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Apr 26, 2014 05:51 PM

Decline in the food truck craze?

I may be the lone person that hasn't had the Off The Grid experience but coincidentally they are now practically in my back yard (Sunnyvale) on Thursday nights. IYO does it live up to the hype, or has it lost it's appeal? Long lines are not my idea of fun.

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  1. i fail to see how long lines=decline in the food truck craze.
    true, lines are shorter in areas where food trucks have around for years.
    btw, some food trucks have gone brick & mortar (the chariman, koja kitchen, brass knuckles, to name a few).

    4 Replies
    1. re: shanghaikid

      The comment was in reference to not liking to stand in lines for possibly mediocre food.

      1. re: letsindulge

        seldom see long lines for mediocre food. usually such lines are for established trucks like the koja kitchen, the chairman or a new truck on the scene.

        usually the truck with the short or no lines is the one serving the mediocre food.

          1. re: shanghaikid

            I was at one of the food truck places last month on 2nd St under the bridge, and the long lines were at the place serving pizza. People were waiting 10 minutes to place an order and 10 more to get it. Didn't seem to work for the weekday lunch hour. The other places seemed pretty efficient.

      2. I think the initial hype is gone but the practically and reality has set in and are likely to stay.

        As you mention, it's not just SF proper any longer but everywhere. There's parks (Antioch) re-designed to facilitate them. Also in LA, where food trucks make way more sense given geography, it seems to me they provide a real service, especially for lunch and not having to get in a car.

        In places like Antioch or Sunnyvale it's a very inexpensive way for locals to get something different for not a lot of $$$ and get outside...and very little cost to local government. So hype is down but I think they'll be around.

        6 Replies
        1. re: ML8000

          It's great for those that had their start in food trucks, now having the opportunity to open a b & m location. It's happened the other way around as well. :)

          1. re: ML8000

            Where is the Antioch food truck park?

            1. re: dunstable

              Seriously, where is this Antioch food truck park? Is it not open yet, or is it just in the planning stages, or what? I'd eat there every day if it were open.

              1. re: dunstable

                Dunstable, sorry for the late reply. A few years back there was a decent write up about using redevelopment dollars wisely in Antioch. The gist: they redesigned a downtown park to accommodate food trucks, via parking slots, more public restrooms, etc. Seemed like a win-win and good use of food trucks. I recall it was a weekend deal, not daily. Any way, this could have been 7 years ago because I can't find the article now...unfortunately things change. One thing that has changed is umbrella management, like OTG or the SOMA deal.

                1. re: ML8000

                  pooh. oh well, thanks for looking.

            2. I wouldn't be surprised if it is declining. I recently went to the one on over on Stanyan after not visiting for a year. All the trucks looked shiny new and expensive and the everything I sampled was very mediocre. Looked like it went corporate.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sfchris

                I don't know about the craze overall, but I think the "craze" is on the downside of the peak among chowhounds.

                In the beginning, it seemed like an exciting way for creative people to do something interesting or experimental. But as you noted, once it got popular, it started being corporate and driven by the desire to cash in rather than the desire to do something innovative.

                To me, the issue isn't that the food is mediocre, it's that it's often no better or cheaper than food I don't have to stand in long lines for in what is often a not very appealing atmosphere. While at times it they be a good option, food trucks are no longer something I'm particularly interested in seeking out.

              2. I will give my local OTG a try sometime soon. Meanwhile...


                1. As with most fads and trends, i think food trucks, at least in large metro areas like the bay area, are regressing to a stable level of supply and demand. in the case of the bay area, that level isnt zero or whatever it was at the peak of the food truck faze, but somewhere in between. I think the trucks that have been around since the beginning (e.g. chairman, senor sisig) will stick around - and new trucks will pop up to be used by those trying to enter the business - likely to get into a brick and mortar. As long as OtG is around, trucks will still have a presence.

                  the fad nowadays seem to be pop-ups at brick and mortars.