The show is quite challenging enough without the added hurdle of searching for sleep accommodations when not filming, so there’s a high probability that all competitors have Food Network-provided hotel lodgings — or they sleep in their trucks!
The Great Food Truck Race subjects teams to overcome unpredictable challenges each week to earn points and advance. In the end, only one food truck team will win the grand prize.
Each week, you will see the mistakes that cost some teams their dreams as well as the smart decisions the winners make in order to succeed. The show’s setup has varied from season to season, but currently, it seems to have settled into a rhythm.
In Season 1 and 2, the competitors on The Great Food Truck Race were already professional food truck operators — but from Season 3 onwards have included novice chefs eager to start their food trucks with the money afforded by winning the competition.
For individuals who do not already have their own food trucks, the show provides them to competitors to put everyone on a level playing field.
What has gone unanswered, however, is where the competitors sleep. The show is quite challenging enough without the added hurdle of searching for sleep accommodations when not filming, so there’s a high probability that all competitors have Food Network-provided hotel lodgings — or they sleep in their trucks!
For instance, Season 13 of The Great Food Truck Race which aired on Mar. 7, 2022, was set exclusively in Alaska. Instead of going cross country as the show normally does, the race was focused on competitors battling each other for customers in the Alaskan bush and battling the freezing elements, which was already been teased to reach negative 10 degrees.
According to the Food Network, that Alaska season premiere started and ended with high stakes. The competitors had to break the keys to their food trucks out of 200-pound blocks of ice, and that’s only the beginning of their adventure. They did not just be battle each other — they also battled the elements as they strive to see who can prep and sell the most food and who will say goodbye to their food truck dreams forever.
Howbeit, it sounds like no matter where competitors are sleeping, hopefully, their cross-country lodgings are the least challenging parts of the competition. The Great Food Truck Race offers valuable insights into the dos and don’ts of running a food truck.
While the show is certainly sensationalized—what “reality” show isn’t—it provides some context to real life situations that you can study and judge.
What You Will Learn From Watching the Great Food Truck Race
Table of Content
Tell Your Story
You understand that your customers, led by your loyal regulars, are the lifeblood of your business. Engaging them in meaningful ways is imperative not only for the day’s sales targets but for future top-line growth too. Note that the food truck owners on the show learned this lesson in a dramatic fashion when they had to sell $200 worth of food as fast as possible.
What was the most effective sales technique? Storytelling! Note that by sharing personal insights and connecting on a human level, patrons tend to become more excited by the opportunity to become part of that truck’s story through the shared experience of enjoying their food. Indeed, this creates a “wow-ing” experience that motivates your customers to come back time and again.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
The Great Food Truck Race teams never know what’s going to happen next. Have it in mind that such uncertainty exists in the daily routines of all food truck owners.
Granted, you may never need to convert your entire truck’s menu to vegan meals for a single day in order to stay in business (a challenge imposed on the show), but you will have to understand how to improvise when you are running out of a key ingredient and the line outside won’t stop growing.
Follow Your Dream
Irrespective of personal circumstances, every food truck owner on the show chose to invest in the experience as a means of pursuing his or her dream. Note that each one faced the likely outcome of returning home empty handed. And yet, they competed anyway—for love of the food truck life.
When teams are eliminated, most say the same thing: the experience was indeed worth it. Running your food truck business with the same optimism will do more good than bad. Maintain a cool and level head, and push forward.
Regardless of how close you are to the other people working on your food truck, disagreements and stress are bound to arise from working together in such close quarters. When that happens, resist the urge to point fingers (a common mistake highlighted on the show).
Instead, collaborate on a better plan that resolves the issues and prevents them from occurring again. Don’t forget, you will always emerge stronger when you work together to conquer your struggles. When you do, success tastes that much sweeter.
Keep It Simple
Keep it simple, silly. In other words, don’t overcomplicate things. This simply means sticking to the basics of what you do best with signature dishes, a clear brand identity, and a single mission.
Don’t forget that the most successful teams from The Great Food Truck Race more or less have short menus featuring just a few dishes that they’ve perfected. They also have charismatic identities and stories that make their truck recognizable and loved.
Teams come from all over the country to compete in The Great Food Truck Race, bringing plenty of culinary creativity along with them. From grilled cheese to Australian barbecue to gourmet waffles, have it in mind that the food truck teams prove that when it is done right, no delicious dish is too specific to deserve its own Truck.