A quick Google search returns dozens of restaurants in your local community, if not more. Choosing between these can sometimes take longer than the actual meal, but as it turns out, there are a variety of options you likely didn’t see. If you’ve ever walked by a food truck, for instance, you’ve witnessed the current revolution in the food industry. And in many ways, food trucks are actually better than restaurants.
When you walk into a brick-and-mortar restaurant, there’s often a wait to even be seated. Once you’re at the booth, you have to wait for a waiter to take your order. Then comes the waiting related to cook time. Once you have your food and finish it, you’re not even free to leave until someone shows up to take your money.
This isn’t an issue with food trucks. You hand over your money as soon as you order, and these mobile culinary concepts are streamlined to get your food to you as quickly as possible. The owner of a food truck doesn’t want you to have to wait any more than you do. This has been my experience with food trucks in Houston, TX.
Cleaner and Safer Food
If you saw a restaurant with a health inspection rating of “A” and another with a “C,” you’d likely opt for the eatery that outperformed the other. If that’s the case, food trucks are the choice for you.
The Institute for Justice did a study on food trucks and restaurants to see which were cleaner and safer. They found that restaurants receive more safety and health violations than food trucks, on average. That’s right: Street food is often cleaner than fine dining.
Even if you ignore the massive property taxes brick-and-mortar restaurants have to pay, they still are far more expensive to run than a food truck. Hiring a kitchen full of employees, maintaining front-of-house staff and paying the utilities to keep a building running can get expensive.
Why does this matter to you? Because it’s not the restaurant that’s paying these bills — it’s you. Higher overhead costs mean they have to charge more for food. You’ve likely noticed great prices at food trucks, and that’s because they’re less expensive to operate. Want a low-cost and tasty meal? A food truck has you covered.
Avoid Restaurant Hassles
While food trucks provide faster service than restaurants, there are also several other hassles you avoid by getting your meal from a street corner. Ever been in an eatery where children were running amok? What about other guests speaking far too loudly? Has your server ever forgotten to refill your drink?
The truth of the matter is that you avoid all of these issues — and many more — by eating at food trucks. You get in, place your order, maybe toss around some friendly banter with the owner and others waiting for their food, get your food and leave. It’s just that simple.
Variety of Foods
Someone who has never eaten from a food truck might think their only options are hamburgers and hot dogs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most food trucks are nothing like the fast-food eateries we frequent far too often. In fact, many of them are downright exotic.
In Houston, for instance, Fork and Truck offers a menu that includes chimichurri lamb, Cuban sandwiches, chicken beignets and even duck banh mi. In New York, the Luke’s Lobster truck offers crab rolls, New England clam chowder and lobster bisque. The lesson here? Don’t judge a truck by its corner.
If you’ve never eaten at a food truck before, you’re doing yourself a disservice. The atmosphere, selection, health ratings and food all put brick-and-mortar establishments to shame. Next time you see a food truck, stop on by. It might be the best meal you’ll have all week.