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Food bikes

Move over food trucks, there’s a new kid on the block

It can cost upwards of a million dollars to open a new restaurant, a dizzying investment that would quash foodie dreams faster than you can say, “Bill, please!” Food trucks have become a popular alternative, and now there’s an exciting move to food bikes.

Food trucks have provided a thriftier alternative to opening a restaurant. But it’s no small feat to open a food truck either: A truck can cost tens of thousands of dollars — and that’s not counting gas and other operating costs. So now, from bakeries on wheels in Pittsburgh to mobile taquerias in Oakland, brewers, chefs, baristas, and farmers alike are turning to bike-powered outfits, instead.

Food bikes are the low capital, low footprint alternative to food trucks, bringing positive economic and community development.

While the number of food bikes pedaling through city streets doesn’t compare to the number of food trucks, they’re quickly becoming a go-to mobile option for urban operations.

As bike-powered foodservice concepts become more common in dense, urban areas around the country, the possibility of food trucks yielding to their two-wheeled (or sometimes three-wheeled) cousins seems more likely.

Feverish is one such example of a bicycle-based food concept. A gourmet popsicle and ice cream business based in Miami, Feverish started in 2008 with Felecia Hatcher and her husband, both former Nintendo marketing managers, roaming the city streets on “ice cream tricycles” they bought off of Craigslist.com.

Feverish identified itself as eco-friendly on the basis of its vegan product and mode of transportation, but eventually switched from the tricycles to a small green SUV because transporting the tricycles around Miami, a notoriously sprawling city, was difficult.

Nonetheless, Feverish is now switching back to the tricycles for a range of reasons. One is that they allow Hatcher’s crew to come and go as they please, which is not true of trucks, she says.

“We’re able to do farmers’ markets and other really cool events, whereas our truck and other food trucks can’t do them because they can’t get into those areas,” Hatcher says. “And we can leave an event if it sucks, which is something we couldn’t do with our truck. With so many people around, you can’t just drive away whenever you want to. You have to stay put all day.”

The tricycles also bolster Feverish’s identity as a brand with an environmentalist bent, Hatcher says.

“We want to be as eco-friendly as possible,” she says. “This is the way society is going. People are trying to lessen their carbon footprint. [Increasingly,] more people are on bikes as opposed to cars.”

Even though Hatcher says she hasn’t heard that any of her colleagues in Miami’s burgeoning mobile kitchen scene are also planning to trade in their trucks for bikes, she expects “way more are going to pop up.”

Up the eastern seaboard, Kickstand Brooklyn is a coffee concept that, as its name implies, peddles its java via a bicycle. “The bike-pulled coffee bar” serves up hot and cold coffee made from beans that are ground and brewed on the spot…..

QSRMagazine: Read the full article

 

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