When I first started working on the Paris Creperie Food Truck, I had no idea that I had entered into a completely new community of people- a highly distinct component of the food service industry. The workers and owners of food trucks seem to be different, somehow. It’s not that we are any better or any worse than restaurant owners or employees, but I think we form some type of community which bonds over the unique and innovative nature of Food Trucks.
First off, nothing unites people more than catastrophe, and OH BOY do catastrophes happen. Take a minimalist kitchen, hook it up to a propane tank and a generator meant to be used as a backup in case of emergencies. Then, use said generator for far too many hours per day and plop it all onto a refurbished diesel truck that is probably over 15 years old. There’s your food truck! Now, expect everything to run perfectly every day. There’s your catastrophe.
But those things are fixable, and stuff happens. If you’re off the road one day for maintenance, you make it up by having awesome, psyched customers at SoWa Open Market the next day, or you come up with a new protocol for getting out orders more efficiently, or your social media finally starts to get some great recognition. And don’t even get me started on those inter-food truck trades! I’ll give away all the Nutella Frozen Hot Chocolates in the world for The Dining Car’s deep fried cauliflower.
It’s not the good and the bad that creates the food truck community, but rather the amazing and the disastrous. Putting a kitchen on a truck pushes everything to its extremes and I think that is what creates such a strong and supportive food truck culture. Together, we can work to create more conducive conditions for food trucks in the City of Boston while laughing at the ridiculousness of the job in the meantime.
I’m a food truck manager, not an owner, but I still love what I do and am working to influencing Boston’s food truck industry as positively as I can. I am working on bringing out my staff’s hilarity, commitment, and good taste, and in so doing, trying to make fun, vibrant, and delicious food trucks a standard. In this way, Boston’s food trucks can prove their benefit to the community, which will hopefully allow for a more food truck friendly city in the near future.
<3 Jenny, your forever faithful Mother Trucker
P.S. Watch the video below, courtesy of the BU Buzz, for my opinion on the food truck community, as well as the opinion of other awesome truckers! (Please note my awkward truck dismount and Martha’s silent swaying…what a team we make…)