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Yong, Chris and Ted will soon take to the road with their new food truck, Seoul Sausage. They fought long and hard on the most recent season of The Great Food Truck Race and with their well-deserved win, their fans will soon experience their sausages and most-famous fried kimchi rice balls.
In anticipation of the big street-side debut, Roaming Hunger spoke to some friends and former contestants from past seasons of The Great Food Truck Race to help the team understand exactly what to expect. And in real life, just like in the show, there may be some bumps on the road to glory. We hope they can use this guide as a map to help drive as smoothly as possible down the road to success.
1. KISSS or Keep It Simple Seoul Sausage:
Stay true to yourselves, your brand and your menu. The passion for your food got you through the race and that same passion will keep you delivering again and again to the customer. Austin Daily Press from season one tells it like it is:
“Just be yourself and stick to what you know, what you love and what you’re good at. If you make food you’re passionate about, it’s a lot easier to sell it to your fans. People want authenticity, not an infomercial.”
— Austin Daily Press
2. Don’t Ever, Ever Give Up:
Resiliency may feel at times like you are banging up against a curb over and over, but tenacity wins out in the food truck business. Stick with it and no matter what roadblocks are thrown your way, keep on moving.
“Prepare for six months of feeling like you are running in circles.”
3. The Madness:
Be ready for madness: the good kind where hungry locals and tourists alike have been salivating over your food on TV for weeks and want to get a taste for themselves. All of that demand requires infrastructure to properly prep and serve that many mouths. As Grill ‘Em All told us, it’s all about the people inside the truck to be ready for this:
“Hire a good staff and be ready to serve a lot of people in a fast fashion in a crazy environment”.
— Grill ‘Em All
4. Make New Friends:
It helps to listen to seasoned veterans — become friends with them and pick their teeth about locations regulations and the general food truck industry environment in Los Angeles. Other food truck owners have been through the ropes so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Additionally, association like the SoCal Mobile Food Vendors Association can help you navigate local laws and regulations. They also have outstanding food truck events and lots you should definitely look to join.
“Become good friends with a truck owner in their city. Buy them lunch and ask them all the questions you can think of.”
5. Use Your DVR:
Don’t hesitate to rewind through the season and remember what you learned in each city. The trial-by-fire experiences of the show can help you make strong, impact-driven business decisions about your product and the customers you serve.
“Use the knowledge and experience you got from the competition. You had a test run of the marketplace and you saw what dishes work and what didn’t”.
— Lime Truck
6. Sign Some Autographs:
You guys are famous now. Be a good celebrity and engage with fans. Get out from behind the screen and chat it up with the customers. Tell stories about life on the road. Give out the inside scoop. Pose for pictures. And have fun with the fans.
“Engage the customer and make them part of the family.”
— Lime Truck