Still pigeonholing food truck proprietors as scrappy outsiders who operate on the fringes of the traditional restaurant industry? That’s not true of the ones now promoting food truck-friendly vehicles for car and truck giant Nissan, and maybe not for newcomers who sign up for Nissan’s financing deal—zero percent APR interest, no payments for 90 days—to get into the food truck game.
Visitors to this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show won’t go hungry as they check out new models of Nissan’s NV van. The company partnered with a pair of noted food truck operators, The Grilled Cheese Truck and Coolhaus Truck, to dispense, respectively, innovative grilled cheese sandwiches and uniquely flavored ice cream sandwiches in hopes of luring showgoers to its display.
The food truck operators are serving out of a pair of 2012 Nissan NV 2500 High Roof vans. The vehicles have custom foldout serving windows, work counters and full exterior graphics.
“The Nissan High Roof Model is especially adaptable for food truck and catering use thanks to its 76.9-inch tall interior, which provides the flexibility for the mobile chefs to comfortably move around inside creating their gastronomical delights,” says Joe Castelli, v.p. of commercial vehicles and fleet for Nissan North America.
The NV van is Nissan’s first entry in the commercial vehicle segment in the North American market, and food trucks are a big part of its target market. Buyers have a choice of two fuel-efficient engines, a 4.0 liter V6 and a 5.6 Liter V8, both mated to a standard 5-speed automatic transmission.
Nissan is making them easy to buy. The current financing special offers zero percent APR interest plus no payment for 90 days (to find it, go to http://www.nissancommercialvehicles.com/zero). We’re not endorsing this company or this vehicle, but if you’re looking for a cash flow-friendly way to get into the food truck business or to add a food truck as a spinoff from your existing restaurant, it will be tough to beat this deal.
Don’t want to spring for a brand new Nissan food truck? Maybe you can find a clean one-owner truck from another manufacturer instead. Go to http://www.cateringtruck.com/used.html to see a list of “for sale by owner” food truck vehicles. The top of the line when we looked was a $150,000 mobile kitchen in a double-decker bus whose upper level provides sit-down seating. Also eye-catching is a 1989 vintage motion picture catering truck listed at $55,000 that comes complete with 2011 health department certification. There are plenty of other used vehicle choices.
Given this level of availability in the food truck resale market, factor in the new food truck vehicle push from Nissan and it looks like brick and mortar restaurants can expect plenty of new food truck competitors to be hitting the streets soon. If there’s a saturation point in the food truck industry, we’re not there yet.