Historically food trucks and tents presented an entree for up-and-coming entrepreneurs to dip their toes into the food business. But now we’re seeing the movement come full circle: more and more, established brick-and-mortar restaurants are seeing opportunities in the world of mobile food.
As the restaurant landscape has become more competitive, restaurateurs are looking for new ways to increase their exposure. Food trucks and tents offer a low-stakes way to explore new, interesting opportunities — especially when compared to to the costs and resources required for opening a new restaurant.
“Restaurants have become an important part of the mix for us,” says Matt Cohen, founder and CEO of Off the Grid, an organization that operates more than 50 weekly street food events throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In San Francisco, restaurants like A16 and Nopalito have joined Off the Grid events at the Fort Mason Center and the Presidio, finding a creative way to grow their reach. Now Matt and his team are doing more than ever to reach restaurants, supporting them with infrastructure like tents, banners, and signage to help attract those businesses.
We spoke to Matt about why restaurants should consider going mobile and learned his top tips for making it work. (And Bay Area restaurants, take note! Off the Grid is accepting applications for the Fort Mason Center, California’s largest food market, through Friday, January 20th — apply here.) [Read more…]