The COVID-19 lockdowns severely impacted many restaurants and cafes. This has led those working in the food and beverage industry to go mobile, going to where the customers are, and this has made them consider food trucks as a new avenue for success in this food industry.
After Covid, this food truck business continued to boom because of the consumer needs it met both during the Covid and after the Covid because it helped reach more customers, resulting in direct interaction with a wider audience.
But how did this food truck business become an overnight success? Read on to find out.
Progress of Food Truck Business During Covid
While mobile food services are not a new practice, their prominence skyrocketed in 2020 due to various factors, including brick-and-mortar restaurants being shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions.
According to the United State Bureau of Economic Analysis, Americans eat away from home nearly six times per week—a statistic many restaurant owners knew they needed to leverage during the pandemic.
According to an IBISWorld study, mobile food truck growth has overtaken traditional commercial food service, with an estimated 7.5 percent growth rate between 2016 and 2021.
Factors Behind the Boost of the Food Truck Industry
Outdoor dining: Food trucks offer an outdoor dining feature, which has grown in popularity as people become extra careful about eating indoors during the pandemic. Food trucks have the mobility advantage, allowing them to move to different sites and set up in areas where people can easily socially distance themselves.
Remote payment: Many food trucks have adopted remote payment methods such as mobile apps or card scanners, decreasing the need for physical interaction and enhancing safety measures.
Low labor costs: Food trucks generally have lower labor costs than traditional restaurants, allowing them to remain economical even during the pandemic.
Takeaway trends: With many restaurants closed or limited to dining service, food trucks have benefited from the trend. They provide quick and easy takeaway alternatives that can be picked up or delivered.
Post-Covid Status of the Food Truck Industry
The United States food truck industry is now worth $1.2 billion, thanks to an average annual growth rate of 6.4% over the last five years. Also, there are currently over 35,500 food trucks in operation. (This compares to 24,000 as of 2020.)
According to data, approximately 40% of food truck businesses are still operating three years after their initial launch.
In 2022, the food truck industry employs over 40,000 people. Over the last 4-5 years, the number of people working in food trucks in the United States has increased by an average of 10.2%.
High-end food trucks in high-traffic cities can earn between $20,000 and $50,000 monthly. Food trucks selling simpler food in less densely populated areas make $5,000 to $16,000 monthly.
All these statistics show how the food truck business is still booming after the Covid.
In conclusion, the food truck industry has flourished during and after the pandemic for its flexibility, convenience, and creativity. Food trucks' popularity is likely to grow as people continue to seek out safer and more flexible eateries.