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USA Today writes this morning about how some hotels are getting into the food truck business as a way of extending their brands and generating incremental sales.

Among the hotels climbing on board: The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC, the Auberge Saint-Antoine in Quebec City, and the South Beach-based Setai Hotel and SLS Hotel in Miami.

According to the story, “Many high-end hotels in recent years have enlisted award-winning chefs to turn their restaurants into destinations. So it's only natural that they'd try to capitalize on one of the fastest-growing segments of the restaurant industry, analysts say.

“In a National Restaurant Association survey last summer, 59% of diners said they'd likely visit a food truck if their favorite restaurant offered one. That's a 47% increase from the previous year. Food trucks attract a variety of clientele, from the leisure traveler looking for a cheaper food option to the business traveler on the run.”

In the case of the Ritz, it will open its food truck outside its popular Westend Bistro. The Setai is putting its food truck out by the beach, and the Auberge Saint-Antoine has one near a local vineyard.
KC's View:
Great idea for expanding the brand, especially if you have food worth bringing to new venues. I could easily see retailers like Dorothy Lane Markets and Lunds/Byerly’s operating food trucks in specific locations, allowing them to bring their excellent fresh foods to customers in unusual locales. (Byerly’s already sells its wild rice soup at Target Field, which is sort of along the same lines. I just wish they’d send a food truck in my direction that sells one of its signature sandwiches - smoked turkey, Jarlsberg cheese, a slice or two of bacon, topped with cranberry mayonnaise and served warm on toasted thick cinnamon bread - a sandwich so good I dream about it.)