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Old 05-19-2019, 01:52 PM   #1
Mr. V
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Default Food carts: wave of the future?

Some say that trends and new ideas sometimes originate out west and spread east.

I wonder whether the ever-popular food carts will become as big a component of the NH dining scene as they now are in Portland, Oregon?

Typically people convert a tow-behind-your-truck travel trailer / camper into a portable kitchen / pantry and prepare and sell food from it: certainly keeps the overhead down and allows folks to go into business on a shoe string.

Brick and mortar restaurant owners don't like them, for obvious reasons, but they are increasingly popular.

Many cluster together into "pods" such that you'll find groupings of ten or more different vendors side by side with many different types of cuisine for customers to choose from; many cart owners provide some form of informal seating for customers, at least if space is available.

Most of the offerings are of surprisingly good quality.

Given the difficulty in finding employees willing to work in the food industry in the lakes region I wouldn't be surprised to see food carts in your future, provided local zoning laws allow them.

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Old 05-20-2019, 12:10 PM   #2
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I hope not. Not in the mood for that urban, third world feel up here; kind of why i choose to live up here.
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Old 05-20-2019, 12:13 PM   #3
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Good for bike week fairs and festivals but I wouldn’t want them to be an everyday fixture


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Old 05-20-2019, 01:10 PM   #4
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Over here in the western part of the state, the Upper Valley has at least a dozen food trucks that circulate between Hanover, Lebanon and White River Junction, VT at lunch time. My office is on Colburn Park in downtown Lebanon and we have 3-5 food trucks to pick from for lunch on any given day.

The City of Lebanon has dedicated a specific spot along the west side of the park where the trucks can park to keep things organized. Most of the trucks also hit the farmers' market circuit or town band concerts in the evenings.

A couple of the food trucks were so successful they have graduated to brick and mortar locations in Lebanon and White River.

Overall, I would say the community response has been extremely positive. Several of the Upper Valley towns also host food truck festivals throughout the summer. The trucks have been extremely popular with Dartmouth students, too.
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Old 05-20-2019, 01:41 PM   #5
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The food trucks of todays millennials is far different from the roach coaches of you baby boomers... I grew up with the ABSOLUTLY not would I eat anything off of a truck, now I"ve been shocked with how good some of the food is.

So to the third world country comment? We're talking food trucks not downtown Laconia right?
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:11 PM   #6
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I hope not. Not in the mood for that urban, third world feel up here; kind of why i choose to live up here.
You came up here to get away from...
...food trucks?
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:28 PM   #7
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You can't just park those things any where you want. If it's state or town owned land you have to pay them, if you park on private property you have to pay the owner. That's on top of getting a vendors permit. There still is overhead although not as much as a brick and mortar store front.
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Old 05-20-2019, 02:44 PM   #8
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Default the Great American Ribfest & Food Truck Festival.

The Great American Ribfest & Food Truck Festival, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Merrimack will be June 14-16 at the Budweiser Brewery in Merrimack. Family friendly ticket pricing0
https://www.google.com/search?q=Grea...&htivrt=events
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Old 05-20-2019, 03:57 PM   #9
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Hmmm, it seems you have a "food truck" scene in NH, but no "food carts."

There's a difference: the food carts are not mobile, except when the time comes to relocate: they stay in one spot, typically indefinitely.

I can envision a pod of food carts at the Weirs, sited on private property (hello, Weirs drive in location).
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:21 PM   #10
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Good for bike week fairs and festivals but I wouldn’t want them to be an everyday fixture


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Don't forget... those BBQ trucks that people rave about are nothing more than a Food Truck.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:30 PM   #11
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Don't forget... those BBQ trucks that people rave about are nothing more than a Food Truck.


Texas Smoke and longhorn are and we’re not food trucks. They sent up on the side of the road on the grass under tents with picnic tables. They weren’t these new type walk up food trucks


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Old 05-20-2019, 05:42 PM   #12
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Talking

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You came up here to get away from...
...food trucks?
Yup .... you’ll thank me one day. Lol
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:43 PM   #13
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Texas Smoke and longhorn are and we’re not food trucks. They sent up on the side of the road on the grass under tents with picnic tables. They weren’t these new type walk up food trucks


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Same premise, which is why I stated "nothing more than".
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:52 PM   #14
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Same premise, which is why I stated "nothing more than".


Kind of but to me the big difference is they had covered areas to sit and eat where the trucks don’t. Food trucks, at least the one I have seen are more like ice cream trucks just walk up get your food with no place to sit and eat.

But in the end no matter they are both mobile type businesses.


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Old 05-20-2019, 08:27 PM   #15
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I was a test proctor for the food safety training that is required at most restaurants these days.

I'll bet there are some safe food carts out there but...
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:33 PM   #16
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Food trucks as a new concept? Ah, New Hampshire, never change.

Ok seriously now, food trucks/carts are highly dependent on the local regulations by town. They have to have a permit, which dictates what locations they can be in and what kind of food they can prep (typically things that don't need to be actively cooked, like ice cream and hot dogs, get much more leeway). Typically however it is very difficult to make a profit out of a food truck unless you are in a very high traffic area like a university- I haven't been to a campus in North America for decades that didn't have a fleet of food trucks to serve hungry students for example- which the lake doesn't have. Instead, in the majority of the country most food trucks rely on special events like weekend festivals or an invitation to set up somewhere (like a brewery or a pumpkin patch), and only operate those events. Sort of like freelance caterers.

So while I could imagine the Lakes Region getting a few of these, I'm not sure it would be more than a part time/ seasonal business for someone who has space to store the truck when it's not used. The population density is just not really there.

That said, I did eat many a hot dog from the cart by Center Harbor's public beach over the years, so not like they're a completely new thing in the area. I suspect the key is the cooked food vs not designation I mentioned above.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:08 PM   #17
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Food trucks as a new concept? Ah, New Hampshire, never change.
Are you located on the Wiers BLVD? or along the WOW trail?
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Old 05-21-2019, 05:50 PM   #18
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There used to be a guy with a pizza truck around center harbor and surrounding areas. I remember him popping up at the fireworks and the beach and elsewhere once in a while.

trucks don't have property tax like owning a restaurant but you still need a place to park it and store the supplies plus the payment on it is still 12 months a year.

as a customer it's nice to go to some of the gatherings in various areas around the country and sample types of food you might not normally have.
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:24 PM   #19
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Hot Dog Bob... He seems popular. Not sure what permits he needs, but he spends many summer days on the Wolfeboro docks.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:08 PM   #20
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Are you located on the Wiers BLVD? or along the WOW trail?
Huh? I was referring to the original title.
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