Corporations moving in on the scene-y food truck scene? Dude, no way.
It was bound to happen. Over the past few years, local upstarts have been responsible for starting and keeping the frenzy aflame, but now, many corporate chains have taken notice and have tapped into the trend with their own mobile kitchens, according to a recent report by AdWeek.
Man, it used to be all about the food in the trucks, you know? With that said, here are 10 corporate mobile kitchens totally bogarting it.
Red Robin Yummm Mobile
This Colorado-based casual restaurant chain (not the DC comic book character) with over 400 locations across the country is taking its "gourmet" hamburgers and sandwiches on the road with a name that sounds as if it was made for, or by, a 9-year-old kid. And with the cost of gas through the flippin' roof, you can forget about it idling away as you mack on Bottomless Steak Fries.
Putting a new spin on the dining car, this California-based chain of mediocre American diner-style food is rolling out of the food courts and onto the streets with its mobile kitchen. Let's hope the annoying singing and dancing staff don't come with the fries and ketchup smiley faces.
Apparently, having this fast-food "Mexican" restaurant on nearly every street corner in the U.S. isn't as good as bringing its Doritos Locos Tacos, Beefy 5-Layer Burritos, and Crunchwrap Supremes right next to the extended gut of American obesity. Extra bogarting points for having its own Twitter account.
Hey, remember Sizzler? Neither does anyone else. Maybe that's why this fast-casual steak and salad bar chain decided to do something about its waning reputation with a mobile road show. The menu of sliders and snacks isn't available in the restaurant (which may actually be a good thing) and there's no sneeze guard on the truck so pick your poison.
Jack in the Box
Hey, we like the egg rolls as much as the next guy, but with over 2,200 locations, is another Jack in the Box (even in food truck form) really necessary? Following the same tongue-in-cheek humor as its advertising, Jack's Munchie Mobile is done up like van art from the 70s, with one scene depicting Jack in muscle-man armor riding a tiger. Sure it's cheeky, but will anyone even bite on this?
With recent re-branding efforts including storefront makeovers and the new slogan, "See You Tomorrow," (huh?) this casual dining chain of mediocre mainstream American food (including something called "riblets") is trying so hard to be hip with today's youth that it got itself a food truck and a parody courtesy of The Onion: "It's just like my neighborhood restaurant only completely geographically non-specific!"
From the company that gave us "sandwich artists," meats that all taste the same, and so much Jared Fogle that we cried, "Five-dollar foot-long!" just so he'd leave us alone, comes a mobile kitchen from Subway. In keeping with its "healthy" concept, it would seem like walking to a Subway brick-and-mortar location versus its food truck driving right up to our doorsteps might make more sense -- but so does running away from one, too.
This New York-based company with locations in 13 states has replaced good ol' ice cream truck treats with something defined as, "a frozen dessert comparable to, but marketed as a healthier alternative to soft serve ice cream." Uh-oh, that sounds like something close to fro-yo, which means un-fun, which means no running across the neighborhood with a handful of change to buy a Rocket Pop from an old school ice cream truck playing chime-y music. WAH!
Pico de Gap
Who says a gigantic clothing retailer can't have its own food truck? Not The Gap. As part of a marketing campaign to promote a new brand of jeans, the company created Pico de Gap: a food truck selling cheap tacos. The big box campaign tacos even featured wrappers with $20 denim discount coupons. Congratulations, Gap, if there's an official shark-jump moment for the mobile kitchen scene, you're it.
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Nothing quite says "rolling controversy" these days than a Chick-Fil-A food truck. Thanks to company President Dan Cathy's recent outspoken stand against same-sex marriage, the fried fowl on four wheels now comes with a side of support -- or protest -- depending on which side of the street you're on.