How Food Trucks Saved the Day!

Peggy woke up rather startled. It could have been from a bad dream she was having… or, more likely, just the anxiousness of the annual company picnic that was just around the corner.

She was the new HR director at a large manufacturing facility and this was her first year planning the event, so she wanted to make sure everything was perfect! With 3 weeks to go, Peggy still had a LOT to do.

The picnic was always held on company grounds because it was an ideal location with an expansive parking lot and rolling hills of grass directly behind it. Last year, more than 200 employees brought their families out to participate, and this year was looking to be even bigger.

Peggy already had the entertainment lined up, so the main detail that loomed over her now was finalizing the food.

In years past these picnics had been catered by tables full of cold sandwich varieties, wraps, and a few other convenient options from a local deli chain. But Peggy wanted to shake things up a bit and make it more memorable this time, so she considered renting a huge grill and having a few of their maintenance guys cook burgers and dogs for everybody. Pretty basic, but at least the food would be hot and fresh.

Then she had a great idea! What if there were food trucks on the site?? This way, there would be the freshly prepared food, plus the convenience of having someone else cook it!

She immediately called Fulfilling Catering and within just a few minutes, had arranged for a taco truck, an American cuisine truck, and a dessert truck. It was so easy—they handled everything.

Halfway across the country, Mike and Jennifer were setting up for a fundraiser festival that day with proceeds benefitting the local nonprofit organization where they worked. Plenty of volunteers came out to show their support in getting everything ready.

Once the music stage was assembled and the carnival games were all set, the food trucks showed up in plenty of time to get situated. See, Jennifer had heard of Fulfilling Catering several months before at another charity event, so her and Mike decided to use them for their own fundraiser.

What they really liked about this particular food truck booking service was the fact that they donated one meal for every meal sold at an event! That meant she was doing double the good—having them cater her event that would raise money to help others, plus having Fulfilling Catering match meals to feed the hungry. It was a win-win.

Just around the corner from where all this was happening, a couple softball games had just started at the local park. It was the beginning of the co-ed county rec league season… an extremely popular activity in the area.

The park where they played consisted mainly of 3 softball fields, a soccer field, and a couple playgrounds. There was a small concession stand on site, but it wasn’t equipped to handle the growing demand in food choices.

So Ashley, the parks and rec office admin, called Fulfilling Catering before the season started to ask how they could help. She explained the volume of people these games attracted and the different days and times games were scheduled. Within minutes, she had a number of local food truck options to choose from and decided to alternate them for different days of the week!

It was the perfect solution to a very common problem: Having to feed a hungry crowd without the time or resources to handle it. Fulfilling Catering worked for them, and it can work for you.  Find out how we can help make your next event a success!  

Food Trucks & Breweries: A Perfect Pair

On the heels of the food truck explosion here during the early 2000s, craft breweries are the next big thing sweeping the nation. Those with a passion for freshly fermented beverages have a fair chance at making it a business, and folks… business is a’ boomin.

There are now more than 3,500 breweries in America—the overwhelming majority of which are small craft or microbreweries—with hundreds more in development. The demand for original new craft concoctions is huge, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily an easy task to meet it.

Opening a new brewery and tasting room is a big investment. The equipment alone can cost upwards of a million, depending on how big you plan to get and the volume you plan to produce. Throw in the facility costs, fresh local ingredients, staff, insurance, government permits—we’re talking serious money here.

But what about food, how does that factor into the planning process?

Well, if your eyes were starting to get big over just the beer-making budget, you can double those costs for a brewery equipped to serve food items fresh from the kitchen. That’s why we’re seeing so many craft breweries pop up without true food capabilities, because it would require an exponentially greater investment.

The simplest solution many of these local watering holes have found is to pair up with food trucks in order to meet the needs of their thirsty (and oftentimes, hungry) patrons. It enables breweries to provide the freshest fermented beverages, along with original fare prepared right outside the parking lot.

On a much larger scale, you’ll notice the same duo at Brewfest events all across the country. It’s commonplace nowadays to see beer tents and food trucks intermingled at any annual beer extravaganza. Craft brews and fresh food is a union truly worth celebrating, and food trucks make it all possible.

That’s the beauty of their business model… it’s mobile! The full-service, fully stocked kitchen can come to you for the utmost in convenience without all the hassle or overhead. It’s a way for businesses to cater to large crowds with extremely low commitment, whether fresh food is needed for a one-time event or regularly scheduled service.

So really, breweries are just the beginning. Food trucks are quite ideal for everything from company picnics or other corporate events, to large reunions, concerts, or festivals.

The point is, don’t just settle for pre-prepared party trays or snack foods. Give the people what they really want… and bring the kitchen to the crowd. Food trucks can make any destination a delicious one!

Driving Delicacy Around the World

What started out ages ago from the simple need for convenience, getting food selection brought to you… has now become an elite delicacy where people travel afar just to get a taste of the latest food truck craze.

The roots of the food truck boom here in America reach all the way back to the 1860s, when an innovative Texas cattle rancher outfitted an old U.S. Army wagon with kitchen-like functionality for the cow hands who traveled months on end. It was simple, with shelves and drawers that were filled with dried beans and meats, coffee, and water. Nothing like a good selection right?

Lucky for us, today’s version of the chuckwagon is very different—and you can find just about any food in any flavor on one. In fact, food trucks have become more of a trend than an actual time-saver. Just check out some of these wild meals on wheels, from Berlin to the Bay Area.

Woop Woop in Berlin, Germany
Like any proper 5-year-old, we’re starting this food tour with dessert. And rather than spoil your appetite, this should awaken it with a pretty interesting approach to something sweet. Just remember, portion control people.

Your custom single-batch of homemade ice cream starts with fresh ingredients, including a variety of chocolates, nuts and fruits. Whatever you choose gets tossed in a food processor with milk, cream and sugar… and viola!

The real secret is the speed in which it’s made. Woop Woop can serve up an order within seconds, thanks to their secret ingredient, liquid nitrogen. This allows the mixture to be cooled down to minus 196 degrees Celsius, instantly forming icecream. Go figure, one of the two founders of Woop Woop is a former physicist.

Jumplings Tasty Dumplings in Perth, Australia
This mobile meal kitchen offers some of the tastiest homemade dumplings in all the land. They’re hand-crafted with five different kinds of flour, but what’s inside is the real surprise.

Since 2009, Jumplings’ dumplings are a true testament of tastes. They combine some of the freshest local produce with things like scallops and truffles, sambal chilli tiger prawn, and of course, kangaroo meat.

So next time you’re in the land down under, hop on over to Jumplings for some curbside cuisine like nowhere else in the world.

Señor Sisig in San Francisco, California
The food truck scene in San Fran is exploding, so it’s tough to pick just one. But the Filipino fusion-inspired menu you’ll find at Señor Sisig’s keeps the line long and the people in it coming back for more.

They offer everything from Sisig Fries—crispy shoestrings swimming in pork, nacho cheese, sour cream, guac, and pico—to their famous burritos, stuffed with Adobe garlic rice, pinto beans, pico, cilantro cream sauce, and more pork.

Although you can pick an alternative protein for any of their specialties, there’s something unique about the pork that all the locals rave about. Maybe it’s because Sisig in Filipino food is a dish made of pig’s head and liver. Different… but it wouldn’t stop me!

SPAMERICAN! Food Truck touring the U.S.  
The last meal on wheels is one that’s hard to miss, although you better move quick! SPAM, the precooked canned meat that’s become a favorite delicacy in Hawaii, was loaded on a food truck and made its way around 12 major cities throughout the U.S. this year.

Serving up everything from hot-pressed Cuban “SPAMwhiches” to coconut SPAM spears with spicy pineapple chutney, the SPAMERICAN! Food Truck puts a twist on your favorite canned meat.

Hopefully they’ll make it to your neck of the woods next.

Taking a peek at some signature dishes, whether a million miles away or in your own back yard, shows the imagination and possibilities that you can get these days from curbside cuisine. Bon appétit!

The 4 Stars of Food Trucks

Most foodies know that enlisting a little help from Yelp before venturing out to try some new eats has become a best practice. Food trucks are no exception.

Review sites like this usually provide a starting point, but it’s very important to understand they give an incomplete view that focuses more on the extremes. Either a vendor has “the most amazing wings on the planet” or they struck someone else as “just average wraps at not-so-average prices.”

If you want a food truck experience that ends happily ever after, there are four main stars to the story.

1. Keeping it simple. Ever been to a restaurant with a menu that seemed a mile long? It probably took awhile to decide, and chances are you were still left with a few finalists to have to choose from. People are happier with fewer choices since they can make up their mind confidently and there’s no buyer’s remorse. Most food trucks offer this, but it’s still something to keep an eye on.

If you want some variety mixed with convenience, food truck events allow people to be able to easily identify the truck’s concept, walk up to the window, and know exactly what they’re going to get. This makes it easy, like food truck dining should be.

2. The price is right.  One thing you can always count on when browsing for your next food truck is a good bargain, which is a rarity these days for any food that is freshly prepared for you (Subway sandwiches don’t count!).

Even then, by having several food truck options like at an event mentioned in #1, you can follow your nose and the competitive prices to the best meal deals around.

3. Loyalty has its perks. A frequent foodie rewards program can be proof of that. Does your favorite food truck give incentives to keep coming back for more? Or are they only focused on the immediate sale?

A food vendor offering some sort of punch card or points system to valued customers is a great way to repay people for their ongoing business. It’s also beneficial for the food truck because it keeps customers coming back just so they can get one stamp closer to that free meal.

Bottom line: When the clock strikes noon and you’re deciding which vendor gets  your hard earned dollar over lunch, oftentimes a rewards program could make up your mind for you.

4. Last but certainly not least. We’ve hit a number of areas to look for in the ideal meal on wheels, but one that tops just about anybody’s list is also the simplest… how the food tastes!

If a food truck nails the first 4 on the list but comes up short on flavor, they’ll be coming up short on business once the word gets out. I guess a better way to look at it is this… when someone truly loves the food at a particular spot, they are much more forgiving on some of the other potential drawbacks.

So remember: Simplicity, value, rewards, and deliciousness. By following this ultimate checklist, you’re well on your way to finding the best feast on the streets.