Last August in Los Angeles a food truck named the ZZ Truck hit the streets serving up sliders, grilled cheese sandwiches, salads, and fries. The truck, though offering seemingly normal food, does stand out. The double Z in the truck's name comes from its creator, the western chain restaurant Sizzler.
Sizzler has been around for more than 50 years and can be compared to the typical middle-class steak restaurant. However, the truck’s chef, Chris Rahder, notes that the menu and vibe of the truck is completely different from the restaurant itself. He also admits it is a way for the restaurant to stay alive in a struggling market. According to a Marketplace interview:
“It’s a way for us to help rebuild Sizzler, to propel is up as a marketing scheme, as getting out with people and things like that. So it kind of revitalizes the youth of Sizzler so it’s not just going after one crowd.”
With the mindset of creating a food truck as a marketing tool, does this mean that we could be seeing more struggling corporate restaurants hitting our streets in food trucks? According to John Self, a hospitality management professor at Cal Poly Pomona, the answer to that question is yes.
“… I think the winner will be the restaurant industry because it’ll expand into a totally different new market.”
While the brick and mortar restaurant industry could benefit from this new brand of trucks, there is the potential that the food truck market could become saturated with too many of these chain restaurant trucks and cause distaste for the culture.
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