The Magic beneath Food Truck Location

ice-cream-van-roma-cafe-mid-40'sBack in 2012, the U.S. food truck industry for the first time blew past the $1 billion revenue mark (it in fact reached $1.5 billion that year), making it one of the fastest-growing sectors of the national food and restaurant market. Still, food trucks are often seen as the enemy of local restaurants. Just as cab drivers have taken to protesting Uber and other ride-hailing services, brick-and-mortar restaurant groups have rallied in cities across the nation to ban or limit food trucks.

But what do food trucks actually mean for urban economies? What impact do they have on local restaurants, food industries, and our choices as consumers?

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A recent study from Elliot Anenberg of the Washington, D.C. Federal Reserve System and Edward Kung of UCLA takes a detailed look at the economy and geography of food trucks in our nation’s cities. To get at this, the study uses unique data on food trucks from the U.S. Census Bureau and a dataset of daily Washington, D.C. food truck locations, as well as social media data from Twitter and Google Trends. The study is particularly interested in the connection between food trucks and new digital technologies—especially social media—and how food trucks make use of them. Here are its five big takeaways.

via The Secrets to Food Truck Location – CityLab.

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1. Twitter is a big factor in food truck location.

Food-seeking flocking behaviour.

2. The connection between food trucks and digital technology is greater in big, dense cities.

Network effect, more nodes, and more importantly, more connections. Check out Valdis Krebs.

3. When it comes to location, variety matters a lot.

We, birds, humans, weasels, get bored eating the same stuff. And to maintain health we need to eat different stuff. Variety matters. Duh.

4. Food truck location is spiky.

Even normal economics understands this power law effect.

5. Food trucks cause households to spend more money on eating out.

See 3 and 2.

___________________________

Complexity fans will have spotted the lack of underpinning theory in the otherwise excellent CityLab piece. So I provided it, in bold italics. You’re welcome.

 

 

provocation #3 ‘Why oh why did this happen, can you see what it is yet?’ (file under: contentious and and half-baked) | LinkedIn

An occasional series of provocations for management thinkers.

May contain elements of offense.

(File under: contentious and and half-baked)

provocation #3

 

 

WHY OH WHY DID THIS HAPPEN, CAN YOU SEE WHAT IT IS YET?

NB: My target here is managerialism, not committed, ethical, hard-working public sector employees and elected representatives.

Rearrange these into the correct order:

1. Give police targets determined by politicians, and managers subservient to them

2. Import managerialism into the public sector

3. Destroy the multi use approach to city and town street life – thanks planners, abandoning the streets after 8pm to ne’er-do-wells, clubbers, drunks, and the poor and desperate.

4. Think it clever to save social services budgets a few quid by buying cheap places in care homes for vulnerable kids in depressed towns like Rochdale.

5. Close your children’s homes and allow the market to create cheap children’s homes in low cost areas.

6. Send vulnerable kids half-way across the country

7. Don’t see children and youth as valid members of society with needs, rights, and AGENCY, so don’t cater for their leisure and affiliation needs

8. Rack up business rates so that only poverty-level wages for fast-food work are viable in town centres.

9. Prioritise car theft, based on public complaint, over missing children who don’t complain because they don’t matter (“scrubbers” anonymous policeman, BBC Radio 4 Friday, September 12, 2014 13:37).

 

That was a trick question: there isn’t an order only a pattern.

Then wonder why the Rochdale Child Abuse Scandal.

Discuss. Use both sides of the argument and the brain.

 

_____________Footnote

if you find this offensive is it less or more offensive than the Rochdale Child Abuse Scandal?

via provocation #3 ‘Why oh why did this happen, can you see what it is yet?’ (file under: contentious and and half-baked) | LinkedIn.

INTRODUCING: musings|half-baked… ‘who should run the world and why’

Introducing ‘musings: half-baked

This is a new category, in some ways going back to my original idea of a scrapbook in the form of a blog. So half-baked musings are scraps of thinking, that I might do something with, or might pique my or someone else’s interest.

So here is the first one, file under ‘who should run the world and why’.

Very cool lady judge presiding over the Pistorius case. I’m going to extend the ‘the world should be run by 8 year old girls’ to include ‘successful black women of pensionable age’ (context: where black is an oppressed group within the dominant societies on this planet. Your culture may vary. May contain traces of nuts).

Despite being jovially couched, this is a serious notion. Its about experiences and perspectives. Its an idea emerging, slowly.

The idea is to specify, in a quasi-scientific manner, the ‘necessary and sufficient conditions’ for a thing. In this case ‘running the world nicely’. It’s like a concept car for management systems thinkers.

Judge MasipaArticle is from yesterday's 'i'

			

Security Theatre

Schneier is brilliant, and unpronounceable and difficult to spell. Coined the term  ‘Security Theatre’. I was an unwilling participant in one when making an internal flight from a city in the UK to a city in the UK to speak at an event. On the return leg I spent a hours waiting in the departure lounge in Inverness with Tim Gill, another speaker. I had bought two bottles of scotch and hadn’t realised they needed to checked in. Eventually it transpired that these dangerous bottles containing possible explosives could be kept in the office for up to 7 days. [pause for the absurdity of keeping ‘bombs’ in an office in the centre of an airport to sink in] I was told they would be destroyed if not collected. Like I believe that in Scotland. I rang the mom and pop taxi firm I’d used and they agreed to store them for me until I could collect them. Which turned out to be never as I have not been back. But a mate was flyfishing nearby and collected them for me, a year later. Thank you, old chap.

https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/08/irrational_fear.html

Notice how human kindness has to work overtime to fill the gaps? One thing security theatre smashed effectively was trust, another is compassion. But humans, on a one to one basis, will always help. It’s a primate thing.

Footnote: my public school educated friend tipped them a tenner. That jarred. Been worrying at it for years. I think this is why, and it relates to the notion of ‘conviviality’ as described by Illich (googlim): it’s a class thing. Posh people, and don’t get me wrong, my friend has been a staunch supporter and had put plenty of work my way, do the tipping thing, working-class people don’t. Our expectation is that we help each other out without thought of reward. (There are exceptions and you can guess what they might be). I suspect that Hamish and Marie were bemused by his gesture and might have quietly donated the ten quid to charity. Having said all that, I wish I was half as gentlemanly as my posh friend.

what we lose when when we fear prolixity and live brevity

Nobody wants to be ‘that guy’ who goes on and on.  Besides, one-liners are cool.

So if you have a lot to say, maybe you should blog (kettle? black?)? Of course, that’s why I do – right now I’m channelling Seth Godin.

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Yet sometimes extreme brevity is uncool. Like:

  1. More haste, less speed.
    1. Oh boy. A work colleague sends you an email. It’s 3 words. It might be ambiguous, so at the risk of looking a bit silly, you reply asking: Did you mean x or y? they reply, tersely, in what appears to be confirmation. So you then say: So what we are saying is the blah blah is x and not y because of [reason]. You don’t need me to tell you how much longer that took.
    2. And multitasking is a myth. Every time the inbox pings, your concentration on that important thing pings away. Hey.
  2.  Some things can’t be explained in a text, or a one-line email.
    1. Like love, or systems.
    2. Or why?  why usually needs space, which, increasingly, we ‘don’t have time for’.

Call me Captain Prolixity, for reasons that you don’t have time for.

Is There a Non-Creepy Way to Run Behind a Woman? –

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/cac-non-creepy-way-run-behind-woman/comment-page-1/#comment-1715546

Here my take on this interesting question.

The key word, IMHO, is public. Public space in the public realm. This would be a non-issue of the streets were full of people. “Empty neighbourhood”? Can it be a neighbourhood if it is ‘empty’? Look at the writings of Jane Jacobs, I’m thinking of ‘The Death and Life of American Cities’. Imagine a street full of people, children, old people, pavement cafes, people chatting, mums with prams. Now picture yourself weaving through all of that. Actually it’s difficult to run through all of that… but that’s another issue…

– See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/cac-non-creepy-way-run-behind-woman/comment-page-1/#comment-1715546

REGENERATING THE PUBLIC REALM: Blenders, babysitters and burglars! – connecting neighbours in unexpected ways – Playing Out

“For my street – and the others who have shared their experiences – new and rich connections have grown from sharing time and fun on the street during playing out sessions. And they have changed the way I feel about living here for the better.”

We know more about regenerating a rainforest or a prairie than we do about regenerating the public realm.

We really need to get out more.

And we really need to study more.

PlayingOut, is one neccesary, but—of course—of itself, insufficient condition for this regeneration of  the public realm to take place. Pun placed intentionally!

Read and follow their excellent bloggery.

via Blenders, babysitters and burglars! – connecting neighbours in unexpected ways – Playing Out.