TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ? Food trucks have had a hot and cold relationship with restaurants for years, but now universities are starting to shoo away the mobile eateries in favor of their own food trucks, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The University of Alabama used to allow Brothers Street Eats to sell food on campus, but that ended in April. This fall, the school will park its own La Lola Loca food truck selling chicken tinga with pineapple and chipotle barbecue pulled pork. ?Having a truck of our own gives us the flexibility to respond directly to our students, rather than working with off-campus vendors to address student requests,? said Virginia Johnson, associate vice president for auxiliary services.
Across the country at the University of California, Riverside, the school?s dining services launched the Culinary Chameleon at the beginning of this year. But the food truck that has a revolving menu doesn?t tout its connection to the university.
Universities say mobile eateries are profitable and give them the ability to change menus quickly. Aramark Corp. and Bon App�tit Management Co., which run university foodservices, have had more demand for college-operated food trucks. Aramark will boost its university-sponsored mobile eateries by nine, while Bon App�tit will launch five more trucks this fall.
Currently, close to 100 undergraduate schools run their own food trucks, compared with around 12 in 2007, according to the National Association of College and University Food Services.