The spread of American food trucks (or “mobile food” as they’re called these days) isn’t showing any signs of slowing according to a recent report. The food truck industry alone is projected to grow by nearly 20% this year (2019). One source of that growth is coming from a new type of small business owners called “Dabblers,” according to a report from the San Francisco-based mobile food consultancy, Off the Grid.


Enabled by emerging technology and the new gig economy in which having a “side hustle” is the norm, Off the Grid says a different breed of mobile food entrepreneur has emerged: the Dabbler.

Dabblers are passionate home cooks and would-be small business owners who view their mobile food venture as a controlled experiment on the open market, an added source of income, or perhaps even a creative outlet from their nine-to-fives.

These enterprising individuals recognize that their greatest strength lies in their ability to do exactly what their moniker suggests: to dabble with new menu items, new locations, new service models, new products and new partnerships.

Most importantly, dabblers are equipped to align (and realign) their strategies to changing consumer preferences, seize upon cultural moments, and capture the imagination of the dining public.


For more about Dabblers and other emerging trends in Mobile Food, download the report “Mobile Food Trends and Insights Report” from Off the Grid.


Photo: Off the Grid