New Study Looks at the Mystery and Benefits of Food Truck Movements

The seemingly non-complex decisions on where food trucks park is examined in a new study that finds there's actually a lot more to it than just an empty curb.
February 16, 2016, 5am PST | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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John Gillespie

A new study from researchers at UCLA and the Washington D.C. Federal Reserve System looks at the movement and economic impact of food trucks. As Richard Florida and Aria Bendix report in City Lab, the location a food truck stops can often be tied to several factors and its impact on local economies can be beneficial.

…the study uses unique data on food trucks from the U.S. Census Bureau and a dataset of daily Washington, D.C. food truck locations, as well as social media data from Twitter and Google Trends. The study is particularly interested in the connection between food trucks and new digital technologies—especially social media—and how food trucks make use of them.

Among the factors influencing location is the use of social media, such as Twitter, to allow for last minute changes to food truck locations—giving customers last minute notice when the food truck is unable to be in their normal stop. The study also found that the availability of a variety of food trucks resulted in greater consumer spending.

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Published on Monday, February 8, 2016 in CityLab
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