Pint of View: I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for ... Short Ribs? Food Trucks Live and Die by Social CRM

By Lager, Marshall | CRM Magazine, September 2011 | Go to article overview

Pint of View: I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for ... Short Ribs? Food Trucks Live and Die by Social CRM


Lager, Marshall, CRM Magazine


IT MAY BE TIME for the kids to go back to school, but I'm sure that if you listen closely, you'll still hear the jingle jangle of your local ice cream truck. In fact, the season doesn't seem to matter anymore when it comes to ice cream trucks--what used to be a mid-spring to early-fall window is now nearly year-round. I've encountered trucks as early as February and as late as December. Basically, whenever the temperature is above freezing, some yoyo with the froyo will be on hand to cool you back down.

Despite what you may know of my waistline, I have never been a fan of the ice cream truck. I liked the idea of it, but I can count on the fingers of one hand the times I bought something from one in my youth.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

It's different in the city as an adult. Food trucks, like their sidewalk food cart siblings, stake out territories--sometimes paying top dollar for a prime location--and then loiter all day. And I carry cash now. Eats can be had on a moment's notice.

Yet, I only recently became interested in food trucks. Other than ice cream and the occasional hot dog or pretzel, my only wheeled food experiences were with what is called a roach coach. Those vendors serve job sites that lack eating options by parking nearby and selling basic breakfasts, lunches, and snacks--wrapped foods, mostly, and not necessarily of any particular quality or freshness. Between that and my dislike for eating while standing--I need a table to hold it all--it took years for me to overcome my bias against vehicle-based comestibles.

I'm glad I did. There is some amazingly good food to be had out there. Sure, there are plenty of mediocre trucks, but they're not the ones generating buzz and landing their own TV shows. Old favorites like ice cream, coffee, and Mexican fare are well represented with a gourmet spin, but that's just the beginning. Look on the right street at the right time, and you can find freshly made Korean tacos (short rib and kimchi), barbecue, dim sum, grilled cheese sandwiches, pizza, waffles, lobster rolls, and cupcakes.

There's a professional reason for my liking food trucks, too. …

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