Carts, Kiosks, and Pop-Ups
From busy cities to small towns, food on wheels continue to make ground. People seem to love food carts! But equally important is that it's proven to be a viable and sustainable small business opportunity. According to Intuit, the street-food business, including food trucks and mobile food carts, is a $2.7 billion industry that has seen over twelve percent growth in the last five years.
Food cart manufacturers are encouraged by the growing number of urban street markets, private events and street food festivals. The global rise of the “foodie” culture, making the public increasingly open experiencing a wide range of cuisine, they may not have otherwise found.
Small business owners and entrepreneurs recognize that street food comes with important benefits such as low start-up costs and mobility. Kiosks, food carts, trailers, and food trucks have much lower overhead and can be moved if one location does not generate enough business.
For customers, street food is convenient and cost-friendly, which makes it attractive for basically everyone: locals and tourists, students and busy professionals, frugal singles and large families. At a food cart rally there's literally something for everyone.
More new American foods were invented at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri, than during any other single event in history. The list includes the hamburger, the hot dog, peanut butter, iced tea, the club sandwich, cotton candy, and the ice cream cone, to name just a few. If all the pop histories and internet stories have it right, American foodways would be almost unrecognizable if the 1904 fair had not been held. [Photograph: Library of Congress]
Small business owners, entrepreneurs, chefs, restaurateurs and big dreamers
In Chicago, roughly 80 percent of local food trucks are minority-owned small businesses. Food-truck owners represent a wide variety of races, genders, ages and income levels, plus they enrich and even help create thriving local communities.—Food truck nation