Paul Landry’s idea for a food-truck-tracking app dates back to 2013, as Pittsburgh’s food-truck scene was growing from niche novelty to ubiquitous dining option.
Landry was a Pitt student and passionate food-truck patron who would “buy food out of the back of basically any vehicle that [offered] it.” But he found himself frustrated by the inconsistency and unpredictability of food-truck schedules.
“I thought that if there was a way to track food trucks in real time, I wouldn’t have to drive all that way only to have nothing but sadness for lunch,” Landry wrote in an email to City Paper.
So he contacted his friend and Radio Shack co-worker Jonathan Worek — who, ironically, had never eaten from a food truck — with the idea to build an app that would track food trucks in the area in real time using GPS.
It took a couple years, working around full-time careers and families, but today, Mobile Nom is fully operational in Pittsburgh and 17 other metro areas around the country.
A user opens the app and enables location services, and then a map appears displaying all the food trucks in the area. Click on a pin, and the app shows how long that truck will stay in that location, when it’ll be there again, and a menu of its offerings.
You can download Mobile Nom from the app store, or discover more at Mobilenom.com.