one of the challenges—weather here doesn’t cooperate for a year-round
business. It’s also about getting the dough right. We’ve had to change
our dough recipe after looking at the weather forecast, so consistency is
a challenge. It might be 120° in the truck in July, or 30° in the winter,
so we adjust the hydration or yeast in the dough to make it work. Or
we might do small parties of 30, then the next day have 200 walk-up
customers. Doing a cold ferment three to five days ahead of time requires
a lot of guesswork; sometimes we sell out.
Providing the best quality has made us successful in one of the most
competitive pizza markets in the country. Offering something different,
keeping up with trends in the industry, and staying on the forefront
(like farm-to-table or unique combinations) have also been key. We
did a pop-up recently where we created famous pizzas from around the
United States and had a great turnout.
We hit Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, having fun with it, asking
people what pizzas they want to see and highlighting our quality ingredients. We also have a great relationship with local writers, and they’ve
helped promote us quite a bit. We go after awards, like winning “best
food truck” in local publications, to help spread the word. And our
schedule is rotational, so people know where to find us.
You have to prepare yourself for the seasonality of this business when
weather’s a factor. I see a lot of new food trucks go under because they
committed too much start-up capital. We keep our costs low and our
quality high; I even built the truck myself with my father. We load
ourselves up in the summer, staying as busy as we can; you might do
back-to-back 100-hour weeks, then work 30-hour weeks in winter.
The most important thing is to maintain good relationships with the
places you want to be. People think they can just drive all over and blast
it out on Twitter, but that’s not the case. Office lunches and catering
keep you going, at least until your name’s established. Once people know
you, you can go somewhere and people will show up.
Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor.
“We did a pop-up
we created famous
pizzas from around the
United States and had
a great turnout.”
—; JAY;LANGFELDER,; ;