Fast-casual restaurants are most likely to roll out a food truck operation in the next year or two, National Restaurant Association research has found.

According to the 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 22 percent of fast-casual and 13 percent of quick-service and family-dining operators said they would consider adding a food truck component to their businesses.


But the research also found a majority of full-service restaurateurs regarded food trucks as competition for their brick-and-mortar establishments. In fact, most operators questioned said they likely wouldn’t run trucks as additional revenue stream.

“There are some restaurateurs who consider food trucks as competition,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the NRA’s Research & Knowledge Group. “But some operators view the trucks as opportunities for established restaurants to expand both their operations and presence. Mobile foodservice has been and will continue to be a good way of extending an existing brand beyond the four walls of the restaurant.”

The report noted that many full-service operators did not believe food trucks would become more popular in future. Among fine-dining restaurateurs, only 16 percent said they thought the trucks’ popularity would increase in that segment, while 30 percent of family- and casual-dining operators though the trend would grow in theirs. Among fast-casual and quick-service operators, 47 percent of the former and 43 percent of the latter said they thought food trucks would become more popular.