It looks like food trucks – once the outlaws of the food industry, as we’ve seen here in North Carolina — are going mainstream. National food chains — and others — are taking to the road now that they’ve seen the popularity of the trucks with consumers. Some may frown at this development, but I don’t. I think it’s a great example of a dynamic free market, the power of competition, and the changes that occur when consumers make their likes and dislikes known. This is about the power of the individual to affect change and it’s really quite amazing. And just wait. The “outlaw” food trucks will likely make changes of their own in response to the mainstreaming. If only government would stay out of it.

Don’t tell that to Sizzler. Or to Applebee’s, Taco Bell, Red Robin, Jack in the Box or any of the other national restaurant chains aiming to crack the code of food truck culture. Even companies that aren’t in the business of slinging hash have begun including food trucks in their marketing plans. Last year, for example, the Gap deployed food trucks in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco as part of a two-month promotion for its 1969 apparel collection. And this past spring, NBC’s Today show commissioned a pair of food trucks to make its presence known at the annual SXSW festival.