Do you want to know if winners of The Great Food Truck Race get to keep their truck alongside the prize money? If YES, here is everything you need to know. Although the prize tends to change throughout the seasons, eight food truck teams still compete for 7 weeks in the Great Good Truck Race for a shot at $50,000 and a brand new truck. In season two for instance, the prize money increased to $100,000.
Also the winners of seasons three, four, and five got $50,000 and their own food truck. The prize money then reverted back to the original $50,000. Teams also keep their takings from each of the challenges they are set throughout the competition.
Teams come from all over the country to compete in The Great Food Truck Race, bringing with them a wide range of culinary creativity. From grilled cheese to Australian barbecue to gourmet waffles, the food truck teams have proven that when it is done right, no delicious dish is too specific to deserve its own truck.
The Great Food Truck Race puts teams through unpredictable challenges each week to earn points and advance. In the end, only one food truck team will win the grand prize. Each week, viewers see the mistakes that cost some teams their dreams as well as the innovative decisions the winners make in order to succeed.
The trucks start out in California and move across the country to the east coast, stopping in a different city each week to serve their best creations to a new crowd of hungry locals.
According to the rules of the game, the weekly goal is simple: have the most money in the cash box before elimination time. Along the way, the teams face challenges—Truck Stops and Speed Bumps—that either penalize or propel a food truck in the overall standings.
During Truck Stops for instance, the teams compete in mini challenges established to test their ingenuity, decision-making, and creativity. Past Truck Stops include selling a meal inspired by the local cuisine in Manhattan, KS for five dollars or less, creating a five-course meal using only supplies and utensils from the frontier era, and making a dish using prickly pear cactus as a main ingredient.
The winner of each Truck Stop challenge gets a bonus that protects them in the main elimination round, such as extra money in the team till, access to a prime selling location, or additional time to do business.
Speed Bumps are also random penalties that negatively affect all the teams, making it challenging for them to prepare their signature dishes or to meet their sales goals. These penalties measure how well each truck handles adversity and makes the best of an unexpected situation.
Within the past several seasons, Speed Bump penalties have included rules that all trucks could only serve vegan food for the week, the teams had to make the supplies they had on their trucks last all day long without restocking, or that everything on the menu had to be sold for less than two dollars.
The Great Food Truck Race offers valuable insights into the dos and don’ts of running a food truck. Even though the show is certainly sensationalized—what “reality” show isn’t—it provides some context to real life situations that you can study and judge.
Irrespective of personal circumstances, every food truck owner on the show chooses to invest in the experience as a means of pursuing his or her dream. Each one faces the likelihood 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 definitely worth it.