Ricochet News

Demand for food trucks skyrockets on Gumtree.co.za

Dec 20, 2016
Demand for food trucks skyrockets on Gumtree.co.za

South Africans are going nuts for a new type of vehicle; they are big, they are loud, they are selling the best pulled pork buns in a town near you.

Food trucks are parking everywhere in urban South Africa, with more than a thousand for sale on Gumtree at any given moment, says Claire Cobbledick, Head of Marketing for Gumtree South Africa.

“A food truck is any large vehicle (such as a Kombi) that can cook and sell food on the road,” she explains.

“But they are a far cry from the mobile boerie- and pancake vans of yesteryear. They are the darlings of aspiring young chefs who can’t afford to open their own restaurants and usually serve up gourmet meals, wraps and sandwiches.”

In addition to providing a venue for talented chefs, these trucks also provide a healthier alternative to fast junk food, doling out balanced meals in busy metros and events.

5 Star Street Chef (@5StarChef) from Johannesburg serves Durban bunny chow and bobotie, Imbuzi Café (@imbuzicafe) in Pretoria dishes up lean goat burgers, while EasyEating (@EatingEasy) in Durban is known for its aubergine-and-roast-pepper-stuffed vetkoek) and Cape Town (arguably the home of the local food truck) has the El Burro #TacoVan serving up hot Mexican cuisine on the go.

While food trucks rarely stick to one spot for long, most of these truckers have twitter handles that allow you to find them wherever they go.

“Food trucks sell for anywhere from R150 000 to R500 000 – much cheaper than real estate,” says Cobbledick. “Others prefer to buy a vintage Kombi or other van and then to convert it to a restaurant on wheels.”

One such car that was up for grabs on Gumtree last year was the legendary Winnie The Brave (www.winniethebrave.co.za),  a 1971 Winnebago motorhome that serves as a food truck, DJ stage, photo booth or wedding wheels, kitted out in full 1970’s American diner style. Vintage Fire Trucks are also a popular choice.

Cobbledick says that buying a second hand food truck is fairly easy, but buyers should make sure that they tick all the boxes before proceeding.

“You will be working with gas and fryers, so make sure that there is working safety equipment. In addition to being able to cook and serve on the go, you will have to do a lot of washing up (and store a lot of pots and pans and ingredients), so make sure that there is adequate drainage, a sink and storage space. And like with any vehicle, make sure that the car is mechanically sound.”