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Consumers Have a Driving Interest in Food Trucks

NRA survey shows that consumers want to do more than kick the tires of food trucks, if available to them.

Food trucks continue to drive their way into consumers dining habits, according to data released by the National Restaurant Association. In fact, 28 percent of consumers who saw a food truck this summer made a purchase.

Food trucks represent a good way to encourage repeat business among existing customers, with 59 percent of consumers telling the NRA that they would be likely to visit one if their favorite restaurant made this option available. "Mobile foodservice can be a good way to extend an existing restaurant brand beyond the four walls of the establishment," said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association.

The NRA's consumer survey also found that:

  • Consumers living in the West (29 percent) and Northeast (24 percent) were much more likely than those in the South (15 percent) and the Midwest (9 percent) to see a food truck parked in their community this summer;
  • When asked how they typically found the food truck they visited, 73 percent said they just saw it on the street, 54 percent said they selected it from an area where food trucks typically gather, 39 percent found out from a friend, and 13 percent found it through social media;
  • Adults with children (70 percent) were more likely than those without children (52 percent) to say that they would patronize a food truck if it was offered by their favorite restaurant;
  • A solid majority of younger consumers said they would be likely to visit a food truck if offered by their favorite restaurant; more than two-thirds of those age 18-44 compared with only 38 percent of those 65 or older.