Lessons Learned from Reality TV: Location, Location, Location
The Great Food Truck Race features food truck competitors from around the country. They are provided with a food truck and resources to experience what it would be like to own and operate their own food truck for several weeks. A total of $50,000 to invest in their own food truck is prize. They are up against several other teams and they face various challenges in different cities.
Season Eight of the Great Food Truck Race was focused on the Southern United States and was called the “Battle for the South.” In each episode, food trucks took on cities in the South and incorporated various foods traditional to the Southern United States region. In episode five, for example, the teams started off with an appetizer challenge to make a savory dish that includes peaches.
Once the teams completed the first challenge, they were off to start selling. They headed to Athens, Georgia.
Location Challenges in Athens, Georgia
The teams were informed before they started selling that food trucks were not permitted to park on the streets to sell. This local ordinance was only a slight hurdle they had to learn to overcome.
In this challenge, each food truck was instructed to partner up with a local business to see if they would be willing to let them park in their parking lot.
Mr. Po’ Boys
Mr. Po’ Boys generally serves po’ boy sandwiches. They decided to park at a print shop. Their focus was getting a parking lot near a high traffic area. They ended up on a high-traffic corner area. Unlike the other food trucks, they did not focus on pairing with a business that had similar services/products. Their focus was more on heavy foot traffic—regardless of whose parking lot they occupied.
The Breakfast Club
This food truck focuses on serving unique breakfast food items all day. They chose to partner up with a local restaurant that seemed popular with the locals. They were also downtown near foot traffic. The restaurant owner noted that he “loves food people,” and encouraged them to use their private parking lot.
Braised in the South
Braised in the South found a location called Live Wire. They provide live entertainment and book special events. They noted that the area was a bit further off of the main strip, but they needed a location quickly and decided that it would work best for their needs. One of the advantages of this location was that it had some nearby picnic tables and benches that Live Wire let them use. Live Wire also put up signage for Braised in the South to advertise for them as well.
Ultimately, the paring between Live Wire and Braised in the South proved to be a huge success. Although the location was slightly off the main path, they sent out members of their team to build interest from more high traffic areas. It also seemed to be a huge plus that they had seating available and advertisements from a local, well-known business.
Mr. Po’ Boys’ strategy of focusing on a high-traffic area and avoiding a restaurant seemed to pay off as well. Unfortunately, the Breakfast Club went home on this episode.
Although it may seem like it is your food truck against every other restaurant, concession trailer, or food truck, working with other local businesses can be extremely helpful. Don’t discount partnering up with a business to help grow your food truck popularity.
Looking to start your own food truck business? Let Concession Nation put their experience to work for you. Call today 888-390-4479 to set up an appointment.