Food Trucks Cooking up Restaurant Empires

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From www.restaurantnews.com, by RestaurantNews.com
Food Trucks Cooking up Restaurant Empires

Food Trucks Cooking up Restaurant Empires

To general manager Elizabeth Petrosian of Portland, Oregon’s Burrasca, launching the rustic Tuscan concept as a food truck — or cart, as it’s called in Portland — was the critical first step towards realizing that she and chef Paolo Calamai’s ultimate business plan: a sit-down restaurant.

Hollywood has even learned to invert “the star chef” story.

In the breakout indie hit “Chef,” starring Jon Favreau, the fed-up chef he plays turns renegade food truck entrepreneur. As he plies Cuban sandwiches out of a battered truck, it proves to be the spiritual antidote to the merciless, critic-driven L.A. restaurant scene. In the film, art imitates life: as food trucks have grown over the past decade from indie outliers to a mainstream phenomenon, they have also become the territory of pedigreed chefs.

But what makes a restaurant concept stick not only as a truck, cart or mobile pop-up, but also for the long haul?

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