Chris Martin never saw himself operating a burger and frozen dessert food truck, but after getting hold of a truck to expand the reach of his ice cream cart business he has found himself right at home behind the grill.
“The reason I chose to do burgers and grilled items is very simple: the truck that I bought had a grill on it. I have had to add my fry equipment, but a burger just tastes better with fresh cut fries,” Martin said.
Now in its [however many months it’s been operating] of operation, Chris’ Grill and Frozen Treats has picked up a decent following and joined a growing number of popular food truck vendors across the state.
“The bacon cheeseburger is probably my biggest seller and fresh cut french fries or onion rings are such a unique treat they almost always accompany the burgers,” Martin said.
The food truck business has exploded across the U.S. over the past five years and there is no sign of it dying down anytime soon, according to a report from consumer research organization IBIS.
“In the short time I have been open I am very encouraged by the business,” Martin said. “ When I am expecting a large rush or crowd I always try to have a helper to keep the lines moving quickly.”
From traditional food cart fare like burgers and hotdogs to mobile pizzerias and bakeries, Oklahoma’s food trucks offer a wide variety of meals and tastes. Even vegan meals.
The Loaded Bowl, Oklahoma’s only whole food and vegan food truck, opened in 2013 and has been surprised to see that its varied menu has a broader appeal than owner Tevin Grupe expected.
“The Loaded Bowl has always been a small operation, but our customer base has been growing like crazy over the past couple of years,” he said.
This increase in customer base has been so great that the food truck has recently begun plans for a restaurant in the Farmers’ Market District of Oklahoma City so as to meet the increased demand.
The Farmers’ Market District is also the location of the recently constructed Bleu Garten food truck court, an open venue that features a rotating selection of food trucks daily and attracts hundred of local community members.
Following Bleu Garten’s success, community and council members in Midwest City have begun clamoring for the opportunity to create something similar.
“I think a dedicated food court like Bleu Garten or a festival like the defunct H & 8th in Eastern Oklahoma County would be great,” Martin said.
But while city officials have updated the zoning ordinances to allow for a food truck court, local business have yet to jump at the prospect.
Until then, Martin’s food truck can be found at locations across Midwest City and Oklahoma City as he plies his burgers and considers updating his menu.
“I have just recently introduced homemade egg rolls onto the truck. If their initial success is sustained I may have to alter my concept,” Martin said.