So you are looking for a food truck but can’t find one? What to do? Here are your options.
Food trucks are mobile in concept but such is not always the case. Almost all of the Taco Trucks in Columbus are stationary and keep standard hours – you can find most of them at Taco Trucks Columbus.
One of the most famous of Columbus Food Trucks is not mobile at all – and it started as a trailer. That would be Ray Ray’s Hog Pit.
However most street food vendors….are on the streets going from location to location looking for people to feed. In Columbus the business model for most mobile food owners is to schedule locations to serve lunch at Monday to Friday then supplement with a few evening locations as well as festivals and events on the weekends. These trucks look for corporate lunch locations with the goal to serve fifty to one hundred customers in a two-hour period as long as they have the permission of the property owner and the business site.
In the evening, they look for business sites that have a second or third shift of hungry workers or a bar with some patrons in need of a snack or two. Dick’s Den, Seventh Son Brewing and St. James Tavern host food trucks one to three days per week.
You can try twitter to find a food truck – if you know what the twitter address is and if they continually tweet where they are serving. This is not practical for most people nor is it helpful if you do not know what truck(s) you are looking for or want to look for.
The same can be said for Facebook. While many vendors post where they will be for the day or the week, if that is all they post the content soon becomes boring. Plus, with recent changes to Facebook you may not be able to find these posts in a timely manner. And again, you need to know the truck exists….to find it. Another downside, most people can’t access Facebook from their workplace computers….so finding a truck at lunch can be a struggle.
There is a website called Ohio Food Truck Finder which lists many of the twitter feeds for food trucks in Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati and elsewhere – this can be a good way to see much of the variety of vendors but it is not a complete listing and food trucks that throw in the towel or take a long hiatus are often in this stream as well.
The same group also coordinates mobile vendors for lunch at ten plus Ohio State University Medical Center locations. You can find a schedule -> HERE.
And HERE is a map of sites. The vendors currently serve lunch at most sites Monday to Friday.
App(lication)s exist to find food trucks. Some have come and gone (Hungerly) and others have come and fizzled (Eat Street, Roaming Hunger and Street Food (Columbus)). The only app / finder worth your time is (and it should continue to get better) Street Food Finder. What makes this the best? It works. It meets the needs of the Food Truck owners because it is easy to use and saves them time. It is good for customers because it is good food food truck owners, so there is actually current information on Street Food Finder which makes sure information is there to look at and easy to put to use. The creator of Street Food Finder lives in Columbus and consulted with Food Truck owners and Street Eats to make sure his product met the needs of everyone. It started as a chicken or the egg situation: if the owners don’t put information into StreetFoodFinder then customers won’t us it, but food truck owners had to be OK with putting in information when no one was using StreetFoodFinder so that people could see that it does work. Make sense?
And you have this site to find out about new vendors, we don’t write about all of them, but for 2013 we will try to write about those that are new, interesting or the best.
Getting a Food Truck for a workplace, event or wedding.
Some people comment on this site looking to hire a food truck, we do not respond to questions of that nature since we do not have the time to be matchmakers. If you are interested in contacting a truck to serve you, please contact the vendor directly by phone, Twitter, Facebook or their website.
These are a few things to keep in mind if you are looking for a vendor. Most will need to serve at least 50 people to cover costs. The typical minimum for a private event is $500. In the peak season (March to October), vendors are booked one to three months or more in advance. If you want a food truck to serve at your workplace – make sure that the property owner of the building provides permission in writing. Designate someone in your office who can help promote the trucks schedules with other employees so they can serve fifty plus people each time, once the numbers start to drop, the truck may have to head off to greener pastures.
If you hit a wall in contacting a food truck vendor (and you meet the criteria above), you can contact The Food Fort at FoodFortCMH@gmail.com for placement assistance with one of their member vendors.
And if all of this seems overwhelming and you just want to experience the culture of food trucks without the hassle, try a Columbus Food Adventures Taco Truck Tour or Food Truck Tour.