By ALLEN KONDRATEV
ALPHARETTA, Ga – You can smell them long before you can see them. Sizzling meats, fried starches and a slight scent of diesel fill the air. Follow the smell and a row of behemoths soon emerges from the maze of buildings surrounding them. Bright, bold, striking to look at; food trucks line the streets as a mass of people converge on them like ants on a drop of sugar water.
Every Thursday afternoon, the City of Alpharetta brings people together through the ultimate human equalizer… food. Burgers, gyros and tacos, the options are seemingly endless. With the slow but seemingly imminent death of the shopping mall, food courts and traditional eating establishments, food trucks bring a fresh new take on what family dining can be.
The rolling convoy of colorful trucks brings diversity and choice to a location where it was once sparse and consumers love it. Bringing business and food to a place where it is lacking is the magic of the food truck.
Atlanta Burger Truck is a staple at Alpharetta’s Food Truck Alley. It is in its third year of serving people in the Alpharetta area. Constantly boasting a line of people that seems to never end, this truck is one of the most successful at the event. The crew of three buzzes constantly in the kitchen preparing food for their hungry customers, they all look to Lee Dovre, their manager, for leadership.
“Everyone I know is getting rid of their brick and mortar buildings and are moving to the food truck industry,” Dovre said. “Having a fleet of trucks that can go TO the customer has changed the way we run our business.”
“Food trucks fulfill the demands of the modern consumer. People these days want connivance, lots of options and quality.”
Tex’s Tacos, a competitor of Atlanta Burger Truck, is also taking advantage of the mobility food trucks provide. They bring their customers quality food, good service and wide variety of options. Tex’s Tacos is in its 2nd year of coming to Alpharetta, they serve Tex-Mex style tacos and sides. The truck manager, Josh, explains what makes their truck so successful.
“We travel south past Macon and north up near Chattanooga with this truck,” Josh said. “We’ll go to festivals, weddings and events like this to bring our food to the customers. Word of mouth is what keeps this truck going, and the best kind of advertising you can have, because it’s free. It proves to you and to customers that the product you have is good,” he said.
Food trucks are and new and fresh take on the dining experience, and the city of Alpharetta is trying to capture that fun and exciting spirit in the town. Bringing business to an alley that would otherwise be left dormant, bringing customers to the city and establishing relationships that would not have otherwise been created is the ultimate plan for city growth. Food Truck Alley is not only a great advertisement for food trucks, but also for the City of Alpharetta.