Food truck culture is the newest fever that has caught Chennai in recent times. This phenomenon of ‘pop-up restaurants’ has steadily grown popular over the years resulting in the concept of mobile restaurants around the city. Ashok Nagar and KK Nagar are some major hotspots that house food trucks.
* Biz on wheels
Speaking to NewsToday regarding this venture, owner of ‘The Food Truck’ in Ashok Nagar Sindhuja Manoj says, ‘Food is my passion. I was inspired by Eat Street programme on TV and that’s how it started,’ she says. ‘I wanted to start a food truck after seeing many colourful trucks in the show.’ She adds, ‘This vehicle selling food is grabbing people’s attention. Customers find it unique, interesting and also adventurous’.
When asked about how often they move around the city, Sindhuja said, ‘We don’t move often but we do participate in parties and events and return to our original spot.’ Sindhuja also highlighted on importance of obtaining all necessary licenses before starting a food truck business. She said, ‘It is essential to obtain a food safety license, a GSTIN along with permission from the Corporation to set up any food truck.’
Food trucks in general are remodeled to support cooking and facilitate sales through windows on the sides. With street food cuisine often playing a significant role in Chennai. residents of Ashok Nagar and KK Nagar have naturally welcomed them with open arms. ‘I hang out with my friends all the time and we usually visit the food trucks in our area,’ says Rohith from Ashok Nagar. ‘We love the ambiance and for the money we pay, it is totally worth it. It also gives the feel of authentic street food. It just teleports you elsewhere.’
* Yummy trend
Covering cuisines from South Indian to Continental, food trucks have menu that caters to a dedicated group of patrons. While they are traditionally associated with simple fare like sandwiches, hot dogs, or ice cream, today’s food truck business has exploded into a plentitude of gourmet treats. The advantage of mobility unlike restaurants allows owners to access multiple locations in city.
* Hot wheels
The amount of effort and dedication that goes into running a food truck is enormous. Not only the fact that two or three people man the station and serve huge lines of people to order but they are also stuck inside for hours. Many trucks have air conditioning units but they often don’t do much to cool the workspace. Ventilation hoods suck out some heat while windows and insulation help to an extent , however there is so escape from the heat produced by the steaming metal plates, grills, stoves, fryers and ovens and also, Chennai’s humidity!
(Article was written by SADAKSHI K R)