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October 28, 2022

The food truck industry has been booming for the past five years. The industry outpaced the broader food service industry during that period. Food truck vendors are operators that prepare and serve a wide variety of meals, from mobile kitchens on city streets and parking lots to parks and events. Bristol, Virginia and Johnson City have even established food truck parks.

The industry has developed rapidly, and many food trucking entrepreneurs are entering the market to meet the growing consumer preferences for unique gourmet foods. As a result, industry revenue is expected to grow at a rate of 7.9% to $1.4 billion over the next five years, according to IBIS World.

While the Food Truck industry may have already had its best year yet, as an industry, owner-operators are expected to perform well over the next five years. As the pandemic subsides, it is expected that more operators will continue to operate as mobile service providers instead of switching to brick-and-mortar restaurants, where the failure rate is very high.

According to The National Restaurant Association, one in three restaurants fail within their first year. The food truck industry is starting to reach market saturation point in many areas of the country. There are more than 40 food trucks operating in the greater Tri-Cities area of ​​Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

The more successful food trucks have gained a following, and some have moved on to their own restaurant pages. You may know these few:

There are already nearly 55,000 food trucks operating in the US. The US Chamber of Commerce estimates that the industry generates more than $2.7 billion annually. Globally, 2.6 billion people eat from street food vendors every day, according to a UN report.

The culinary offer is much more than traditional hamburgers, and hot dogs are once considered a staple food in and around the parks. Lately, almost every imaginable food can be found. In the Tri-Cities, you can find pizza, berries, Philly Cheesesteaks, tacos, barbecue, Asian food, spring rolls and more.

Food trucks have been around for a long time in the US. Many think of food trucks as extensions of the cattle feed wagons of the west or the lunch and canteen wagons that once fed construction workers on job sites during the Industrial Revolution. The modern food truck can be seen as an extension of the hot dog stands and street vendors that were once only present in big cities – like New York and Chicago.