Food Truck Underground

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In Utah, Food truck popularity is on the rise. Dozens of food trucks are seen around town and have become a staple at community events. The trucks provide easy access to a wide variety of food and drink, ranging from burgers to Taiwanese bubble tea.

In 2014, Food Truck Underground was created in an effort to bring these different street vendors together and help make an accessible environment where anyone could come and enjoy food and entertainment.

“At the events, we have a lot of families and single people who come out, it’s just kind of a fun, laid-back experience,” said Lauren Brown, a Food Truck Underground employee. “We go to different locations each night, but usually the same locations each week. We also have a lot of events that people will invite us to. You get to buy food from a truck, it’s kind of cool and different.”

18 trucks are a part of the Food Truck Underground and have different locations and events set up for them to attend each week. The truck pays 10 percent of their profit from each event they attend.

“Some organizational details are still being worked out for the food trucks involved and sometimes there seems to be some confusion at the events, but the Underground has definitely improved over the last few months,” said Tayler Price, who works on the Mama Z’s food truck.

Mama Z’s has participated with the Underground for about a year. They are known for their calzones and wookies, which is a cookie made in a waffle iron. Working in a food truck is not easier or less stressful than working in a restaurant. “It’s food service, so if you’ve ever worked at a restaurant, it’s the same thing. You have people that are really nice. You have people that are really mean. Whenever you’re handling someone else’s food, they kind of get a little crazy,” said Price.

“I have a totally different view, I don’t get stressed out much, it’s just another job to me, I don’t worry too much about it,” said Derrek Studebaker, a co-worker on Mama Z’s. “I don’t know about other trucks, there’s usually 2-3 people working on the truck at a time, depending on how busy we are.”

Studebaker, an aviation student at UVU, has worked with Mama Z’s for about a month and adjusted to work life on a food truck.

“Taking orders can be a little weird because [the customers are] standing up and you’re hunched over, it can be kind of awkward sometimes but you get used to it after a while, after you’ve taken your thousandth order,” said Studebaker.

Social media plays a significant role in the success of the food truck business. The Food Truck Underground is active on Facebook and Instagram and relies on those outlets to post their truck schedules and stay connected with their customers.