Interview with the Latest Food Truck Team Out of the Race by Joseph Erdos in Shows, September 1st, 2013
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The six remaining teams rolled into Pocatello, Idaho, on Episode 3 of The Great Food Truck Race, ready to take on any challenges that Tyler threw at them. But for many teams, completing the challenges was the least of their worries, as a few setbacks put a number of them in the red, and nearing the end of day two, the only hope for most was racing to win one of three prize tokens to offset their sales losses. At elimination time, the race came to an end for a team that was all too familiar with being among the bottom finalists.
This week the teams would see a set of challenges that had them first cooking with no starches, and then cooking exclusively with one of the most popular starches: the state’s biggest crop, the potato. Most of the teams were able to find good sales locations, but Aloha Plate and The Frankfoota Truck ended up going outside of the city limits, which led Tyler to dock their profits according to the time they spent out of Pocatello. Philly’s Finest Sambonis got into an accident with a store sign and had to pay an insurance deductible, which took them from third place to fifth place, putting them in the bottom two. The girls of The Frankfoota Truck didn’t make it in time to win any of the three tokens and also ended up in the bottom two. In the end, they made the least profit and were sent back home to Brooklyn.
FN Dish caught up with The Frankfoota Truck team 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?
The fact that none of us have ever worked together in such close quarters was definitely a struggle. We were constantly bumping heads, literally and figuratively speaking. On top of that, we had no clue what we were doing. We took a crash course in truck operation, and then were given the keys to a BEAST of a vehicle that had a mind of its own. We had trouble with everything from figuring out how to get our water heater on to lighting the pilot.
At the motocross races, you were going back and forth on pricing strategy and ended up selling at lower prices. Did your team regret that choice?
We’d be lying if we told you that we don’t think about what the outcome could have been like had we upped the prices on our dogs at PMXP. But at the end of the day, regretting the decision doesn’t change a thing. So the answer is no, The Frankfootas don’t live their lives on regrets. We keep calm and chive on.
At elimination when you found out that you and Philly’s were in the bottom two, you felt that if you got saved, it would be because of Philly’s $500 fine, which would make it an undeserved win. Is there anything you think you could have done differently to keep you from getting into the bottom two?
For one thing, we could’ve won the challenge. That would’ve helped us out BIG TIME! We were slacking when it came to scouting locations, which is a tremendous part of excelling in this competition. If you don’t know where the crowd is and they can’t find you, your business isn’t going to get very far. That was pretty evident while we were posted up at the hardware store parking lot. The whole “if you build it, they will come” mentality definitely doesn’t apply here!
At elimination, Tyler said you girls were “an unforgettable team in every sense of the word. Three sassy girls decked out in red, white and blue — what could be more awesome?” In your opinion, what made your team so great?
We’re from Brooklyn, the borough that breeds awesome: Jay-Z, Biggie Smalls, Mae West, Spike Lee and Mel Brooks. You get some serious street credibility just for having a 7-1-8 area code. We came into this game with a “we don’t care” attitude, and I think that’s what made it so fun for us and everyone else that we were fortunate enough to work with.
Now that you’re back in Brooklyn, are you working on getting a food truck? What are your plans?
We don’t have a truck yet, but it’s in the works. Right now we’re looking to secure financing to get one on the road. When we do get it, our first line of business is to do a military tour overseas. We want to fly The Frankfoota Truck to Iraq and Afghanistan to serve our troops the way they’ve been serving us for over 10 years now. We’ve got a lot of love and utmost respect for all the men and women that have been fighting the good fight for our country, and we want to personally let them know that we can’t wait for each and every one of them to come home. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
What advice would you give the remaining food truck teams in the competition? Who are you rooting for?
Who is going to want to listen to the losers that got thrown off the show? All we can tell them is to have fun and make the most of this entire experience. Being a part of The Great Food Truck Race was the best thing that ever happened to us. Even though we didn’t make it very far, we walked away with some of the most incredible memories and stories we’ll be telling over cocktails for years to come. Oh yeah, and try not to kill one another. As far as who we’re rooting for, that’s a no-brainer: Aloha Plate, hands down.
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.