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Mar 24, 2009 08:44 AM

Taco Trucks that "Tweet"?

Just read that some local Taco Trucks are using Twitter to tweet their locations. Anybody know which ones? In the Bay Area?

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  1. Sounds interesting -- where did you read that? Most of the taco trucks I frequent have semi-permanent locations, so I'm guessing it would be the ones that have regular routes through office parks, construction sites, etc. that have both regular customers who would sign up and a need to broadcast their location.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ruth Lafler

      Side note: @offalchris is great for anyone interested in what Cosentino is up to.

    2. There was a Korean one in SF but they shut down due to license violations. In SF, mobile caterer routes and stops have to be approved by the SFPD, so there's no particular value in using Twitter.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        Maybe true for SF. But there are probably lots of trucks outside of the city that could be tweeting. No particular value for me in just focusing on SF.

        1. re: Shane Greenwood

          Every city's regulations are different.

          Oakland's permits are also site-specific. I don't believe they're issuing any new permits for trucks to operate on public property.

        2. The original comment has been removed
            1. re: PeterL

              Looking for Bay Area recommendations, this being the San Francisco Bay Area board and all. Thanks.

              1. re: Shane Greenwood

                Not aware of any one in the Bay Area. Kogi in LA is the one that garnered national attention for their food (Korean/Mexican) and the use of Tweetter.

                1. re: Shane Greenwood

                  To tell you the truth, the taco trucks that move from spot to spot are serving customers who would not be into twitter. If their customers are using their cell phones it is to contact relatives in Mexico or Central America ... and they are not packing pcs or working on them as part of their jobs.

                  Maybe the roach coaches are the trucks doing the twittering. They tend more to serve to hit the office crowd with access to computers.

                  1. re: rworange

                    Hmm, interesting. Where do you get your information on taco truck customers and twitter usage? The sfgate article made it sound like this is happening out there somewhere.

                    1. re: Shane Greenwood

                      The Chron article says "Mobile food trucks are tweeting their locations."

                      It doesn't say taco trucks.

                      So my info comes from observation and family experience.

                      The mobile trucks in Oakland, Berkeley, Marin, and Napa that I've seen are working areas like construction sites, industrial parks and rural areas and cater to people doing some pretty hard labor. It seemed the same when I was reading about the mobile truck situation in Salinas. The first truck I ever tried was down that way and out in the strawberry fields where men picking in the field would get lunch.

                      The first generation of my SO's family and friends are in similar service jobs, have language issues and are working some heavy hours. While they use computers at home, they don't have the luxury time to use it to twitter ... if they even got the concept. That's not a put down. I can't even imaging trying to tell my SO about twitter. He's working, going to school, dealing with his children and putting in major hours seven days a week. That's not to say the kids aren't into twitter. But they are the next generation and the resason these people work so hard.

                      On one of my SO's jobs the taco truck shows up at the same time every day. People buy lunch and go back to work. He's not playing the taco truck game and doesn't need to find out where they are. They are in the same place every day for his purposes.

                      I don't know? Have you ever seen a taco truck plying the route of the white collar crowd. On the other hand, you will see roach coaches through the financial district, outside universities, and similar places.

                      If you look at that link above about the Korean truck in LA that is twittering, it addresses the generational differences of that culture and talks about catering to "throngs of college students, club habitu├ęs, couples on dates and guys having conversations about spec scripts" All people who use technology and whose lifestyle supports being able to twitter to find the next "clear cult hit "

                      Have you ever seen taco trucks driving along those routes such as the financial district, universities, club venues? Even the mobile trucks with their celophane wrapped sandwiches have earned the name roach coach because of the perception of eating off a mobile truck being somehow less sanitary.

                      1. re: rworange

                        That Chron article didn't follow up that vague assertion with any examples. My guess is Amanda Gold just read that NY Times article about Kogi in LA. There's no good reason for food trucks to use Twitter when they're not allowed to roam freely.


                        I think the taco truck on Broadway at 29th in Oakland serves mostly the Pill Hill crowd and Groc Out customers.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          I was guessing her source was the now defunct SF Korean taco truck. There's some sort of upscale truck in another city that uses twitter, I think. It is not in the Bay Area, IIRC, since I'd otherwise be seeking it out.

                          Maybe Roli Roti or the Waffle truck twitter?

                          Yah, that GO truck is semi stationary. I think it stops on different days at different locations, but pretty much sits in the same place for hours as opposed to the trucks that make stops at various locations through the day for 15 minutes up to an hour. It is almost the same as the many trucks that sit at the same location all day and drive away at night.

                          1. re: rworange

                            I tend to agree with rworange. Any taco truck that tweets is probably more upscale and hip than what I'm looking for in a taco truck anyway. Not that I wouldn't welcome something like that Korean taco truck, but that would a totally different type of mobile restaurant altogether.

                            1. re: PegS

                              The only mobile food I follow on tweet is the roving Mission Thai curry cart and its definitely NOT upscale, its just the guy is young enough to be tech-savvy.

                              Regading Roli Roti, after their lovely pig roast (which I found out via Piccino's newsletter), I tried to find a way to find out about their special events - via email, website, twitter - but was unable to find any.

                              1. re: larochelle

                                Don't even need to be particularly tech savvy. Anybody who has a cell phone and knows how to send a text message can tweet.

                                1. re: Xiao Yang

                                  But don't you need to go online, set up a twitter account and sign up to be on the list to receive the tweets?

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    Yes, but its not like that takes unusual effort -- you had to go online, set up an account in order to use chowhound.

                                    The only additional "skill" it takes is finding who you want to follow.

                                    1. re: larochelle

                                      Right. But the average customer of a roving taco truck is not on chowhound, either.

                                        1. re: larochelle

                                          @cheeseboard just lists the pizza of the day. Could be a helpful reminder if you're a fan.

                                          Most of those seem too unfiltered and random to be useful. But then that's my general impression of Twitter.

                                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                            With Twitter, you do your own filtering by choosing whose tweets you choose to follow.

                                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                              Most of the twitter feeds I've seen are coming directly from the source, for example @offalchris. And you can filter which feeds you receive, so as to control the randomness.

                        2. re: rworange

                          I'm not sure if that attitude is patronizing or simply unenlightened. There are plenty of yuppies with iPhones chasing taco trucks, and the more elusive the better.

                          1. re: Xiao Yang

                            Aren't all the yuppies dead? Next there will be a yuppie museum like the beat museum

                            1. re: rworange

                              Nah, yuppies aren't dead, they just aren't "young" any more. They've matured into "muppies" (middle-aged urban professionals).