A Tribute to the Trucks: It’s not as easy as it looks!

The FTFNE 2014 season has officially come to an end; it’s been an exciting season made possible with lots of hard work. Our food truck friends deserve the most credit of all because running a food truck is not an easy job. But, perhaps more importantly, keeping customers happy is the most challenging, especially when guests have to stand in long lines to even order their food, and then, after waiting, the truck might run out of food before you make it to the front. However, few really get to see beyond the small serving window, and misconceptions arise. Perhaps with a little more knowledge of how a food truck operates, you will better understand what’s taking so long if you find yourself waiting in a long line.

We’ve seen food trucks in movies like What to Expect When You’re Expecting, where the stud in the bacon truck and the down-to-earth chick in the cheese truck make it look easy. Not only do they look like they just walked out of a magazine, they share a flirty moment mid-working. They even have the energy to share a beer (and then some) afterwards. Oh, and not to mention only two people running each truck. Yeah, right! If you’ve ever worked in a restaurant picture yourself, your co-workers, and the kitchen. Then take all that and throw it into a janitor’s closet and you’ve got yourself a food truck experience simulator. Tight quarters, a hot grill, and order after order; talk about sweat and exhaustion!  The food truck biz isn’t your typical Hollywood romance scenario.

Instant gratification has welded itself into our current society. People want what they want when they want it. This type of thinking should not be brought to a food truck festival. Think of it as a gourmet restaurant…without the restaurant. Wouldn’t you be a little worried too if a five-star restaurant brought a steak out two minutes after ordering? Listen, no one loves lines or waiting around but one thing guaranteed by the trucks, you’ll never be disappointed in what you order.  One might think the purpose of a food truck is for even faster fast food, but this is no McDonalds!

When you sign on to the food truck business, you’re signing on to a lot more than you think. You’re an entrepreneur, chef, maintenance, cleaner and more! Things constantly break or need to be replaced; either you’ll need to spend the money to hire someone to help or you need to become your own mechanic. To ensure your food truck business isn’t taken over by vermin, cleaning is imperative (and lots of it!) Despite a truck’s small size, upkeep is perpetual. Trucks constantly worry about having enough food, fuel, and water (etc.) and need to improvise when one of these elements is compromised. A lot of hard work and dedication is required to keep a food truck business rolling along, to say the least.

Food trucks cannot survive a minute without a strong team to support it. Here at FTFNE we are very lucky to work along side these hard working and inspiring businesspeople. It’s been a busy season this year, only to be followed by an even bigger season ahead! So next time you feel your patience wearing thin in a food truck line, put yourself in the shoes of those behind the window because they’re doing their best. Most importantly, don’t forget to thank them; they truly deserve it!