Anyone with knowledge or experience with food trucks... I have a few questions.
I've heard that average food truck prices are more expensive in Boston compared to other, more "food truck centric" towns like San Francisco or Portland. Can anyone confirm this and does anyone know why this might be?
And for anyone with food truck experience in other cities, what makes other cities more suited for food trucks than Boston?
Thanks for any and all help. This is actually for a school project.
Places like Bon Me, Mei Mei, Clover and the former Staff Meal all offer pretty large meals for $6 or less. I find it hard to believe things in San Fran would be much cheaper than that. I
Might be interesting to look at L.A. food truck culture, which is rather more extensive than just about any U.S. city I've visited.
I don't have a lot of anecdotal evidence, but I've gotten some amazing tacos for $2/throw from trucks run by Mexican-American operators, same as at a modest taqueria, whereas many food trucks are run by Anglos doing something "gourmet" at twice the price.
Bon Me's banh mis are $6, where a short walk away in Chinatown, Chinese- or Vietnamese-run shops charge $3 for a sandwich that is arguably superior.
I find the more recent Boston food trucks also try to be a little more chic (Mei Mei, Bon Me) and trendy, rather than just a focus to supply quick food cheaply. Maybe it's because of the locations and audience, or because it's the new test for those who find diving first into a restaurant to be too big a risk.
If you look around MIT campus, before the Boston food truck scene came along, you have many options at the $5 price point (even Clover). Back in my college days, the local food trucks weren't concerned with trying new food concepts; it was all about feeding hungry students quickly and cheaply.
I recently talked with a person who worked in the prep kitchen used by some of the trucks. Their experience left much to be desired compared to other kitchen they had worked in.
DC is a very food truck centric city, and having spent last summer there, I think their average prices are significantly higher than Boston's (though hard to control for general economics between cities).
That said, there were some exceptions, and i think generally a big difference in price, essentially, is between those food trucks that are essentially an evolution of street vendors, and thus are aiming for that style of food and accompanying price point, versus food trucks that are aiming to provide a mobile version of a more traditional restaurant, and thus aim at that style of food and price point (which is no surprise then that the more successful ones open up brick and mortar locations sooner or later).