The Great Food Truck Race review: Where is the quick service?


In this week’s The Great Food Truck Race, the food trucks learned a very valuable lesson, quick service is the key to a successful business.

As the food trucks headed into their second location, The Great Food Truck Race looked to be on a roll. After a successful, although not perfect, first week, the food trucks seemed to be on path for success. With a second stop in South Carolina, could these food trucks continue their profit making ways?

The Great Food Truck Race combines all the elements that are needed to be a successful food truck. While having delicious food is paramount, these food trucks are businesses. They need to understand both efficient selling and smart pricing. Without all three components, the business will not be successful.

To start this episode, the food trucks were given a putting challenge to determine who gets to choose a barbecue side first. The team to make the put gets first choice while the other teams choose in order of last week’s finishing place.

Luckily for Baby Got Mac, they won the putting challenge and got to choose first. Of course, they choose macaroni and cheese as their barbecue side dish.

Overall, no one seemed too unhappy with their side dish choice. In reality, each team was able to find a way to work the side dish into a dish that fit their food truck’s theme.

Similar to last week’s challenge, Sol Food Collective had a decision to make. As the vegan food truck, they do not sell anything animal based. When given a smoke pork butt for the barbecue challenge, they chose not to use and serve a vegan dish.

Although using the pork butt wasn’t required, it was another example of how the vegan food truck is separating itself from the group. In a way, it didn’t not hurt their chances in the competition, but it leaves fans wondering if this food truck will have to compromise their principles or face elimination.

Looking at all of the dishes, the choices seemed to be rather obvious. From barbecue pork macaroni and cheese to even pulled pork tacos, it would have nice to see something a little more. Even a discussion on what makes Carolina barbecue different from Memphis barbecue would have been nice.

Granted, food trucks aren’t necessarily the platform to really push flavor boundaries. Still, a little more explanation or description would have been good for the viewers at home.

In the second day of selling, the food trucks had another twist. They had to incorporate boiled peanuts into a dish. The team that sold the most “boiled peanuts” dish would receive an additional $400 to their total.

This particular ingredient didn’t prove too difficult for any time. The peanuts were textural component in many dishes. Another aspect was that the peanuts added a salty element to a dish.

Overall, the teams didn’t struggle with this twist. Still, one team did win and that team was Baby Got Mac. Their macaroni and cheese with boiled peanuts, used two ways, appealed to the guests.

Also, it could be that they really only had one dish that they were selling. The decision to add the boiled peanuts to that dish could have really helped their overall selling total.

For the second day of selling, the food trucks went back to their signature dishes. A few things were curious about the food trucks choices. While a few food trucks looked to simplify their menu, NOLA Creations served several dishes.

While everyone knows that NOLA Creations has to serve their beignets, it was curious that they sold so many dishes. Would it have been better for them to serve just a po boy and beignet option? Maybe even make it a combo? Even though they finished first last week, the extra dishes could cause a slow service.

Overall, all the food trucks seemed to have service problems. From slow prep time to getting behind in tickets, the teams don’t seem to have found a rhythm.

One key to a successful food truck is quick service. Even though this selling situation is a Food Network competition, people don’t want to wait 20+ minutes for food. The whole point of a food truck is to grab and go.

In some ways, the teams might have not found the right dish to serve quickly. For example, the Brunch Babes seemed to be making too many substations on their donut breakfast sandwiches.

Granted the customer is always right, but this scenario is a Food Network competition. Maybe the comment “no substitutions please” is warranted.

Additionally, the teams learned that pricing strategy can make or break a food truck. For example, The People’s Fry’s menu was priced lowered that the other teams. They were at an instant disadvantage?

The food truck that seemed to get pricing right was Baby Got Mac. By choosing to price their dish at $18 and their drink at $2, it made an easy $20 sale. Wouldn’t you just order a complete meal for $20?

As Tyler tallied the results, NOLA Creations took another win this week. It could be that people love beignets or maybe that idea of multiple menu items is paying off.

Baby Got Mac took a solid second with their challenge win. Also, their pricing strategy might have helped.

Unfortunately, the food truck heading home on this week’s The Great Food Truck Race was The People’s Fry. While their menu was good and their selling was enthusiastic, their pricing strategy wasn’t correct.

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What did you think of this week’s The Great Food Truck Race episode? Which food truck will you be cheering for this season?