As if to prove the inevitable evolution of all things cool to pedestrian commercialism, the hipster trend of high-end food trucks is being invaded by cookie cutter chain names.
As the headline says, Applebees and Taco Bell are two big names cashing in on the roving restaurant trend. But there are also now trucks from Sizzler, Jack in the Box and Red Robin. If those big fish weren't enough to have you wondering if food trucks had jumped the shark, consider that NBC (yes, that NBC) recently had a food truck at SXSW and several U.S. cities have reported seeing a food truck selling Gap-branded tacos.
Some of the big chains see their trucks as supplementary to their brick and mortar stores, while others use their vittle-vans as mobile test kitchens. Sizzler, for example, uses an electronic menu on its truck because its offerings changed so frequently. Some items proved so popular that the steak chain incorporated them into their regular menu.
So is this the beginning of road-going restaurants? Or the beginning of the end for what was for a bit a fun little trend? Adweek's story points out that some people theorize that food trucks will become as ubiquitous as mobile phones. When first introduced, mobiles were novelties, but soon evolved to replace land lines.