What it is: Many chefs are starting food trucks instead of restaurants due to the lower costs.
In the old days, food trucks were often referred to as roach coaches. Back then, food trucks typically drove around in bland silver and white vehicles and served pre-made sandwiches and drinks at places like construction sites and industrial parks filled with office workers. The food from these early food trucks was simple adequate.
Nowadays, food trucks have taken a dramatic change for the better. Not only do food trucks prepare and offer gourmet meals at reasonable prices, but they also have painted their trucks in eye-catching designs. However the real change has come about through social media.
Food trucks initially parked wherever they thought a crowd might gather, such as outside of a bar at night or near a ball park. Unfortunately, parking at random spots and hoping for customers to appear is usually a strategy for failure. That’s why food trucks really only started to thrive with the introduction of social media.
By using Twitter and other social networks, food trucks and broadcast their location to their followers. Now a certain percentage of their followers will visit that particular food truck on that day. The more followers on social networks, the more likely the food truck will earn enough customers so they aren’t just waiting around hoping for customers to magically appear on their own.
Food trucks are just one of many consequences of social networks and smartphones. With so many people using smartphones and social networks, food trucks can stay in constant contact with their followers in ways not possible back in the days of landlines telephones.
When Twitter first arrived, critics mocked the social network for listing messages to 140 characters. What could Twitter offer someone beyond trivia? Yet many people soon found a sue for real-time short communications and the food truck craze is a consequence of that practical use.
So the next time technology arrives that seems worthless (like Twitter initially), ask yourself if the technology itself is useful or if the use of that technology might be even more useful. As services like Uber and AirBnb have shown, smartphones and social networks have helped change the world in unexpected ways so it’s likely future technology will do the same as well.