Starting a food truck business has made me a popular guest at every cocktail party. Not just parties with my friends from school but parties with my parents, relatives, their friends, family gatherings, weddings, you name it. Usually rumors have already spread through any guest list that one of the guests attending tonight is starting a food truck. Sometimes it’s something they whisper – like, “oh my god, all that education and he’s starting a food truck…” and sometimes it’s something they scream out in enjoyment – “I’m so jealous, I’ve always had a dream of running a food truck and he’s actually doing it!” Either reaction is fine and as it turns out, either way everyone runs up to me to inquire about the truck when they see me at the party (or on the street, in the grocery store, at the next urinal over, etc).
Different kinds of people have different kinds of questions but pretty much everyone you can imagine can relate to a food truck business. At a glance, a food truck is one of the simplest business forms known to the American economy. My mom refers to the food truck as the grown up’s lemonade stand – and it is. You make a food product and passersby who haven’t eaten yet that day come up to your window and buy your product. You try to sell your product for more than it cost to make it and BAM, you got a food truck. We spend a lot of time on Penn’s campus these days (since that’s where we just launched the truck) and it’s amazing how consistent the MBAs at Wharton are in their reaction to my food truck plan. After the initial question which is usually, “what kind of food are you going to serve?” the almost guaranteed second question is, “do you mind running me through the numbers?” The answer is yes – in fact, we have a seven sheet financial model that includes a sub-model for costing each of our recipes and estimating daily sales. But it’s not just business people who are interested in this business. I talk to my mom about how to get the most juice out of a lime (answer according to mom is microwave it). Peter’s dentist asks him about the peanut sauce while he’s fist deep in Peter’s mouth (answer is wooouruuu guubba ruubba). The mailman wants to know if we’re going to do delivery (answer is maybe). Everyone eats, every day, usually three times. So everyone can relate. No wonder we’re starting to create some web conversation these days: