The mobile food vending space is growing ten fold every year. According to the National Restaurant Association there are some 15.6 million Americans that eat at mobile food vendors already. Mobile food vending has exploded in the last five years, no longer are we talking about just hot dog carts, food trucks have become the in-thing these days.
According to research prepared in Mobile Foods’ presentation for the Duke Startup Challenge session that just ended there are somewhere between 40,000 and 60,000 mobile food vendors in the US. There are 20,000 in Austin, Dallas, Houston and Los Angeles County alone.
One of the tricky parts with your favorite food truck is finding out where it is on any given day. Now if you have a regular truck that you eat at you probably know where they are going to be, maybe they post their schedule on the truck, online or have some kind of email list that you can subscribe to. Mobile Foods hopes to solve the Food Truck location problem for you.
More after the break
Now we’re privy to another Food Truck locator startup that’s also in the works. This space is soon to get crowded as more and more people are turning to the walk up convenience and variety that comes with these restaurants on wheels. In fact, with the weather just getting prettier food trucks are about to get busy.
Dong Kang, Eric Jensen and Chris Pierick are the founders of Mobile Foods. They are going to employ Google Maps, navigation and some kind of tracking API. The plan is to let food truck patrons monitor the food trucks location so that when lunch time rolls around they can get to their favorite food truck.
While the trio didn’t’ win this session of the Duke Startup Challenge they got to the second phase. To this point they already have an alpha version ready and they have established a relationship with the National Restaurant Association.
This mobile app startup will have two parts. The vendor part which will update patrons on their location. Mobile Foods also plans to automatically integrate social media streams like Twitter, Facebook and Yelp so that the food truck’s owner can broadcast their location.
The other part is of course for the user so that they can locate the truck. Mobile Foods plans to have a beta version ready to go in the next month or so and then launch the full version along with a website and web version of the app sometime in the late summer.
As I said early I’m privy to another mobile app startup in the same space that may be just a smidgeon ahead as far as timeline is concerned. With food trucks heating up and every developer that went to SXSW thinking along the same lines this space is going to get crowded quick. It’s going to be up to their functionality, UI and how fast they can build scale to see who’s going to be victorious in the food truck location category.
See Mobile Foods’ presentation for the Duke Startup Challenge here
Here’s our story on Nanoly the winner of the Duke Startup Challenge (this is a really awesome concept)
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