Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hosing down the trucks

There’s a heretic loose at the NRA show, so keep a sharp stick handy. The lout is actually shaking his head over the truck-restaurant hoopla, wondering aloud why everyone’s going ga-ga over an industry offshoot that may not provide the financial miles per gallon that operators expect.

“It’s just like running any other restaurant, except now you have to deal with parking,” he lamented. If establishing a brick-and-morter restaurant is challenging, what happens when traffic, more permits and gas prices are added to the usual worries?

“See here, man, you must be mistaken,” I barked back, regretting once again that dueling’s passé. “Look at the crowds in the truck section, the turnout at the truck education sessions, the woohoo’s to the mere mention of a truck restaurant during a presentation. You must have your toque in a knot.”

My acquaintance, a chef and obervant journalist, wasn’t to be intimidated by my brutal comeback. He calmly explained how you’re still cooking or assembling meals, in a tinier space than you might have in a regular kitchen, with a smaller staff. What’s more, there are peculiarities in terms of food safety, not to mention issues like having access to water, and bathrooms.

I cleverly countered with some of the sales figures that have been offered during the show by rolling restaurateurs. All the lad could do was nod his head knowingly. “I’m not saying they can’t be a success,” he noted. “I’m just saying it may not be as easy as some people seem to think.”

Luckily for him, a distraction provided an opportunity to bolt. But I’m still trying to track him down, following the splashes of cold water.

1 comment:

Street said...

I will agree that it's not easy.

But, the truck movement is giving passionate young chefs the ability to share their food with people for 20% what it traditionally cost to open and staff a restaurant.

Which is great for everyone.