Ask anyone who runs a food truck what their ultimate goal is, and most will tell you that it’s their dream to one day turn the truck into a full-fledged, brick-and-mortar restaurant. And for these 15 food truck and cart operators, that dream has become a reality.
Running a food truck is really, really hard. Sure, the overhead is low, but a restaurant on wheels comes with its own unique set of potential problems: a massive amount of red tape, finding a place to park and store food, and dealing with mechanical issues and bad weather, to name just a few. Sure, running a stand-alone restaurant is no walk in the park, but for a food truck operator who has to throw out a whole day’s worth of product because of a lunch-hour thunderstorm or a broken generator, finally opening a restaurant is a dream come true.
Now that the “food truck revolution” that began in earnest in the late aughts, when the economic downturn forced many would-be restaurateurs to choose an option that required less startup capital, is more than a decade along, more and more food truck and cart operators are seeing the fruits of their labor pay off. Some of these restaurateurs shut down their food trucks completely when they finally were able to convert them to brick-and-mortar restaurants, some kept the trucks as-is or converted them to catering-only, and some doubled down and added more trucks to the fleet. But all these restaurants have one thing in common: They started out as humble food trucks or carts.