WASHINGTON — Nearly 60 percent of consumers would be likely to visit a food truck if their favorite restaurant offered one, according to the National Restaurant Association. That’s up from 47 percent a year ago.

The NRA said food trucks are gaining steam with 18 percent of consumers seeing a food truck in their community this summer and 28 percent of those who saw a food truck this summer making a mobile food service purchase.

“Convenience is a major driver in restaurant growth, and food trucks are certainly a convenient option by essentially bringing the restaurant to the consumer,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the research and knowledge group for NRA. “Our research shows that in just one year, the number of consumers who say they would be likely to visit a food truck increased significantly. We also found that food trucks have a more noticeable presence in communities in the West and Northeast than in other parts of the United States.”

While 29 percent of consumers in the West and 24 percent in the Northeast said they saw a food truck this summer, only 9 percent in the Midwest and 15 percent in the South said they saw a food truck. More than two-thirds of consumers ages 18 to 44 said they would be likely to visit a food truck if offered by their favorite restaurant while only 38 percent of consumers 65 and older said the same. Seventy per cent of adults with children said they would be likely to patronize a food truck while only 52 percent of adults without children said the same.

“Though food trucks are often equated with chefs and entrepreneurs, they also present opportunities for operators of established restaurants to expand their operations and presence, as a majority of consumers say they would visit a food truck run by their favorite restaurant,” Riehle said. “Mobile food service can be a good way to extend an existing restaurant brand beyond the four walls of the establishment.”