The Web-Enabled Food Vendor

January 2015

Would you like to connect your food business with the world of today's technology? This month's article from Ginette Wessel talks about what options are available to mobile food vendors, and to make them work for you.

Listing your profile in our Fest Biz Directory can go a long way toward getting promoters to take notice. Read below for those details!

Happy cooking!
FN Newsletter Editor

The Web-Enabled Food Vendor

by Ginette Wessel

Cities across the United States are becoming hotbeds for mobile-food entrepreneurs benefiting from an online social networking culture. The mobile food-vending phenomenon is a rich environment for examining the development of technical, social and economic dimensions of contemporary urban life through the mobilization of services and social activity in both virtual and physical space. Although the number of mobile food vendors in cities has nearly doubled over the past decade, few studies have addressed this trend's impact on the current and future urban fabric.

Portland, New York City, Austin, Los Angeles and San Francisco are among the most well-known cities for mobile food vending. Food trucks appear at a variety of public and privately owned locations, including plazas, community parks, tourist areas, alleyways, office parks and college campuses. They range from innovative units equipped with restaurant-quality equipment, often referred to as "gourmet" food trucks, to less-fancy and often marginalized trucks known as "roach coaches."

With the rapid increase in gourmet food trucks, smartphone applications such asTruxMap, Food Truck Fiesta, Road Stoves GPS and Truck Spotting have emerged, offering real-time tracking of favorite eats. Yet Twitter is the most popular source of information among vendors and customers alike. It is used to exchange tips about serving locations, daily menu items, service outages, customer feedback and changing city ordinances. Social media has become essential to vendors by assuring a sufficient customer-base wherever they choose to locate. At the same time, urban spaces acquire new functionality and meaning with the presence of food trucks, as customers instantly populate urban sites for temporary periods of time.

Unlike Portland or Los Angeles, which have longstanding food-truck industries, the nascent scene in the San Francisco Bay Area is spreading rapidly through an abundance of media coverage. This coverage is often focused on the effects of mobile vending on local municipalities, including issues of nighttime theft and crime,regulating distances from secondary schools, resolving spatial conflicts between vendors and restaurant owners, assigning proper public parking areas, updating outdated ordinances and permit costs, and maintaining health-code requirements. Despite these challenges, street-food events like Off the Grid, Bites Off Broadway,Food Truck Mafia and the new SOMA Street Food Park are becoming weekly fixtures and drawing unprecedented crowds.

Read more here!

Promote Yourself with Our Fest Biz Directory
Ever dream of a promoter contacting YOU to vend at their event? It could happen! Get found by listing your concession or food truck business for Free in our Fest Biz Directory and instantly get more exposure by taking advantage of the over 750,000+ visitors we have per month! You will be easily searchable by your location, keyword, or your business type.

Our Basic listing is Free or you can increase your visibility by becoming either a Featured Company or with a Hot Link to your web site.

Go to your Modify Profile page to opt into the Fest Biz Directory. Just make sure your profile doesn't stink!

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