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Why a Beloved Food Truck Will Call It Quits

Why a Beloved Food Truck Will Call It Quits Grub Street


Do you think it's the end of days for food trucks? Have we reached a point where they're no longer sustainable?

Look, the permit thing is crazy no matter what, but that's nothing new. It's been crazy like that since the early '80s, but it did get a little bit worse a few years back, when the city made it so that you can't vend from a metered location. We get a ticket for that every day.

It's not that it's not a sustainable business model, but for us, having done it ethically, and making the food all from scratch — our sauces use fresh Thai basil and lemongrass and organic ingredients — it becomes as complex and complicated as possible. We have our bakers working all night making pastries fresh for the truck. A lot of food trucks don't require a huge prep kitchen, so they have a lot lower overhead. But for us, yeah, it was definitely very costly. Certainly not less so than having a restaurant. Our kitchen is quite expensive, maintaining the trucks and their permits was very expensive, and there are constantly other things to deal with that restaurants don't have to deal with — like having some mechanical problem with the truck that prevents you from even operating that day, after you already made all your pastries and baked all the bread.

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Bottom line: It's hard to make money in the food business when you don't have scale.

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