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Old 07-12-2013, 03:52 PM   #56
is one Smokin' Farker

Join Date: 02-01-10
Location: NYC & WPB FL

I keep thinking about an observation you mentioned in your earlier post, about watching the Food Truck Race and noticing the trucks were all too small for what you wanted to do. I would really think long and hard about that statement. Most of those trucks are very successful as far as food trucks go. NYC has a great food truck scene, along with LA prolly the best in the country. I have been to most of them, especially the best ones. From Belgian waffle trucks, to Asian dumpling trucks, to grilled cheese trucks, to Korean taco and lobster roll trucks, there is a diverse selection of cuisines, but they all have one thing in common, specialization. They all target a small menu and do it very well. These are the trucks that get all the press and do all the business. Then you have the traditional trucks that do everything, want a burger, a steak sandwich, a breakfast sandwich? Those trucks have all the equipment and make it all. The quality is usually less and nobody cares about those guys. They grind out a living without any fanfare and any great success. These are usually the immigrant guys, not the young creative chefs.

You have a flat top so you can make burgers, you have a char griller so you can do ribeye sandwiches, you have a fryer for fries and onion rings, you are towing a smoker for the whole bbq thing, you have a six burner stove for general cooking (6 burners is a lot, I have a 6 burner vulcan range in my basement and can't see how I would ever have more than 4 going in a food truck) as well as an oven.

Now, look at the Mexicue truck, a very successful food truck in NY that puts out a great product, Look at that menu and you can see how little equipment is needed. Lots of options with few ingredients and pre made sides using little in the way of equipment.

My suggestion, forget about being able to make everything for everyone, figure out some stuff you are great at, can make mostly in advance or in the truck using a small equipment footprint. If you want to do bbq, think pulled pork and shredded brisket and chicken. Get rid of some equipment, downsize some equipment like go to a 4burner stove instead, and get an FEC120 inside the truck and forget towing the smoker.

I would say if I were going to tow a smoker behind a food truck, then I would prolly just forget a food truck and instead do a vending trailer towed behind a pickup.

Just my opinion, I am a very big believer in specialization, makes it easier to pull off and easier to get some marketing and press. As someone who feeds 200-400 people for 4-5 hour all-you-can-eat parties, I have gotten good at being quick and paring down unneeded stuff while putting out some great stuff.
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