Put down the pitchforks, restaurants; a new study proves you have nothing to fear from the city's proliferation of food trucks. Global information company NPD Group conducted a survey addressing awareness of respondents to mobile food options and also determined where people would eat if not at a food truck. Turns out that quick service restaurants like McDonald's or a local deli have more to fear from the mobile invasion than your corner bistro.

About 50% of respondents claimed they would have ordered from a fast food restaurant if a food truck had not been in the area; another 20% said they would skip a meal altogether if a food truck were not available. The study discovered that consumers were visiting food trucks for the same reasons they were visiting QSR restaurants: "availability of 'interesting' foods and convenience." While that may strike fear in the heart of a franchise owner, NPD also reveals that "many [regular users] make purchases from food trucks only very occasionally."

New York City likely lands us on the heavy end of the spectrum when it comes to food truck saturation, especially in densely-populated working neighborhoods like Midtown Manhattan and parts of the Financial District. Food trucks aren't a direct threat to restaurants in those areas, but "QSR operators may wish to take note of the benefits food trucks offer, such as different and fresh food, especially as a means to build their snack business and/or protect lunch traffic,” according to NPD restaurant industry analyst Bonnie Riggs. Your move, Pret A Manger!

[h/t Midtown Lunch]