Street food is ready-to-eat food sold in a street or other public place, such as a market or fair, by a hawker or vendor, often from a portable stall or Food Truck. While some street foods are regional, many are not, having spread beyond their region of origin. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2.5 billion people eat street food every day.
With the proliferation of food trucks across many North American cities, Street Foods are the driving force for many food service trends including:
- Food Truck menus are leading trends in international street food and portable gourmet fare. Smart menu developers are watching these innovative culinarians.
- Food Trucks use social media to reach, connect with, and engage their audience. Social media sites provide a platform to build trust by relaying information transparently and also offer updates in real time for changing menus and locations.
- Street Food recipes at Fast Casual and Casual Dining restaurants. At a time when customers are cutting back on their restaurant spending, fresh and inexpensive lunches and dinners are an easy sell to the public. Although cities like Edmonton have embraced food trucks, some have not. Montreal has a complete ban and Toronto's expensive vending fees, extremely militant health and safety laws and a 2002 moratorium on issuing additional food truck licenses have all lead to a great opportunity for Fast Casual and Casual Dining restaurants to embrace Street Foods on their menus.