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Food Trucks Trending in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It's a growing trend, and Springfield is jumping on the bandwagon… or should we say wheels.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- It's a growing trend, and Springfield is jumping on the bandwagon… or should we say wheels.

With the growing popularity of food trucks as lunch and dinner options in Springfield, there are plans to open a "food truck central" location on Glenstone just north of Chestnut Expressway.

In the past few years, food trucks have been growing in popularity.

"It is less expensive and it's a smaller kitchen," says Bob Craver, the owner and cook of Smokin' Bob's BBQ.

There are many different appealing qualities that draw in customers, too.

"Somebody is fixing my meal just for me, that knows me, that knows what I like. I'm not having to sit next to a bunch of people I don't know or don't like," says Ken Walker, a customer.

Craver’s food truck is just one of many popping up in the central location on Glenstone.

"I really enjoy the food truck because I can move around and take my business to customers in different parts of the town," says James Johnson, who used to own a few restaurants in town and converted to a food truck about a year and a half ago.

Though a food truck is vastly different than most dine-in restaurants, they have the same rules from the health department.

"We have the same rules,” says Johnson. “I sort of feel like they're a little bit stricter on us, and I don't mind it actually, you know, I have a good relationship with the health department, and I'm always asking for new updates and questions."

"They are required to have the same essentials for food safety as we require of our food establishments," says Eric Marcol with the health department.

Marcol says each truck must pass inspection before it can open.

"We want to make sure the employees are handling the food properly,” says Marcol. “Washing their hands when they're supposed to, using gloves when they're supposed to, so there are practices aside from the structural element."

And the requirements are obvious to customers.

"I know they're inspected and I can look in there and I can see if they're clean or doing something crazy or not," says Walker.

So the question is, with all these food trucks in one spot, are the owners scared they'll lose business?

"I don't see it as competition," says Craver.

"I look more at it as we're working together," says Johnson. “We all have different menus."

Inspections for each food truck is posted on the health department's website.

Trucks are not required to post inspection reports, but they are required to have their permit available that shows it is an approved facility.

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