Next time you head to a food truck for a cheap lunch, consider this: Those trucks are making more than a billion dollars a year.
Ok, it's not just one truck pulling in that kind of dough. Most truck vendors would be lucky to make a living. But the food truck industry as a whole brought in an estimated $1.5 billion in 2012 and keeps on growing, and the reasons behind its success are part of a new study by researchers at UCLA and the Federal Reserve System.
One particularly interesting detail in the report is that the more elusive the food truck, the more money it makes. Apparently, diversifying their clientele helps food trucks grow their business, more so than parking in the same spot every day and counting on loyal customers. In fact, parking in the same spot two days in a row is linked to a 38 percent drop in business for food trucks.
If you'd rather go find your favorite crawfish-pie or Korean-burrito truck instead, godspeed. But remember, cheating on your local truck and chasing after vendors outside your usual stomping grounds is actually better for everyone—for the vendors themselves, and for food-truck-lovers across America who hope the industry keeps on rolling well into the future.
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