In an industry quickly and quietly growing into epic proportions, B2B food truck businesses could well become the new catering; here’s why.
US Food Truck Businesses Projected to Grow to $2.7B in 2017
It’s not a fad when it grows to 4x its size in 5 years, it’s a fact. If you feel like you’re seeing food truck businesses everywhere these days, you’re right. A 2012 Intuit report conducted by Emergent Research predicts that the industry, just $650 million in 2012 would explode to an estimate $2.7 billion in 2017.
With 2017 little more than half over, this Economist.com chart helps to tell the tale, showing which cities are enjoying the most boom in food truck businesses, in order with the highest number of food truck businesses per 100,000 residents:
- Portland, Oregon
- Austin, Texas
- Seattle, Washington
- San Francisco, California
- Boston, Massachusetts
- New York City, New York
- Chicago, Illinois
5 Reasons B2B Food Truck Businesses Could Become the New Catering
These same cities provide some of the most perfect settings for food truck growth, not only with consumers but with businesses. B2B food truck businesses could become the new catering for many reasons. In addition to their overall popularity with Americans:
1. Convenience and Convenience of Scale
Food truck businesses can come to any location, making it unnecessary for a business to send workers to bring back food for a team or event. The mobility of food truck businesses makes them a natural replacement for other business catering solutions. This becomes even more true compared to business catering solutions that cannot make last minute adjustments in the number or variety of meals needed, both of which food trucks could accommodate.
2. Healthy Options from Fresh, Locally-Sourced Ingredients
Food trucks can also provide workers with entrees and snacks made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients rather than processed or fast foods. Food truck businesses can offer healthy options in addition to their regular fare, or healthy options can be all of their regular fare. In either case, eating healthy is important to many workers today, making it a must for all types of business catering solutions.
3. Events and Meetings
Getting food from a food truck is an event in and of itself. As a business catering solution, B2B food truck businesses add to the fun and experience of a business event, making it more memorable (and hopefully, more delicious). Likewise, having a food truck roll up to provide lunch for a business meeting, or sales appointment or even a negotiation could tip the scale in favor of a business.
4. As an Employee Perk
In a day and age where businesses are increasingly competing for top talent, providing free or specially-priced food to employees once a week (or even every day) could tip the scale as a hiring and retention perk. Food truck businesses provide a ready-made solution for companies that need to stand out from competitors.
5. Worker Concentration
Technology makes it possible for food truck businesses to take orders from several different businesses and deliver tasty food for breakfast, lunch, breaks or dinner to neighborhoods where workers are concentrated. Businesses can either subsidize orders as an employee benefit or provide a central ordering conduit to make it super-convenient for employees to order and pay for food, in turn providing a large order to the food truck business and paying for the whole order at once, or even on terms.
Food Truck Businesses as a B2B Catering or Food Service Solution
Businesses aren’t the only ones who could use food truck businesses as a B2B catering or food service solution. Many different types of institutions may find it’s simpler and less expensive to outsource food service to a food truck business than to keep it in house or compared to other third-party food services:
Schools and Day Cares
Schools and day cares could secure food service from food truck businesses on an occasional or regular basis. They could use food trucks as a complete solution or to enhance their current food service provider. This could be a good solution for over-crowded schools whose cafeterias struggle to provide enough offerings for students as well as private schools who are either too small to afford other solutions, or for those that want to add value, perhaps justifying a higher premium.
College Campus Food Service
Gone (or at least quickly going) are the giant one-size-fits-all centralized college campus cafeterias. Food truck businesses could be a great add to campus food service, especially given the college’s ability to contract with a variety of food truck types.
Hospitals and Institutions
Hospitals and similar institutions could utilize food truck businesses as a B2B catering solution for staff, or to enhance the experience of patients and their families.
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