Restaurant Franchises Try Truckin’ as a Way to Grow

Food franchises are taking to the road.

A small but growing number of chains—such as Cousins Submarines Inc., Tasti D-Lite LLC and Toppers Pizza Inc.—are following in the tire tracks of those local food-truck businesses popping up on city streets around the U.S. Many brick-and-mortar eateries have added mobile units in recent years, and more are expected to do the same, including national brands.

“By the end of next year, you’ll begin to see some big brands rolling this out,” says Robert Stidham, president of Franchise Dynamics LLC, a Homewood, Ill., company that helps businesses develop franchises. Mr. Stidham says he’s been involved in “serious” discussions with about a half-dozen national food franchises on strategies for going mobile. He declined to name specific chains.

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