Frequently Asked Questions

Who the hell are you people?

PennFoodTrucks is run by a bunch of guys who like quick, cheap food. During our freshman year we found it annoying that we didn't know which trucks were nearby on campus, but since we spent most of our time at Commons, it didn't really matter. As sophomores, picking a place to eat is much harder so we started gathering this information and decided to publish it for your enjoyment.

Why would you waste your time?

Well, mostly because we have nothing else to do. Between the video games and not studying, PennFoodTrucks became a fun diversion. We didn't originally intend to monetize the site or otherwise profit off of our work, but working with local businesses has proven mutually beneficial for us, them, and you! If you would like to advertise with us, please email us and we'll build an advertising package to meet your needs. You might be surprised how inexpensive it is to advertise here.

How did you collect the data?

Mostly by walking up to the trucks, taking pictures of the menus, and asking for their hours. Some trucks have printed menus, but most of the time it was just a lot of manual labor. For this reason, the data may be out-of-date. Because the menus we posted quickly became outdated, we have taken them down indefinitely. If you have corrections to the hours/phone numbers/etc. that we've posted, we'd love to hear them.

How do you know if a truck is open?

The function to determine if a truck is open is based on the original data we collected and Eastern Standard Time (if you're not on the east coast, how does it matter if the truck is open?). If the times are wrong, let us know and we'd love to fix it. And yes, the trucks near the hospital open before sunrise, it's not a mistake.

Who owns the data on the site?

We're not lawyers, but we think the data on the site is the property of the individual truck owners. If you have an interesting project that would make use of the data, let us know and we can give you a database dump. Please don't query our server a million times in order to get it all, that's really not nice.

Are there regular updates?

Of course, but not as you might expect. Updates to the site are now run primarily by our loyal visitors (you!). If you see changes in pricing, offerings, times, or anything else, please let us know via email. Also, rank those trucks! You can see the most recent truck reviews with our RSS feed.

What language does this site use?

For you fellow geeks/webdevs, PennFoodTrucks uses the CodeIgniter framework to simplify and secure the code. Everything is hand-coded in Coda and runs on LAMP. Our host is now Dreamhost mainly because it's cheap, but we are also fairly pleased with them. If you have other questions, contact us.

The site is slow or looks broken.

Well, that's not really a question, but I'll try to answer it anyway.
  • If the site is not loading, we are probably updating the page you're trying to access. Wait a few minutes and try again.
  • If the site is generally slow, we're probably getting hammered with traffic. Our server is extremely cheap and therefore bad, so this happens sometimes. Let us know and we'll see what we can do.
  • If the page looks broken, you're browser may be to blame. Blah, blah, blah, Get Google Chrome. If you find a problem that you don't think is a browser issue, let us know.

Those are all the problems I could think of. If there's something else, contact us.