Food trucks: Less overhead translates to cheap eats

The food truck trend should be expanding in Dallas soon. With a push from the Dallas Arts District, the City Council is expected to pass an updated ordinance to allow food trailers. The ordinance we have now hasn’t been updated since the 1960s.

While the Dallas Plan Commission is working to approve a plan, mobile food vendors are thriving in other locales, such as Bryan-College Station. According to a recent story in the Bryan/College Station Eagle, the Brazos County Health Department has issued 31 permits for food vendors that are similar to restaurant permits in their standards and requirements for operation.

Cienda Partners, the company with the vision to create mobile-home commerce for the Dallas West Mobile Home RV Park, believes that one advantage for such a business model is much lower operation costs for retail shops and offices. Mobile restaurants can run on $50,000 to $100,000, while it could cost half a million dollars to build a restaurant, according to the Eagle article. Because food trucks don’t have the costs associated with a standing restaurant, they can promote entrepreneurship in a tough economy.

Not to mention that lower overhead costs can translate to lower prices for customers. Chef Tai’s Mobile Gourmet serves everything from tacos and burritos to Korean BBQ short ribs throughout the streets of Bryan and College Station. Chef Tai Lee, also the executive chef at Bryan-College-Station’s Veritas Wine & Bistro, says he is able to charge 15 percent less for his menu items when they’re sold out of his truck, and that the truck attracts customers who might not frequent his restaurant, giving him a chance to promote his gourmet food at lower prices.


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