Follow That Food Truck! New App Points the Way to Mobile Food Vendors
One of the biggest food trends over the past several years has been the explosion of gourmet food trucks and street vendors, which began as the recession slowed down the food industry as a whole. The attraction for vendors is obvious, the ability to be more experimental, a lower overhead than brick and mortar, no dominant franchises to fight, and the ability to go where the customers are rather than waiting for them to come to you.
Except often customers want to go to them. If you have a hankering for food from a favorite truck or want to track down a truck you’ve heard about, it’s often a challenge to find them. Frequently food trucks develop fiercely loyal followers.
That’s what friends Josh Boldt and Erik Rust thought, too. They like food trucks, and they wanted to be able to find them. Their first solution was Lexington based food truck hub lexingtonfoodtrucks.com, which lists the scheduled whereabouts of over thirty Lexington food trucks and street food vendors.
A native of Lexington, Boldt lived for several years in Athens, Georgia where he enjoyed its thriving local food scene. Hearing that Lexington’s food scene was growing, he moved back and was thrilled with what he found: “I was excited to see the burgeoning downtown culture with new breweries and restaurants popping up. But I was particularly intrigued by the food trucks I was seeing everywhere. Just three years ago, there wasn’t a single one of these trucks around.”
Now Boldt and Rust have upped the ante by introducing a free iPhone app called Follow That Food Truck (website and iPhone app). “I joke that Erik and I wanted the app as much for ourselves as for anyone else. We wanted to be able to find the trucks!” Boldt explained.
The app is straightforward, opening to a map that shows where you are with the standard pulsating location dot and truck icons marking the current location of participating food trucks. Tap on the truck to get a pop-up identifying which truck is there. Tap on the name and get the location address, schedule, and a basic menu of that truck’s offerings.
The app is in “alpha” stage with many planned updates including the ability to favorite trucks you like. Feedback from users is encouraged. Try the app out and send comments and suggestions to foodtruckchasers AT gmail DOT com.
Although initial rollout is in Lexington, the Follow That Food Truck app is workable anywhere. “The app started in Lexington, but it’s accessible to anyone in any city. Any truck can sign up and start using it with no restrictions. All they have to do is create an account and start telling their regulars about it. We do intend to begin actively spreading to other cities soon. Also on the horizon is an Android version of the app,” Boldt said.
When asked what his favorite food truck was, Boldt slyly played the politician: “It depends on the day and what I’m in the mood for. It’s hard to believe there are so many quality food trucks in our city.”
Whatever food he, and you, are in the mood for, the new Food Truck Chasers app will make finding it a lot easier.