Ugh, does anyone else remember a time when food trucks were still très new, très, scrappy, très Brooklyn?
Well get over it, because that time is over. Applebee’s is in the game now.
Corporate executives — wilier than we gave them credit for — figured out that food trucks are both cost-effective and popular with young people, and thus, chains including Sizzler, Applebee’s, and Taco Bell have rolled out their own versions, in spite of already having endless locations across the entire country.
Reportedly, the companies see them primarily as good sources of PR and “rolling test kitchens” for new recipes, and don’t really provide enough competition that you need to worry about your favorite overpriced dumpling vendor going out of business.
“Businesses pick locations and business models around certain peak times,” complained one Washington D.C. restaurant owner. “Food trucks can poach that business and then pick up and leave.”
As such, cities across the country are issuing restrictions on how close trucks can park to non-wheeled restaurants and how long they can stay in one location, issuing harsh fines for violators.
I guess this seems like something we should get our hackles up about, but aside from the fact that food truck trend is getting a little sweaty, it’s just really really hard to argue against any change that would make the Dorito’s tacos more available. Sorry, Calexico.