For some chefs in the making, a mobile food truck is an easy way to break into the food service business. And for others, it’s just a steppingstone.
No overhead, limited staff with business hours and a location that can change whenever you want them to sounds pretty good to the several dozen food truck operators on the streets of South Florida. But to others, like Michell Sanchez, proprietor of Latin space, a restaurant in Miami, the truck was once just the beginning.
It used to be all the time my goal to open a restaurant, mentioned Sanchez, who left the trade of shopping for and selling gold in 2010 to head out at the streets of Miami in a meals truck known as Latin space Grill. Sanchez offered both of his vehicles this 12 months, opened a taco and burger bar in Miami on may 3, and not seemed back.
Sanchez developed his menu based off what worked and what didn’t during the two years he spent at food truck roundups across South Florida. After selling food on street corners for a year, his Latin House Grill truck had more than 10,000 followers on Facebook and Twitter, he said. His food won awards from South Florida food truck blogger Burger Beast, and the Miami New Times.
But still, he wanted out.
People began getting on board the food truck craze because they saw how well-liked they had been, Sanchez said. however they have been promoting frozen meals they bought at the grocery retailer. That’s no longer whon the scene was once all about.
So he took his profits and his menu into a 4,000-square-foot restaurant space at 9565 SW 72nd St. in Miami.
It wasn’t easy at first. The overhead and payroll is incredible, Sanchez said. But there’s a lot of work that comes with the truck people don’t think about.recenth meals method you must prep the morning of, you’re at all times shopping for fuel and now and again you’re out overdue. Having a larger workforce in point of fact is helping.
But business is good so far. We’re on a waiting checklist every weekend, he stated. So excellent that his objectives have grown a step further.Sanchez hopes to open a new restaurant in South Florida every year for the next five years.
For Jeb Thompson, who co-owned Truckin Good Pizza with his son, Nick, making the jump from a truck to a restaurant format in Fort Lauderdale was an eye opener.
Everything is different when you have a brick and mortar business, Thompson said. You have to be there every day, not just certain times anymore. And when you go out, nobody misses you.
Thompson sold his trailer, which was equipped with a brick oven, in February. The restaurant version of Truckin Good Pizza opened around the same time in Wilton Manors, but shut down within 60 days, he said.
My son opened the restaurant on Super Bowl Sunday this year, Thompson said. But it wasn’t as easy going as the truck. It proved to be too much for him.
Truckin Good Pizza had become a staple in Fort Lauderdale, and was often seen parked out front of bars that don’t serve food, like Laser Wolf.
Aaron Byers, the owner of Nacho Bizness, another Fort Lauderdale-based food trailer, is looking for a location to open a restaurant.
He said he’s gained enough supporters that will keep his taco and burrito bar alive. Byers is looking for space in south Fort Lauderdale.
More than 90 p.c of other folks surveyed in 2011 by the Chicago-primarily based consulting company Technomic, stated that food trucks are more than a passing fad and have staying power within the meals industry.
The biggest eye opener for trucks seems to be the overhead, said Brian Connors, a culinary instructor at Johnson & Wales University in Miami. But concepts that are unique and have a good product will do well no matter the format.