energy usage? Surprisingly quite a bit, as the following list describes 3 ways food trucks encourage sustainable business models.
1. Less energy consumption – When looking at the amount of energy required to run a traditional sit-down restaurant, the overall net energy expenditure is staggering. From the power used to light the business, the air conditioning and/or heating, hot lamps, stovetops, and dishwashers; the underlying business model of restaurants promotes wasteful energy usage. Unlike restaurants, food trucks encourage sustainable business models by their almost negligible use of fossil fuels required to move them from one location to another, which can be further reduced by their ability to convert to biodiesel, making them even more environmentally responsible.
2. Locally sourced produce – Another way that food trucks encourage sustainable business models is through their efforts in using locally grown fruits and vegetables in their recipes. The amount of energy needed for both the air and ground transport of fruits and vegetable grown out of season is huge, and serves as an enabler of continued energy dependence and fossil fuel waste. By using local growers, co-ops, and farmers, food trucks are able to promote the farm to fork business model of delicious seasonal produce.
3. Low start-up costs – The extremely high costs associated with operating, staffing, and running a restaurant is often prohibitive to local entrepreneurship and economic opportunity. Not surprisingly, food trucks encourage sustainable business models by enabling a wider cross section of the community the opportunity to own and operate their own food truck, which can serve as a form of poverty reduction for many families. And by opening up the market for increased local investment and small business owners, many communities can benefit greatly from the eco-friendly food truck business model.
Food truck business could become a sustainable model in developing countries whose local cuisines can be utilized to create income without incurring the high establishment costs required for restaurants.
– Brian Turner