In Providence, where we are based, local newspapers like the Providence Phoenix do a great job of covering the local food truck and mobile food vendor scene. With the sustainability of the street food movement and the popularity of food trucks, carts, stands and trailers local newspapers and other media outlets serve their audience well by showcasing and reporting on the local scene. We are happy to share this great article published last week by the Providence Phoenix and look forward to seeing great more local press from around the country.
.......That’s where Food Trucks In comes in. FTI, the recent creation of Johnson & Wales grad and former limousine company owner Eric Weiner and his business partner, Stephen Cross, has a simple goal: “to be the best source to find food trucks anywhere in the country,” Weiner says.
And they’re doing a damn good job. When you log on to foodtrucksin.com and type in your zip code or address, you’ll get not a just a complete list of the trucks serving your area (each with its own accompanying profile page), but a ticker telling you the exact mileage between you and any trucks using FTI’s “Serving Now” function.
Though FTI now covers more than 850 cities nationwide, “It was this growing food truck scene in Providence that caught my attention,” Weiner says. “I went and visited some of the local trucks, [and] I fell in love with the stories of these small businesses trying to become successful.”
Food Trucks In is, of course, its own small business trying to become successful. And at some point in the next three months, Weiner says, the company will switch on its revenue-generating model: a subscription fee for trucks (no more than $30, Weiner says) allowing trucks access to the check-in function, giving them a special FTI-operated locator map to use on their website, and giving them software that makes it easier for consumers to contact them for catering private functions.
So, what percentage of US food trucks are registered with the site? Well, that depends on how you define “food truck.” Weiner says he’s heard US food truck population estimates ranging from 5000 to 300,000, with the high number including “every single ice cream truck and every single hot dog cart.” For the trucks that fit FTI’s criteria, though — being mobile and having a website, Facebook, or Twitter page — “we think the number is probably right now around 7500,” he says. FTI has approximately 4100 registered trucks to date, he says, with about 15 to 20 added each week....