Food truck industry growing in Albany - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Food truck industry growing in Albany

The number of food trucks across the country has been growing (Source: WALB) The number of food trucks across the country has been growing (Source: WALB)
Ramiro Alvarez (Source: WALB) Ramiro Alvarez (Source: WALB)
BJ Fletcher (Source: WALB) BJ Fletcher (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB) (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

When lunchtime rolls around, things get busy at Joe's To Go.

The popular food spot promises Mexican in Minutes. It serves up everything from chimichangas to specialty plates.

It's like your typical Mexican restaurant but there is one big difference. This one sits on wheels.

Ramiro Alvarez opened the food truck four years ago. He already owns several restaurants in the area, but decided to try something new after seeing the success of other food trucks in Atlanta.

"A trailer was a different to cut down a little on the cost as far as our overhead. So we tried it out. It worked. And four years, here we are again," Alvarez said.

Studies show the food truck industry is quickly expanding. The industry grew by 12.4 percent in the past five years alone.

Food truck revenue has skyrocketed to 2.7 billion.

It's an industry that city commissioner B.J Fletcher said is growing right here in Albany. A restaurateur herself, she said it all boils down to the dollar sign.

"If you can be a very successful restaurant, you're lucky if you net eight or ten percent of all of the dollars that you bring in. It's a whole new ball game on the food truck. The net, the bottom line, that's what you're in it for and the bottom line is better on the food truck," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said food trucks could be the answer to revitalizing downtown Albany.

"Until Albany heights and until downtown experiences the growth they're looking for, food trucks is the way to bring the coolness to the downtown," she said.

Alvarez said food trucks can be a smart move for an entrepreneur looking to get into the food business.

"It's a very good experiment and at the same time, you cut down on a lot of your costs. And its just a great different kind of business to run," said Alvarez.

Alvarez said running a food truck does have its challenges. Weather is sometimes his biggest enemy. The heat or rain can keep customers away.

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