In 2016, millennials became the largest group in the workforce. This optimistic generation is curious and willing to try new things, like globally influenced cuisine from mobile food trucks.
The industry has been steadily growing since the inception of the modern food truck in 1974. Now, with millennials making up the majority of their patrons, food trucks have been booming and are here to stay.
Keep reading to discover 9 reasons millennials flock en masse to food trucks.
1. Budget-Friendly, Restaurant Quality Food
Tasty food can be a luxury when you don’t make a ton of money and don’t have time to cook.
Mobile food trucks solve both these issues, especially for countless millennials working multiple jobs due to student loan debt and rising housing costs in major metro areas.
So, how do mobile food trucks do it? Simply put, they’re able to offer cheap but gourmet food because they have lower overhead than a brick and mortar establishment and chefs have leaned their menus down to what can be made quickly and cost-effectively in a small space.
These benefits spill over to the taste-savvy, money-conscious customer. This might even be a godsend to the patron who wants woodfired pizza but is on a budget.
2. Owners Are Often Millenials Themselves
Many chefs have dreams of opening their own restaurant. However, a brick and mortar facility requires significant upfront capital. Plus, it has massive, ongoing overhead to cover and lacks the ability to move. Many restaurants rely on foot traffic or invest heavily in marketing to drive patrons through their doors.
For the young entrepreneur, a food truck is often considered the smarter option to get off the ground quickly and more affordably. They can then quickly gauge what their target customer wants, perfect their menu and make good money.
Millennials are also pretty tech savvy and can pick up their bricks and follow the crowd. They can pull up at universities or office buildings during the week, then switch to music festivals, farmers markets and other events the weekends. They can go where the crowds offer the most potential.
3. Mobile Food Trucks Are Fun
Let’s face it. Food trucks are down-right exciting.
The most successful food trucks leverage social media. They wait to release the location of their next truck creating anticipation. This makes it feel like a game or a secret club. This uses a similar strategy to pop-up shops and secret concerts.
Mobile trucks also offer customized cuisine. “Have it your way” style has increased in popularity. Everyone likes to feel important and in control. This is one way that food trucks fulfill a need of their younger audience.
4. They’re Just So Convenient
The best aspect of a mobile food business is their mobility. One day you have no restaurants near your workplace, the next you’ve got seven. This saves time if you want something quick but don’t want to drive or order delivery.
Millennials love convenience, as evidenced by the snacking culture. This is the whole idea behind companies like Lyft, Instacart, and Postmates. You are winning if you know how to capitalize on this market.
If you are a brewery, bar owner, or promoter food trucks are great for events. Your patrons don’t have to leave to get food. Looking for food is an adventure for this generation. If they leave, chances are they won’t come back.
5. Curiosity Draws Crowds
Popularity begets popularity. One reason people love mobile food trucks is sheer curiosity. They want to know what all the hype is about. Another is because this generation loves to try new things. Unique fusions like Asian-Mexican cuisine is appealing. Try a char siu pork burrito or wood fired Thai chicken pizza, and you’ll be a believer.
Millennials are seen as the most optimistic generation. This is beneficial to owners with the wildest food truck ideas.
6. Hustle Culture Appreciation
The popularity of hardworking CEOs, entrepreneurs, and athletes has spurned a “hustle culture”. This culture respects and uplifts the underdog story. Social media has taught millennials to ask, “what’s your story?” It has been the key concept of many business successes.
Owners of food trucks are often people who want to challenge the system. They want to make it on their own. This is relatable to a generation of customers that wants and values the same thing. And when customers can relate, they typically buy.
7. Quality Ingredients
In the information age, it’s all about transparency. Millennial consumers often want to know where their food comes from. They want to know the purpose of certain ingredients. To reflect this need, restaurants include ingredient information on menus. Some go as far as the list the farm it came from.
Many mobile food truck owners start with quality from the ground up. As a small business owner, they network with other small business owners and source their ingredients from people they know on a first-name basis. Providing this information goes far with millennials.
8. Variety & Fusion
A street with 15 food truck vendors can have 15 types of cuisine or more! This is a benefit of mobile food trucks. If you want seafood, you don’t have to go to the seafood district to get it. If you have a taste for Greek, you don’t have to travel across the world for it. In fact, you can get both in the same meal from the same truck.
Mobile food vendors offer any meal, snack, or dessert of the day. Some unique food truck ideas we’ve heard about include:
- A frozen banana treats truck
- A truck that serves chicken donuts
- A bulgogi wood fired pizza truck
9. A Place to Belong
The real reason millennials love mobile food trucks? The community it creates.
Food trucks create memories during college, after the bar, outside at concerts and festivals. Standing and eating out of your hand bonds you to the 27 other people doing the same thing. You’re sharing in an experience that’s like no other.
Now It’s Your Turn
If you’re feeling inspired to feed millennials and everyone else under the sun, contact Fire Within today for more info on running a successful wood fired pizza operation. Equipment to education and inspiration, we provide the right start for hungry entrepreneurs.