A Brief History of Mobile Food Businesses

It seems like Mobile Restaurants started not too long ago. Some may recall the first Food Parks popping up in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, and before that, you would see street food vendors here or there around construction sites, college campuses and busy nightlife streets. Well actually, food trailers date back to the late 1800’s.


One of the street food vendors was Walter Scott, who sold food to busy journalists in Providence, Rhode Island. He cut serving windows into a covered wagon and sold pie and coffee in front of a local newspaper office. Not surprisingly, Providence is still one of the top mobile restaurant cities in the US.


When Ivy League Universities began attracting more students, sausage vendors swarmed hungry stomachs in the mid 1890’s around campuses in "Roach Coaches". Then 40 years later, the great Oscar Mayer came up with the first Wienermobile and kicked off the mobile hot dog cart movement. Then in the 50’s, ice cream trucks started serving baby boomers after WWII along with more food carts near US army bases and construction sites around the country.


After that, a wave of Mexican immigrants in the 70’s gave birth to the first Taco Trucks and the rest is history. Now you see a variety of cuisines, prices, and chefs all over the country serving quick simple food to gourmet creations. It has become a 1 billion dollar or more annual industry, where people aged 16 to 55 years old are the most likely to purchase a meal from a mobile food business. The thriving industry has seen its share of government regulations along with its growth, often making some entrepreneurs and chefs hesitant to enter the market.


With the right guidance and programs like Rent 2 Own Trailers, the industry can continue to expand and entrepreneurs and chefs can join the restaurant industry with their very own Food Trailer and continue making history.



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