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Hot Wheels

Hands-On Learning

This article originally appeared in the Bentley Magazine.

Hot Wheels

Food trucks – ubiquitous in urban business settings – offer a moveable feast of real-world retailing lessons.

Last fall, eight of Boston’s most popular mobile purveyors of food and clothing pulled into Bentley to discuss their ventures with students in a retailing course taught by Mike Tesler. Several parked near the Center for Marketing Technology for students to investigate as part of the visit.

“Retail is about what’s happening now,” says Tesler, a lecturer in the Marketing Department and president of consulting company Retail Concepts. “It’s a much stronger lesson for students if you demonstrate the concepts you’re teaching, rather than just explain them.”

In this case, Tesler wanted students to see an of-the-moment concept up close. Food trucks took off during the financial downturn of 2008 and continue to ride the economic wave by serving up low-cost, convenient meals. An estimated 2.5 billion people worldwide purchase food from a street vendor every day. Even so, many of the panel members told of misfires along the road to profitability.

“It was very inspiring to hear from a group of confident entrepreneurs who had the courage and commitment to do what they love,” says Marketing major Josh Seiden ’14. “They are constantly adapting to customer needs and pushing forward so that success is their only option.”