Last year at this time there were two food trucks in Dallas and a smattering of trucks and trailers in Ft. Worth. Green House was operating in University Park and City Street Grille was permitted in Dallas. Fort Worth had a more thriving community: TacoHeads had been up and running since May 2010. May 2011 was a turning point in Dallas: Nammi, Gandolfo’s, and Jack’s Chowhound started serving.
My latest DFW food trucks count follows: 63 active food trucks/trailers, 10 announced and rolling soon, 13 have opened and closed, and another 6 that are MIA (they announced their business only to disappear.) Many of the food truck operators are innovative, great cooks but they lack the experience of running the entire operation themselves.
Operating a food truck is tougher than it sounds. Not only does one have to serve good food, operators must manage schedules, fix engines and transmissions, fill propane tanks, and deal with the weather conditions that range from rain to high temperatures. One operator became so overwhelmed on a hot day he had to lie down and on the floor of his truck and cry it out. He quit the business.
Recently had five food trucks in DFW are off the roads and re-evaluating their business plans, including two of the top food trucks in the DFW Metroplex. Jump to see who have put their food trucks in (P).
City Street Grille is going on hiatus while owners Hunter Johnson and Jessica Smith turn to different opportunities. They will keep the CSG concept while selling the physical truck. Hunter will be taking the knowledge learned over the last couple of years and begin to build custom trucks for other people. Jessica is turning her attention to the long established Bob’s Steak & Chop House on Lemmon Ave, where she is a part owner.
The Munch Box was a Ft. Worth-based food truck until it was crippled when some sugar caught fire while they were making Rice Krispie treats. The fire suppression system didn’t kick in properly. Owners Rob Vassilakos and Eric Foster have shipped the truck off to premiere retrofitter Cruisin’ Kitchens in San Antonio to be rebuilt. While Munch Box was a high end retrofitted truck, the aisle clearance didn’t conform to Dallas standards so they couldn’t operate here. Rob and Eric are not letting a little fire stop them. They are taking the time to regroup and look at new concepts and grow the overall business. They anticipate selling the original truck, but have other ideas for turning “Munch Box” into a partnership with multiple concepts planned. The first one will be Slushworks, a beverage truck with fresh slush drinks and juices. Dallas/Ft. Worth … Summer … 120 degree temperature … Slushies = Brilliant in it’s simplicity. Rob and Eric expect to roll with Slushworks in early summer.
Little Vessel Grill shut down last week. Chef/owner Mike Brown had one of the more innovative menus, but found operating a food truck to be uniquely challenging. Going forward, he’ll focus on the catering side.
Crazy Sisters wants to sell their food truck along with equipment, brand, website, and all other assets. They are still out at highly profitable special events, but are otherwise seeking a buyer. They tell me the business is just too hard.
Rollin’ Diner in Ft. Worth had a food trailer, but decided that they needed a truck instead. So they sold the trailer, retrofitted a truck, and before they even got rolling with the truck, have decided to sell. We don’t have a specific reason though that they are selling out.