Deano’s answer to: “How much impact have food trucks had on the lunch business of normal restaurants?”

How much affect has the internet had on the music/movie business?

In many senses, “none“. They are two entirely different channels. Their respective rises and falls are not correlated, for many good reasons.

In other ways, however, “huge“. It’s now possible to know in advance whether a movie/album is any good… And in some cases to even download the content itself “for free” in order to try it out, or even avoid paying for it. Still, there are solid arguments to be made that the net effect is that bad content suffers, and good content becomes more popular, faster.

Similarly, between sites like Yelp providing reputable and voluminous reviews of restaurants, and the food truck phenomenon disrupting the distribution and competition for restaurants, it’s a lot harder to “skate by” with a crappy restaurant in a convenient location… Or to open to raves in your first six months, and then allow food and service quality to backslide a bit as a profit-taking measure.

What food trucks do, primarily, is put pressure on restaurants and cafés to perform to a higher standard for their lunch crowd – and to highlight or even force out of business those businesses that fail to compete effectively. In the latter case, definitely, those restaurants lose lunch business to the food trucks, even if they have no overlap between menus.

For an example of a restaurant that “couldn’t handle the pressure”, and instead legally challenged the food truck parked outside, read on:
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie…

In that case, the result was a backsliding of Yelp rating for the restaurant, as well as awkward search result placement: http://www.yelp.com/search?find_…

This answer originally appeared on Quora: How much impact have food trucks had on the lunch business of normal restaurants?

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