I was recently intrigued by a question someone asked in the Google+ food truck community. Joe was wondering about what size population it takes to support food trucks in a city. I responded saying that he might be able to compare the number of food trucks in a city to the population of that city and see if any standard ratio emerges across cities.
I ended up getting curious myself, so I decided to look into it. I used Roaming Hunger to determine how many trucks are in each city, googled the population of each city, plugged it into excel, and bada-bing-boda-boom, I had some interesting (albeit not perfectly accurate) numbers to think about.
In order to rate the “friendliness” of each city, I looked at how many food trucks there are per million residents in each city. As you can see above, the results are astoundingly varied, ranging from 172 food trucks per million Austin residents to a dismal 11 food trucks per million New Yorkers(those poor New Yorkers.)
Here’s the same information on a graph (for those visual learners out there, I’m looking at you Sarah).
If you’re thinking about starting a food truck business, this is definitely something to consider. I’ve always heard New York is a tough city to run a food truck business in due to headaches with permitting and regulations, but I had no idea that the numbers could be so skewed. I was also surprised to see that San Diego, my own home and 2nd true love, is very low in the rankings too. The moral of the story, er… chart, is to do your homeworkbefore starting your own food truck business. Look into how difficult permitting is, and how different types of trucks are doing in your area.