Interview with the First Food Truck Team Out of the Race by Joseph Erdos in Shows, August 18th, 2013
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On 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.
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.
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.