Food Truck vs Roach Coach…Are they the same?!
Ok, let’s put an end to the age old debate! The answer is NO! They are the same about as much as Little Ceasars Pizza and Oreganos Pizza Bistro are the same. Yes, they both sell pizza but the difference is huge.
“Roach Coach” is the nickname given to the Food Trucks that stop at construction sites and areas with laborers and little to no food service nearby. This working class of people have short lunch breaks and need a close by cafeteria with cheap, quick and hot meals to eat while walking back to work. Lunch trucks drive from site to site stopping for 15-30 minutes to serve quickly and keep moving. Vending machine style pre-packaged foods are the majority of what you will find on the menu. Because this type of Food Truck has been around for almost 50 years, they gained a reputation for having food not kept at safe temperatures due to the fact that refrigeration was in it’s infancy when these trucks first hit the road. Thank goodness for advances in technology…these trucks and all Food Trucks are much safer these days!
Gourmet Food Trucks are full mobile kitchens with Chefs preparing made to order, high quality and fresh food in a portable form. Chefs are able to use their passion to create amazing restaurant quality food at events and festivals, private parties and anywhere else a caterer would be needed. Take Robert Coleman, owner of Circle R Farm Food Truck, for example. His career as one of the leading Food and Beverage Directors in the country as well as his time spent as chef at the highly rated restaurant he owned in Copper Creek, Colorado kept him busy and retirement left him bored. He built a state of the art kitchen in a trailer and uses the same recipes he used at his $100 a plate restaurant. His chef background means the kitchen is spotless and the frequent visits from the Maricopa County Health Services inspectors have never been a problem. With his training and attention to detail, his mobile kitchen on wheels is probably cleaner than most fast food restaurants. (Read Robert’s full story on his website!)
So, while they might be cousins, Roach Coaches (aka lunch trucks) and what we refer to as Food Trucks are not the same. They each serve a different type of food, have different daily routines and serve different needs in the community. Wondering how to tell which is which? Just look at the menu! Is it fresh food cooked to order? When in doubt, peak in the window!