Fast Food of the Future

Not sure whether to file this one under a bucking-the-trend story or slightly ahead of the curve.

Food carts are everywhere these days. Three taco trucks have even found their way to Lynden this summer. Also ever-present are stories about regulators harassing food carts at the behest of local restaurants that don’t want the leaner competition.

Last night, as I was about to cross the street to go to the Bellinham Bells game, I saw this:

Taco Time, for folks back East, is fast food taco chain concentrated in the Pacific Northwest. Taco Time is upscale compared to Taco Bell and the service is generally a whole lot better, but it’s nothing fancy.

The funky design of the Taco Time Traveler truck, coupled with the fact that this is a novelty coming from an actual restaurant, bade me stop and take a picture. I did not expect I’d be patronizing the cart, but they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

Take this delicious taco, free:

Turns out the Taco Time Traveler is part of a promo thing that the Northwest arm of the chain is doing to boost sales. The truck goes to major events and gives out thousands of tacos, gratis.

It’s Taco Time’s way of saying, “Come on in to our restaurant, folks. There’s more where this came from.”

This could turn out to be a crazy effective form of advertising. If other restaurants decide to do likewise, they would no longer need sympathetic bureaucrats to drive the food cart operators crazy.

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