Interview with the Latest Food Truck Team Out of the Race by Joseph Erdos in Shows, September 8th, 2013
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The five remaining teams came into Rapid City, S.D., on Episode 4 of The Great Food Truck Race with a goal in mind. For some it was keeping their previous leads, but for others it was breaking out of the middle of the pack or stopping a downward spiral. A Speed Bump didn’t do much to break the teams’ resolve, and a Truck Stop challenge involving buffalo just made them even more determined to follow through. However, a bad choice of location and poor planning resulted in low sales for one team. At elimination, a team that had held a lead in a previous stop took a nosedive to the bottom.
This week the teams had their follow cars towed on day one, making restocking and roaming the city that much more difficult. Later on, butchering and cooking with buffalo turned out to be a fun adventure, but what most teams didn’t count on was running out of food before the challenge was complete, which is what plagued Philly’s Finest Sambonis and Bowled and Beautiful. At elimination, $122 separated the two teams at the bottom. In the end, Bowled and Beautiful fell from the previous city’s top spot to last place, all because of bad location choices and disappointing sales.
FN Dish caught up with the team from Bowled and Beautiful to chat about their time on the show.
What do you think was the biggest challenge in operating a food truck for the first time? Do you think having culinary schooling gave you an advantage?
I think the biggest challenge in operating a food truck for the first time was making the right connections to secure a spot to sell in an area we knew no one in and nothing about. We learned early on that location was everything and choosing the wrong one could result in going home. I believe that our culinary background definitely helped us out in two areas. Number one would be that while in school we were not only graded on taste but also on how fast we could prepare a meal. Second would be that we were taught to make several different dishes using the same ingredients. The Art Institute of L.A. definitely prepared us for those challenges on the road.
In the previous cities, you ladies were always in the top two, often neck and neck with Aloha Plate. What do you think was the biggest reason you lost your lead in Rapid City and ended up at the bottom?
The prime location we had planned on was taken by The Slide Show and Aloha Plate, and we were forced to locate to another spot. We chose a hotel near the City Square, but unfortunately there was not enough visibility for the crowd to see our truck. Being in an area like that was exactly what took our lead and advantage away.
Rapid City was a tough town for you three. Setting up at the hotel turned out to be a bust, then later you ran out of buffalo meat and couldn’t make the $1,500 sales goal. At any point during all of that, did you think you were done, or were you holding out hope until the end?
We absolutely held out hope to the very end. We are not quitters; losing was not an option for us. We knew going into this that the team going home could separate us by as little as $10. That could have been one bowl, and every penny counts.
At elimination, when Tyler said that only $122 separated the bottom two, what was going through your minds?
When Tyler announced that only $122 separated us at elimination, it was devastating. A million things ran through our heads, but the one that stood out was: Should we have charged more for our bowls? Charging $1 more for a bowl would have saved us. We were known for undercharging our food in the race. I understand it’s a competition, but I also believe in being fair and honest with our customers. I just didn’t feel right charging $20 or more when I knew the real cost of what it took to make that meal.
What’s next for you three? Is a food truck in your culinary future?
Bowled and Beautiful is not going anywhere. This show only gave us more drive and determination to really make this dream a reality. In the near future, you will see a Bowled and Beautiful truck — we promise!
What do your kids think about you doing the show?
Our children are extremely proud of their Mother Truckers. I believe it taught them a life lesson to never give up on your dreams and that we are in charge of our destiny, and when you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen.
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.