Wheely good – food trucks and food trailers
Having found its feet in London and New York, the street food phenomenon is now a massive new trend in German cities. And the idea of food trucks and food trailers drifted across the Atlantic at more or less the same time. For some months now, these vehicles have been revolutionising and breathing new life into the German scene. Provided you have the necessary skills, these mobile, fully equipped little kitchens let you cook up fresh, quick and delicious culinary delights – from local but also more exotic cuisine.
Your target group is huge. Office workers in the city centre, families at a street food festival in the park, or perhaps famished friends after a gig or a boozy night out clubbing – healthy fast food alternatives and balanced bites are in demand whatever the time of day or night. Today, hundreds of mobile culinary creators are already out and about across Germany, rustling up exotic delicacies or traditionally rustic grub. Using high-quality, tasty and healthy products, they now have the opportunity to revitalise the industry. Urban types keen to celebrate taste, try something new and discover exotic dishes – people we might want to call “foodies” – come out in droves at the sight of eye-catching, lovingly converted old camper vans and construction trailers, post vans and repurposed American school buses.
Put it this way: It’s not often that one of these trailers sports a Michelin star. But many certainly deserve one! Functional and with unmistakeable character, they reflect the passion of food truck chefs, who either pull out all the stops to convert their mobile kitchens themselves or have them professionally made to measure.
Cooks love the opportunity to put their tasty ideas into practice, right down to the smallest detail. Makes sense. And food truckers are no exception to the rule. They invest plenty of time and money in their dream. The market for building and converting street food trucks is gathering pace right now. Whether you want to buy new or second-hand, take one on or hire one for a specific occasion: There are already loads of offers online to cater to all tastes. So dinner is well and truly served.
Food trucks aside, the most important thing is having a passion for cooking as well as your own viable concept. What works? What do customers want? You need to think in terms of sophisticated recipes, and not just sausage and chips. Food truck chefs love dishes that you don’t see every day but that are quick and easy to prepare and taste great. There are at least thirty ingredients you can use to quickly enhance even the humblest of curry sauces. Vegan, organic, regional, rustic hearty dishes, multicultural – everything has a special touch of its own.
Not until you’ve done all of this homework should you start planning your truck to ensure the best possible working environment. Pay attention to things like power connections, space and lighting. And of course even the best idea is useless if nobody hears about it. You should consider in advance options such as promotions, your choice of location – maybe you’ll move throughout the day –, taking part in street food caravans and town festivals or asking companies whether they’re looking for a mobile canteen solution.