Mobile Empire

Mobile Empire

It all starts with an idea and a dream.  And a recipe, of course.  You buy a cart, a trailer, or a truck, and you start your mobile eatery.  Business starts out slow, but a few things go your way, and before you know it you’re actually doing pretty well.  One day you get the idea it might be time to expand and before you know it, you have a second, and maybe even a third truck in your fleet.  That’s exactly what’s happening now to several of Austin’s food trucks all around the city.

For the customer it means getting your specific food truck fix in different places.  For the food truck it means reaching more customers.  Of the mobile vendorsChi’Lantro BBQ is one of (if not the) first to expand to second truck roaming the streets of Austin.  Sharing their Korean-Mexican all over Austin, from down south near 290 and up north in the Domain.  So successful, in fact, that they’ve started up a new truck in Fort Hood.

Another fan favorite making a splash with their third truck bus is Short Bus Subs.  With a fairly permanent home base in Central Austin, SBS makes stops all over Austin for lunch.  Their soon-to-be open third bus is going to reintroduce Austin’s enthusiastic late night crowd to some toasty subs with a late-night downtown location.  A toasty sub on homemade bread with local ingredients will never be too far away when there are three locations to get your fill.

Now that Austin has reached a mature food truck scene, multiple trucks is becoming more common for all kinds of food.  Coolhaus has two trucks (Smokey and Betty) keeping Austin cool during warmer months year-round.  Kebabalicious can wrap you up for lunch, dinner, and late night from two separate downtown locations.  Even with all the incredulous stares to hear of raw fish in a trailer, Sushi A-Go-Go had opened two trailers (though one is temporarily closed while they get their own brick-and-mortar, Kome, up and running).  There are many more in an ever-growing list of our food truck favorites that are expanding their mobile empires around the city.

Having the demand to open a second or third (or inevitably fourth) truck speaks volumes to how unique and special a truck’s offerings are.  It’s hard enough to get started in a market full of mobile eateries, so when one of these brands puts four more wheels on the ground, it really says something.  It’s an interesting route to take, particularly when a main reason for opening a food truck is the lower overhead than a brick-and-mortar restaurant.  For this writer it’s encouraging that some trucks are in this for the long haul, solidifying their position in the mobile market for a long time to come.

Originally posted on October 17, 2011.