The Ingenious Design of a Food Truck

The Ingenious Design of a Food Truck

Today’s food trucks bear no resemblance to the traditional food trucks at state fairs. They are mobile kitchens designed to please the most discriminating foodies. How can they deliver culinary feats in such tight spaces? With efficient layouts and the multi-faceted talents of the people who operate them.

Community fundraising events, such as the Eugene Food Truck Festival in Oregon, serve to expand the reach and popularity of food truck operations, while changing regulations and permit requirements pose a challenge in many locations.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, What’s in a Food Truck?, by B. Berkowitz, S. Blanchard, A. Steckelberg, and M. Ulmanu, May 14, 2018; and on the Daily Emerald article, Eugene Food Truck Festival attracts 12,000; raises funds for Eugene Mission, by E. Matlock, July 9. 2018, and the USA Today article, Regulations and permit headaches keep food trucks from cruising down Easy Street, by Z. Meyer, June 12, 2018. Image source: © McGraw-Hill Education/Christopher Kerrigan.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the basic equipment requirements for a food truck?

Guidance: See the interactive graphic shown in the article: freshwater and wastewater tanks, freezer, refrigerator, generator to power Continue reading

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The Incredible Shrinking Store

The Incredible Shrinking Store

Threatened by online shopping, large retail stores are attempting to change their image and downsize their facilities. Sears, Macy’s, Target, Walmart, etc. are opting for smaller, focused stores with fewer product lines, fewer brands, and contained layouts.

Lower real estate costs are an obvious benefit, but the challenges of meeting customers’ existing expectations and needs for variety are daunting. Sears is experimenting with a combination of reduced product offerings on its premises and access to an expanded inventory via computer kiosks throughout the store.

This post is based on the Boston Globe article,  Can the Rapidly Shrinking Store Save Legacy Retailers?, by A. Bhattarai, December 26, 2017.

Discussion Questions
1. What are the external factors that have led large retailers to downsize their brick-and-mortar stores?

Guidance: Factors include fierce online competition forcing cost reductions, changing markets (demographics, location, and preferences), and new technologies to display products within the store.

2. Many large retailers need to attract customers with a large variety of products and low costs. Are there trade-offs?

Guidance: On one hand, smaller facilities enable legacy retailers to cut costs and be more competitive; on the other, they limit the number of brands and product lines Continue reading

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