I’ve confirmed that both the Austin Grill and Cafe Vida Express food trucks have retired. Austin Grill directly confirmed that the truck has been re-tasked and will no longer be serving directly to consumers. Though, fans of Austin Grill can still visit any of the 6 brick and mortar locations.
Cafe Vida Express’ retirement has been indirectly confirmed as my communications have gone unanswered. Their official website is no longer working and their last tweet mentions something about moving to Florida.
If I had to speculate as to why these trucks really retired, I’d say that the owner of Cafe Vida probably did relocate. I’ve observed that most food trucks really do have just 1 individual running the operation. A relocation of that individual would certainly mean that the truck would cease to operate.
As for Austin Grill, their 4.5 months of operation seemed to be more of an experiment. They are a DC-area restaurant chain and are very in tune with the local market. So, why not capitalize on the local food truck trend? I’m guessing that they retired due to a combination of these three points:
- too many variables in deploying the truck everyday (weather, truck malfunctions, traffic)
- their food offerings may have been less suited for quick serving out of a food truck
- the economics of their food truck business did not meet their expectations