A Brief History of The New York Food Truck Association

Food trucks are a New York City staple, but where and when did our favorite mobile restaurants get their start? 

In this blog, we’ll give a brief history of food trucks and shed light on the subsequent birth of The New York Food Truck Association.

When Did Food Trucks Become Popular?

1940s food truck

Food trucks have existed since as early as the 1930s, but they gained their true popularity in more recent decades, after the 2008 recession. 

During the widespread economic downturn, entrepreneurs saw food trucks as an affordable way to stay afloat, and the coinciding rise of social media platforms created the perfect environment for this new business model to explode into the mainstream. 

Over a few years, food trucks began dominating the streets of larger cities like New York City and Los Angeles, and food truck TV shows, festivals, and parades all became commonplace. Today, food trucks can be found across the entire country. 

This is where the New York Food Truck Association comes in. 

The Birth Of The New York Food Truck Association

 Ben Goldberg, Former Food Truck Owner And Founder

Ben Goldberg serving food from the Frying Dutchman
Ben Goldberg, NYFTA founder headshot

NYFTA founder, Ben Goldberg, is a former food truck owner who became an expert in the food truck industry from operating his own mobile kitchen, The Frying Dutchman, for two years. 

Experiencing first-hand that he needed more accessible catering opportunities, he thought to himself, ‘how great would it be if food truck businesses didn’t rely solely on street sales, but could benefit from large-scale events on a regular basis?’

But there was a one problem: on their own, food truck owners didn’t have the time or bandwidth to land catering events because it required the lengthy process of acquiring the right insurance and making their businesses marketable, all the while still running their restaurant on the frontlines. 

However, with an association like NYFTA coming into play, food truck owners could focus on doing what they do best— serving up the best dishes in New York City— while at the same time, gaining an entirely new source of revenue. 

The services that NYFTA provides are twofold: on one hand, they make life easier on party planners and event hosts by connecting them to hundreds of gourmet food trucks, and on the other, they support local food trucks by giving them extremely profitable, large-scale business opportunities. 

Successfully filling this gap in the food truck industry is exactly what has made The New York Food Truck Association so successful.

Food truck owners could also rely on the association to advocate with the city on the vendors behalf. With potential licensing and permitting changes that vendors might expect in 2023, NYFTA’s commitment to representing and defending the interest of food truck owners is that much more valuable.

2023 Update

Looking back at 2022, the New York Food Truck Association catered over 500 events, and in 2023, the association expects to top that busy year with even more weddings, birthdays, corporate events, and more!

Want to book your 2023 event? Reach out to our team today! 

And, for all the food truck owners out there looking for more business growth, join our association now