Hosted by Tyler Florence (of “Food Court Wars”), the Great Food Truck Race is a reality competition show that follows a number of food trucks to see who earns the most. Aired on Food Network, the lowest earners get “booted” off of the show. The show is now in its fifth season with a devoted following, and has even inspired some to open their own food truck business. Airing on the Food Network, the show depicts several real challenges of food truck owners. Some “Speed Bump Challenges” are races to see how fast the trucks can get running and open to customers, and the winners usually earn a bit more for their time spent open while others are left behind. “Truck Stop Specialties” often challenge food truck owners to serve local dishes. Other real life battles include location issues, space obstacles and equipment issues.
The Great food Truck Race 2014
This season, the Great Food Truck Race 2014 features :
- a Beach Cruiser Truck,
- Chatty Chicken,
- Gourmet Graduates,
- Let There Be Bacon,
- Lone Star Chuck Wagon,
- Madres Mexican Meals,
- Military Moms and
- Middle Feast.
The food trucks travel throughout areas of the United States each season, and the show’s website even details the schedule in case you’re hoping to visit one of the contestants. This season features Tucson, Ariz., Southern Calif. and Austin, Texas, among others, which means contestants have an abundance of cooking and driving to do in order to win the race. Last season, the trucks traveled through D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Portland and even locations in South Dakota and Idaho.
The trucks featured in the network’s Great Food Truck Race shows aren’t all just ordinary trucks. Previously, a modern Singaporean style truck served sweet and salty crab cakes in Irvine, Cali. A delicious and popular Belgian waffle trucks won over fans on a prior season. Los Angeles got to enjoy cheese filled tater tots while Austin cooled off with an ice cream sandwich truck. A former film set decorator even had the opportunity to serve up delicious tacos in Hawaii. Whether you’re looking to find fish tacos, a latte with hormone-free milk, authentic Italian or pizza, there is certainly a food truck somewhere just waiting on your order.
The show presents a number of obstacles for food truck “racers,” including truck swaps, budget challenges, location competitions and even shifts of closing periods that affect when the trucks can be open for business. At times, the host even mandates that each truck sell the same foods to see who comes out on top!
Though some of the struggles presented on the Great Food Truck Race show aren’t reflective of struggles that common food truck owners face, they can prepare the business owners for virtually anything that could go wrong. Common food truck owners do face location dilemmas, though they aren’t specifically planned as they are in the show. However, owners do have to look for prime locations to maximize profits. Owners have to plan more than regular restaurant owners, as stocking areas are limited, and sales need to be accurately forecasted. Not only will a truck owner need to choose a location, but he will need to choose several. Especially if one plans to increase his customer base by visiting festivals, carnivals and other areas that typically profit the most from food trucks, he will need to stay current on local events.
Food trucks are held to the same health standards as a restaurant, so keeping equipment maintained is key. While the show has some “speed bumps” that mimic these scenarios, in real life, it could cost the owner several day’s revenue and a portion of their customer base.
“More information on The Great Food Truck Race may be found on the show’s website, http://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/the-great-food-truck-race.html.”
Overall, Tyler Florence delivers a somewhat realistic, although more thrilling, insight into the food truck industry. When contestants battle issues such as going over budget and having to return items to the local markets, they represent a real struggle that can happen to any restaurant owner who isn’t prepared enough. The show also represents, however, the devoted customer base that a food truck can obtain. During the challenges that force all food trucks to prepare the same meals on the show, one can instantly see disappointed customers as they approach their favorite truck.
In summary, the Great Food Truck Race allows the best insight available on television to those seeking to enter the food truck industry.