How can we help the food truck industry grow in New Orleans? With outdated and restrictive laws in place, what can be done in the meantime to support the entrepreneurs working overtime to lobby for change while serving up their culinary fare?
That was the second of four challenges faced by GOOD Ideas for New Orleans volunteers. A team made up of Mary Louise Killen, Kelly Troia, Sarah Azpeitia, PJ Rosenberg, Cambria Martinelli, and Jake Minton tackled the project, which was sponsored by the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition.
After weeks of research, data collection, and deliberation, the team of volunteers settled on a straightforward and powerful tactic for boosting food trucks in New Orleans: reinventing their presence on the web. Helmed by the talented type designer Mary Louise Killen, the group crafted a completely new identity and information architecture for nolafoodtrucks.com, the city’s long-standing home for all food-truck related information. Now you can find the twitter feeds of all the food trucks in New Orleans in one place.
The choice to reinvent an existing website, rather than build one for the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition, was an important one. With an openness to radical collaboration, the volunteers, the NOFTC and nolafoodtrucks.com realized that they would all benefit by working together. Instead of splitting the city’s food truck audience between two locations, nolafoodtrucks.com will simply split some of their revenue with the NOFTC. As a result, the GOOD Ideas for New Orleans volunteers not only created a more beautiful and more useful place for foodies to learn about the city’s trucks, they also created a potential revenue stream to help the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition in its mission to reform the city’s laws.
In the future, the new website will benefit food truck entrepreneurs as well. The ultimate goal is to transform the site from a solely consumer-facing resource into one that provides information about regulations, inspections, maintenance and opportunities to current and would-be food truck operators alike.
In the meantime, all the food trucks supporters and aspiring operators in New Orleans can learn more about the city’s legal situation, what’s being done about it, and how you can help tonight at “Let the Food Trucks Roll”: A Food Truck Symposium and Rally. The event is co-sponsored by organizations focused on promoting food entrepreneurship as a path to economic opportunity and community revitalization, including the Good Work Network, Ashe Cultural Arts Center, The Southern Food & Beverage Museum, and the Oretha Castle Haley Merchants and Business Association. The symposium starts at 6pm sharp at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. See you there!