Interview with the First Food Truck Team Out of the Race

by in Shows, August 18th, 2013

Food Truck TeamsOn the premiere episode of The Great Food Truck Race, the teams of food trucks started out in Hollywood, but their first day of selling actually took place in Beverly Hills. Soon after, a Speed Bump moved them to San Francisco. This turn of events by no means made it easy for the first-time food truck operators. In the name of the game, one team must go home every week based on the lowest profit. FN Dish has the exclusive exit interview with the latest team cut from the race.

The eight teams had a rough start in California. The challenge in Beverly Hills of upselling to upmarket customers seemed to work in bolstering profits for most of the teams. But moving to San Francisco meant the low-earning teams would be put at more of a disadvantage because they had to leave in order of profit, from highest to lowest.

The Frankfoota Truck earned the least in Beverly Hills, putting them in last place at the start of the second day. But Murphy’s Spud Truck wasn’t far behind. Opening late in Beverly Hills had cost them sales — and San Francisco wouldn’t be much different. Not being able to get their griddle started had the team redoing the menu and once again opening late. It turned out a valve on the propane tank wasn’t turned on. In the bottom two, only $60 separated Murphy’s Spud Truck from The Frankfoota Truck. But it wasn’t enough to save the Murphy’s team.

FN Dish caught up with Suellen from Murphy’s Spud Truck to chat about her team’s time on the show.

What do you think was the biggest challenge in operating a food truck for the first time?
I think the biggest challenge operating a food truck was learning how everything worked. Not having an oven was a huge setback for us.

Murphy's Spud Truck

A late start selling in Beverly Hills was a bit of a setback for you guys. Is there something you would have done differently?
We had originally planned to go through the canyon to get to Beverly Hills, but my daughter thought it was getting too dangerous for her brother to drive the truck on, so we turned around. It set us back, but I love the fact that she was more concerned for her brother’s safety than the time factor!

People seemed to love your Irish grilled cheese. What are some other dishes from your menu that you guys are proud of that we didn’t get to see?
The Irish grilled cheese got rave reviews. We were also planning on Irish nachos, Irish balls (tater tots made with Irish cheddar cheese) and corned beef sliders.

In San Francisco, at the SOMA StrEat Food Park, you had the perfect venue for selling, but also the most competitive. Not being able to start your propane resulted in changing your menu to a dish that didn’t need cooking. In hindsight, would you have tried to find a different way to cook and still make your nachos, or would you have set the price higher for the salad you ended up making?
We have talked about it a lot since then and realized that if we had just charged $1 more for our salads, we would have not been eliminated in that challenge.

Murphy's Spud Truck

In the beginning you said you all gave up your jobs to be on the show. Would you want the chance to work together again as a family? Would it be a food truck or a restaurant? What’s the next step?
Right now my daughter and I have started a sauce company, “Perfectly Dressed Sauces,” and plan on opening a restaurant as soon as we can get some capital.

What advice would you give the remaining food truck rookies in the competition? Who are you rooting for?
My advice for the other trucks would be to not be too focused on winning, but more focused on the experience. I wish we would have enjoyed the experience a little more instead of stressing over trying to win. I am rooting for Aloha Plate. They have so much fun together and have such a great attitude! Go, Hawaii!

Watch The Great Food Truck Race on Sundays at 9pm/8c, and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes content.

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Comments (23)

  1. hcfcoach says:

    Sliders should have been eliminated! They served TWO dishes in Beverly Hills and were told to do ONE dish!

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      I'm glad you posted that! I thought I saw that too but I wasn't taping it on the DVR so I couldn't go back to make sure. When Tyler called and said "stop serving now" (or something like that) I thought he was going to call them out for not following the rules of the challenge and give them some kind of penalty.

    • Elaine says:

      Quit nitpicking Tyler said "One MEAL" Tikka taco had 3 tacos and a salad. How could u not notice 3tacos & salad. Makes me wonder why your questioning and or judging The Slide Show, which is their name not sliders.

  2. beachinfrizzy says:

    Too bad for the Spuds, they seemed like a nice family but when the gas doesn't work it's kind of hard to believe nobody considered it might need to be turned on. That salad didn't look appealing at all.

  3. pam says:

    I found it very odd that the spud truck team didn't know to turn ON the gas? How did they manage to cook in Beverly Hills? And hopefully, the show reviews safety items with them? There is a shut off valve, so that you aren't driving down the highway with an open propane tank………..odd..very odd…

    • Reviewer says:

      Well, given that the teams were rookies, they all didn't have much knowledge about running a food truck. So it's always a challenge for them to work things out.

      • NJLin says:

        Don't mean to sound "know it all" but I have never run a Food Truck in my life (or even a propane gas grill) but even I was thinking "I'll bet there is an on/off valve for the propane." I mean, as Pam pointed out you sure don't want the propane valve to be on when you are rolling down the hwy! But those of you who know food trucks may have a different answer.

  4. Elaine says:

    Quit the nitpicking,Tyler said "One MEAL". Frankfoota had hotdog & chips,Tikka taco had 3tacos and a salad. How could u not notice 3 tacos and a salad? Makes me wonder why your questioning Sliders.

    • beachinfrizzy says:

      As I recall it, Tyler instructed them to make ONE signature dish and charge $20. The accompanying chips and side salad are not the trucks' 'signature' dishes. Sliders are, and they made two…one of the men said, "we are ALSO doing a…" and described the second type slider as it was assembled and plated. It did not look like they were both part of "one meal". If the others made two hot dogs or two taco combinations I would have said the same thing. Perhaps clarification was made off-camera and Slide Show was allowed two types of sliders. But we have no way of knowing that. Based on what was shown, it appeared they did not follow the same "one dish" constraint as the others, and nothing was said or done about it. Expecting all teams to be subject to the same standard is hardly nitpicking, and in response to your "wondering", there is no "questioning Sliders" in my post at all…only why Tyler didn't address what appeared to be a discrepancy. It could have been easily avoided with a more thorough explanation of the rules that allowed them to make two sliders…someone at FN should have caught it upon final review. Makes me wonder why you are so quick to question your fellow posters.

    • ECB Portland, OR says:

      Watching again right now. Tyler did say "one meal". In fact I heard it twice. Because of these comments, I listened really hard. Should be interesting tonight since they are going to Portland and we are pretty will know for our food trucks…

  5. MSH says:

    Slide show should be eliminated. They had two "MEALS" to choose from. Really was surprised they weren't confronted about it. 3 tacos and a salad was served as one meal, patrons did not have a choice of one or the other.

  6. Glenda says:

    I was so eager to watch this season's offerings. But Show 1 was disappointing. I think there is a lot of 'overacting' by the contestants – I guess they bring the drama.

    I will watch again- giving the 2nd episode a chance. Please don't make me change the channel.

  7. Hazel says:

    Hey Tyler, when are you bringing these trucks through Connecticut? Me and my 7-year-old nephew just love this show and have been watching since the beginning.

    • MoHub says:

      The show is already completely in the can, including the ultimate win. I was disappointed to learn the finale was in DC, and I had no idea.

  8. Hungrybill says:

    I don't normally come on FN except to find recipes, but when I saw a food truck with my name on it I wanted to see how they did. – Unfortunately not well – but it did peak my interest in the show. So now I am watching to see how the others do.

    What do you do with the trucks of the eliminated? Do you recycle them and use them in the next race? Or do you sell them to highest bidder? I have to admit I am now interested in the food truck business. I live in an area with a large Hispanic population. I was thinking of getting a truck and calling it "Senor Murphy s Authentic Mexican food". :)

  9. Shelley says:

    Does anyone know why the spuds truck had the propane working the first evening, but then not the next morning? How and when did the valve get turned off? Who turned off the valve? Anyone know the story on this? The woman on the team said she blamed herself. But she didn't seem to know about the valve. Could this be some sort of sabatage?

  10. BobM says:

    I was sad they were the first eliminated, especially for something so trivial. Was hoping to see more about their food. My hunch is the valve was shut off when the propane tank was topped off at the commissary.

    Can't decide if that was fair or not. Those are the type of problems a food truck owner would deal with daily. However, expecting somebody new to a food truck and the business to be able to diagnose that under pressure seems too much. Too bad because I think they could have gone far. Their food sounded terrific, hopefully they'll publish a cookbook someday.

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