Popularizing within the last decade, food trucks are rising in numbers all around the country. Food trucks have experienced extreme growth in the United States within the last decade, and ETSU college students are going to have the opportunity to partake in this new fad in the upcoming semester. Due to the D.P. Culp University Center construction, the only open dining location inside the Culp will be the Marketplace. For any other variety, students will have to find it on the streets.
Though many people complain about food trucks’ tendency for long lines, overpriced products, and an overly crowded atmosphere, I tend to think positively about their impact on a college campus. For a university as a whole, a constant goal of growth is to bring more people together, and while food trucks may not do this automatically, they have the potential to foster an atmosphere for more personal relationships.
In a restaurant setting in the United States, it is common to sit down at a table or bench set off away from others and only engage in brief conversation with the server about the food or drink one needs. On the other hand, food trucks provide an atmosphere different from typical restaurant etiquette. The same individual who takes the order could also prepare the food. Additionally, people are typically surrounded in a close proximity to others also waiting for their food, which could potentially contribute to a new social atmosphere.
While the cost still looms at hand for students with a limited budget, not all food trucks cost the same. Steak ‘n Shake (beside the library) will be a new addition to the usual food trucks seen parked on campus at the Farmers Market and others parked near campus. A Boars Head Hot Dog Cart will be adjacent to the Pride Walk, and a Buccaneer Food Trailer will be next to the Treehouse.
A chain restaurant typically costs less than a locally run food truck, but even if the local food trucks near campus cost a few dollars more, at least there’s satisfaction in supporting local businesses.
The main problem I can foresee arising on a college campus is the potential for more people to be late to classes and meetings because they misjudged how much time the line or preparation of food would take. Certainly, this will be a problem in the beginning, but students will soon learn to adjust.
Overall, I’m excited for this change coming to our college campus, and I hope you too find some happiness in this new step. In the long run, ETSU quite possibly has its hand in setting a new trend for college campuses across the country.