Graduate project

Tortilla Dea's food truck feasibility study

Smithsonian Magazine (2012) featured Chef Roy Koi’s concept of hustling Korean barbecue tacos from a food truck, which spawned nationwide fanfare for food that is distinct, affordable, and fast. He is credited with revitalizing the mobile food industry and inspiring food truck shows on the Food Network and Cooking Channel that grew the mainstream appeal for culinary innovation occurring outside the conventional confines of brick-and-mortar (Smithsonian Magazine, 2012; Thrillist.com, 2019). Following in his footsteps, many chefs and entrepreneurs have opted to avoid the risk for return against multimillion-dollar build outs typical of glitzy metropolitan restaurant spaces. Instead, their focus is to win over weary foodies by marrying unique global flavors with familiar classics. Capitalizing on the tired menus of franchise chains and extortive prices of posh venue small bites, aspiring chefs are looking to showcase culinary genius by giving hungry patrons more bang for their buck. This was the inspiration for launching a food truck serving tacos and burritos to the greater Sacramento-San Joaquin (Sac-Joaquin) area. Tortilla Dea’s would bring crisp and refreshing flavors, authentic to Mexico, to the underserved foodies in need of breakfast and lunch options on the go. Although there are many taco trucks in the area, they are indistinct and have sunk into obscurity behind brick-and-mortar restaurants and other mobile competitors. Only a few have differentiated themselves by delivering the genuine flavor flare and freshness expected from Mexican home-style cooking. Each of these appetite-inspiring food trucks have a small cult following and have unfortunately closed their operations during the ongoing pandemic. So, the opportunity is readily available to seize market share and solidify the business as a part of the local culture.

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