Food trucks, those grubby ol’ things?
Yes, food trucks. It’s been a hot topic for me lately, one I wanted to share with you!
We’ve got a lot to catch up on guys! I can’t believe it’s already been over two months since I got home. It seems like just yesterday I was eating breakfast at cat cafes.
After arriving home, I fell into the deep hole of post-trip depression. Not to say I’m entirely out of the rut, but I’m making the climb. I found myself back living at my parent’s house, unemployed, and poor.
After having so many amazing ‘checks’ on my record – a great job in the heart of Chicago, traveling through Asia, breaking through barriers I never thought I’d be able to break through – it felt like suuuuuch a step back to be where I was. In a basement. At my parents house. In Ohio. Surrounded by Trump-Pence signs, lots of white people, and McDonalds.
I had to start getting back on my own two feet. The best way to start would be to find a job.
We all know working sucks. I bet only 1 out of 100 of you reading this (ha, I wish there were 100 of you reading this lol) truly love their job. Isn’t that unfortunate? So many people across the world spend their lives working somewhere they hate, or worse, somewhere they are just going through the motions with no feelings at all.
I didn’t want that to me be.
Starting the job hunt, I was picking from the top of the tree. I only applied to jobs that I thought I’d enjoy doing. Hopefully I’d get one of these before I found myself in the position of applying to everything and been desperately forced to accept a job I would hate.
Scrolling through hundreds of job listings across various fields, I was focused on certain aspects of a role before I applied to it. No uniform. Not a corporation. A small team of less than 50 employees. Accepting of dreadlocks and tattoos. Offered the chance to have new experiences – maybe travel a bit. Somewhere I could learn new skills. And, last but not least, somewhere that aligned with my personal hobbies and goals.
I finally found it – Mohawk Freestyle Grill!
Working on a food truck
Food trucks sometimes get a bad rap. There’s a lot of mystery around them. People might think they’re dirty, or worse, that the food isn’t as good as if it was from a restaurant. While each of these might be true for some food trucks, it isn’t true for all of them and it certainly isn’t true for us at Mohawk Freestyle Grill.
Most misconceptions (not just about food trucks) are conceived and birthed from a lack of knowledge and experience. I’m here to help shed some light on the mystery of food trucks!. 🙂
1. The food is better than restaurant quality – love really is an ingredient.
Okay guys let’s think about this.
Restaurants: Often times a chain corporation, usually employ about 50 employees. In restaurant kitchens, there’s usually a manager but often times it’s not the owner of the business. I can tell you that the kids in the kitchen are as invested in your meals up to as much as they are getting paid.
Food trucks: Only employ a handful of people. This means that these few select employees are always on the job, becoming experts at what they do. Additionally, the owner is almost always on the truck – either cooking the food or taking your order.
Aaron Hanover, a classically trained chef, is the proud owner of Mohawk Freestyle Grill – but he’s not the only food truck owner who takes pride in his truck and aims to REPRESENT! at every event. Having the head honcho on board all the time raises the standards of the truck, making sure that delicious food is coming out just the way it was meant to.
2. The food truck-ers are a strong community.
Most food trucks have teams of 2-8 people. In terms of company size, this industry is one of the smallest I’ve encountered across my 20+ jobs in my lifetime. While in a big corporation it’s easy to just become a numbered machine, food truck employees don’t have that luxury. Most of them are honest people just like you and me, trying to make a living doing what they’re passionate about.
Working in a food truck, you’re in the front lines. Being there in the grit of it allows you to see how your success is the truck’s success. You really can’t help but to feel a sense of pride and ownership. They look out for each other and help where they can.
3. You’re going to touch butts.
Yeeppppp, there’s definitely going to be some of that. A food truck is not a big space and sometimes it can get real personal when you’re doing the dance of “it’s 8 pm at a high school football game, why are we getting slaughtered right now?”
There are brushes, grazes and excuse me’s sometimes, and that’s just part of it.
4. It’s not always like that Bob’s Burgers episode (but sometimes)
I looooove Bob’s Burgers. As in, it’s pretty much always playing in the background at my house.
One episode, Bob buys a food truck and they take the show on the road. While getting the truck ship shape, they accidentally blow it up because they turned the grill on while the engine was running – a big no no because of how they had to wire it!
When I met Aaron for the first time he told me that he did a lot of the work in the truck himself. I immediately pictured this scene in my head. While we haven’t had any explosions, we’ve had to get creative with our problem solving. Yes, that door latch is made of Velcro. You gotta do what you gotta do!
5. We’re all in this together – buy local!
The biggest thing I’ve taken away from my experience so far is that we’re all in this together.
When we come to an event to serve good food, we’re serving it to our neighbors, our friends, our family. When you get a meal from a food truck, your supporting the people you see there – not some guy in a big chair, or on a golf course.
While the world is a small place, we can make it a little smaller by helping each other out. Here comes the hippie: buy local and help support your community!
6. It can be incredibly inspiring
I talked earlier about how I felt that I had fallen, or taken a step back when I got home and set up shop in Ohio.
While working on a food truck may not have the same glamour that a “big-girl-downtown-Chicago” job does, the last few months working under Aaron has been incredibly inspiring. He and his wife put in long hours, extraordinary effort, and are fierce in their passion to make this dream come true.
I’m learning new skills that I’m able to practice at work or at home, like how to properly cut onions or clean a pineapple, making my personal hobby of cooking more satisfying. In a way, I feel like I’m doing an apprenticeship to learn a great, long-forgotten, craft. Maybe I’ll even open my own food truck someday!
Closing meditation exercise –
Now, before we part ways we’re going to do a little meditation exercise together. Read carefully!
You want to go online and look for food trucks in your area.
You want to eat out of the food trucks and support your community.
You are getting very hungry…….