Armando’s Food Truck, a favorite breakfast and lunch stop among the football team and other students who discovered its slightly obscure location, has moved to a new, off-campus spot since construction began earlier this summer next to the School of Cinematic Arts building.
The move has come as a surprise to some of the old customers and business has taken a bit of a dip, but Armando Corado said he believes the move might work out for the better.
“The move has definitely changed the business,” Corado said. “We’ve been at that site on USC’s campus for 20 years and we have never worked off campus before.”
The sudden move disrupted regular business, confusing regular customers who didn’t know about the move.
“I just got back to campus after being home for the summer and had no idea Armando’s had moved,” said Jennifer Padilla, a sophomore majoring in international relations and communication. “I was a regular there last year and I doubted they had gone out of business because their tacos are so affordable and in high demand among ’SC students.”
Corado, who has worked at the food truck for 11 years, acknowledged it will take some time to get a regular flow of customers again.
“A lot of people haven’t found us since we moved,” Armando said. “Last year we probably fed about 300 to 400 students a day. Right now, it’s not even close to that, but it will get better.”
Though part of Armando’s reputation as USC’s best-kept secret was based upon the mystery of its location, the new off-campus spot offers the food truck the opportunity to build a bigger customer base.
“Now that I’m off campus, I realize there’s a lot of traffic we hadn’t been exposed to before,” Corado said. “Now many of our customers are living right in front of us.”
Some of those customers live in Century Apartments. Armando’s food truck is now parked outside the apartment complex, near Jefferson Boulevard and McClintock Avenue, each day. Some loyal customers were quick to discover the new location.
“I was bummed out, until I noticed that Armando’s moved right across the street on Jefferson,” said Johnnie Jung, a sophomore majoring in computer engineering and computer science. “I can literally see the truck from my room. Now it’s always tempting me with its awesome sandwiches and burritos — great food and quality.”
Members of the football team said that Armando’s new location won’t change their habits.
“The football team loves the food that the truck has to offer,” said Emon Saee, a walk-on quarterback. “I usually go with [defensive tackle] Christian Tupou or just go pick it up and bring the food back to the locker room. As long the truck is walking distance from the locker room, I’m there.”
Corado said that the food truck might move back to the original location once the construction is completed, but if business goes well enough, the truck would stay on Jefferson and McClintock.
“The way I see it now, we already have a pretty good reputation and a pretty big fanbase,” Corado said. “Now more people can actually see us.”