Food trucks bring new flavors to FAMU

Food trucks are now serving Florida A&M students while the Orange Room is under renovation.

Metz, the dining service for FAMU, partnered with the Tallahassee Food Truck Association for the Fall 2014 semester as Chick-Fil-A is being built in the Orange Room.

Alan Bergman, General Manager at Metz, said the company acknowledges that renovations to the Orange Room are an inconvenience students who want to eat on campus. At least seven food trucks serve FAMU students from behind Jackson-Davis Hall on different days throughout the week.

“We knew that our guests needed another alternative while the Orange Room was undergoing renovations,” said Bergman. “We felt that having a variety of options weekly would provide a nice alternative in the short term.”

Some students feel that the food trucks are helping the campus. Theoshia Grider, a second-year mathematics student from Tampa, appreciates the addition of the food trucks.

“I like the trucks being here because the Orange Room isn’t open yet and I don’t feel like making that walk to the café — it’s more convenient,” said Grider.

Fired Up Pizza is one of the food trucks on campus. Alex Cougall, owner, has been in business for three years and has owned a restaurant in Mexico.

“I wanted a restaurant but it was too expensive; so I just found this truck,” Cougall said.

Starting a food truck cost less than opening a restaurant, according to Forbes.

Food trucks start from $50,000 to $200,000, compared to opening a restaurant, which ranges from $100,000 to $300,000. Fired Up Pizza Truck offers eight-inch personal pizzas and quesadillas. There are eleven toppings students and faculty can choose from such as: pepperoni, ham, sausage, pineapples, and spinach. Prices range from $1.50 to $5.50 and the food truck accepts credit and debit cards. Each order takes up to ten minutes to be ready.

Another food truck serving FAMU is Royal Porker BBQ, which is owned by twin brothers Gavin and Hayden Royal. The Royal brothers are from Ft. Myers, Fla., and have been in business since March 2014. Both are graduates from Florida State University and have a passion to BBQ. Royal Porker BBQ menu consist of ribs, pulled pork, chicken plates and pulled pork sandwiches. Their prices range from $8 to $15.

They too accept debit and credit cards, except Master Card. The Royal brothers plan to own their own restaurant eventually, but they explained how the food truck industry is growing.

“The food truck industry has really been booming in the past 10 years,” said Gavin. “With food trucks you get the same quality of food and it usually comes a dollar or two less and you don’t have to tip.”

Emergent Research and Intuit’s partner on a research project about food trucks, and estimates that the food truck industry will continue to grow and by 2017 food trucks will generate about $2.7 billion in revenue.

Landy Joseph, a second-year cardiopulmonary science student from Ft. Lauderdale, said she likes that the food trucks gives students options of what to eat on campus.

“I think it’s good because it gives a variety instead of going to the café all of the time,” Joseph said. “They should continue this because what if someone doesn’t want to go to the Orange Room or Café? They can come here.”