In season one’s finale of The Great Food Truck Race, which took place in New York City, the two remaining contestants were tested in all five boroughs of the city.

The overall challenge was to make $500 in four of the five boroughs. They had to move from the Bronx to Queens, to Brooklyn, to Staten Island, and, finally, to Manhattan. The participants had to make $1,000 in Manhattan to finish the challenge.

Each borough in New York is very different. They have a different vibe and type of customer in each location. The participants learned just how much their audience and food choices matters in this unique challenge.

The Players

The type of food the two contestants offered was very different from each other and it had a huge impact on the final winner.

Nom Nom

This food truck served Vietnamese food, including traditional banh mi sandwiches. A customary banh mi sandwich includes chicken and pickled vegetables. They also offered pork tacos with Vietnamese influence, a few other Vietnamese-inspired dishes, and a unique sparkling lemonade.

Grill ‘Em All

This food truck served gourmet burgers and fries. They had a couple of varieties of burgers, including the Behemoth, which included two large beef patties—these big burgers were roughly $14.00 each. They also had grilled cheese and unique cheese-stuffed bread as buns.

The Challenge

The two food trucks cater to two very different types of audiences. Not everyone is brave enough to try Vietnamese food if they are not familiar with that type of food or food truck business itself. As a result, Nom Nom really struggled to keep up with Grill ‘Em All in the Bronx and Queens. Because those two locations were first, that put Nom Nom behind in the race almost immediately.

The contestants running Nom Nom commented that no one knew them in those locations and those potential customers just were not familiar with the type of food they had to offer. They also noted that if they were to pick where to park in all of New York City, Queens and the Bronx have so few of their target customers.  Outside of this show’s challenge, Nom Nom likely would not have headed to these areas. Even the time of day had an impact on what kind of food worked best in those locations.

On the other hand, Grill ‘Em All reveled in the foot traffic near sports bars, Yankees games, and outside late-night hot spots. They took advantage of the fact that the Bronx and Queens had exactly the type of customer that they were looking for and took an early lead in the race.


The Lesson

Knowing your audience and where they are in large groups is extremely important in the food truck business. As a food truck owner, you can take your food to where your target customer is located—brick and mortar restaurants do not have that same type of ability. Learn where your customers are and be there. That will ensure better results for your success.

Concession Nation can create a truck that fits your needs and design it to get your customers’ attention. Call today at 888-390-4479.