Food truck owners seeing uptick in sales
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WICS) —
Food trucks have proven to be popular in the City of Springfield, and Newschannel 20's Esther Kwon reports that the trend doesn't look like it'll die down anytime soon.
Tuesday night was the last night of this season's Bites on the Boulevard. It's a food truck meetup event that many people say is just one example of the growing demand for more food trucks in Springfield. "We started in May of this year, and I've been booked all year long," said Nicolas Paz, the owner of the AZTCA Mexican Grill food truck.
It's a growing industry and the demand for food trucks continues to grow. "I think when we started it was only like six trucks, now we're up to nine and I think more trucks are coming in," said Paz. Randy Twyford, the owner of Twyford BBQ, said, "I'm seeing more and more businesses and office complexes looking at food trucks as an alternative for someplace to eat."
Both AZTCA and Twyford BBQ say they've each seen a 20% to 30% increase in sales from their food trucks alone. They say the trucks have even generated more sales at AZTCA's brick and mortar restaurant and Twyford BBQ's catering business.
"There have been so many new food trucks, which is very exciting," said Springfield resident Theresa Greco. "With the startups it's great because it means our economy is growing, and it's not the big guys, it's some of the little guys."
Residents say it's nice to have a variety of options that are quicker and cheaper, too. "Having been born and raised in Springfield, Illinois, probably eight to ten years ago, there were no food trucks and now we have food trucks that are springing up," said Springfield resident Tod Davis.
As the food truck business grows, vendors say it's a welcome challenge that will only benefit everyone. "We're creating jobs, we pay sales tax just like every other business," said Twyford. Paz added, "Competition is good for anybody. You have some more trucks then better for the customer, you know? We have to keep our prices low, we have to be better, we have to give you better food."
Arguments have been made that food trucks take business away from brick and mortar restaurants and don't pay property taxes, either.
Those who support food trucks say they create additional foot traffic and a more vibrant community.