Chefs Without Restaurants

Running a Successful Food Truck Business - A Return Visit from Jerrod Cline of Bub-B-Que

November 30, 2021 Chris Spear Season 2 Episode 120
Chefs Without Restaurants
Running a Successful Food Truck Business - A Return Visit from Jerrod Cline of Bub-B-Que
Show Notes Transcript

On this episode, we're joined by Jerrod Cline of Bub-B-Que, a food truck based in Frederick, Maryland. Jerrod was the 2nd guest we had on the podcast way back in Dec 2019. The food world, and the world in general, has changed so much in two years. I wanted to get Jerrod back on the show and hear how things have changed for him.

From rising food costs to pivoting, we talk about running a food truck in the year 2022. Jerrod talks about how he's changed his menu, and what he thinks about competition. He discusses some tricks to keeping his food cost in check, and how he keeps the money coming in during the cold winters.

Sponsors
If you're interested in grits, corn meal, and corn flour that are both delicious and nutritious, check out Professor Torbert's Orange Corn.   All of their products are non-GMO, gluten free and vegan. Their orange corn is helping fight micronutrient deficiencies in more than 10 African countries. So, when you choose Professor Torbert's you aren't just saying yes to better flavor. You're also helping deliver better nutrition on a global scale. When ordering on their website, use discount code CHEFS10 to save 10%.

Looking to hire employees for your restaurant? This week's sponsor is Savory Jobs, a job site only for restaurants. For just $50, get unlimited job postings for an entire year. Use discount code SAVORY10 to save 10%.

===========

Jerrod Cline and Bub-B-Que

===========
Bub-B-Que Instagram
Bub-B-Que Facebook Page
Jerrod Cline on Episode 7 of the Chefs Without Restaurants Podcast

==========================

CHEFS WITHOUT RESTAURANTS

==========================

SUPPORT US ON PATREON
Get the Chefs Without Restaurants Newsletter
Visit Our Amazon Store (we get paid when you buy stuff)

Chefs Without Restaurants Facebook page

Chefs Without Restaurants private Facebook group

Chefs Without Restaurants Instagram

Founder Chris Spear’s personal chef business Perfect Little Bites

If you want to support the show, our Venmo name is ChefWoRestos and can be found at https://venmo.com/ChefWoRestos. If you enjoy the show it would be much appreciated. 

Chris Spear:

Welcome to Chefs Without Restaurants. I'm your host Chris spear. On the show. I've conversations with culinary entrepreneurs and people in the food and beverage industry who took a different route. Their caterers, research chefs, personal chefs, cookbook authors, food truckers, farmers, cottage bakers, and all sorts of culinary renegades. I fall into the personal chef category as I started my own personal chef business perfect little bites 11 years ago. And while I started working in kitchens in the early 90s, I've literally never worked in a restaurant unless you count Burger King or Boston Market. This week, I am happy to bring Jerrod Cline back on the show. He's the owner and pitmaster of Bub-B-Que, a mobile barbecue business located in Frederick, Maryland, where I live. If you've been a longtime listener of the show, you know that Jared was probably my fourth guest that we had on the show. And that was episode number seven. So a lot has happened since he was on the show. That's actually last week, we celebrated two years of the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. So Jared was on just about two years ago. And as you probably know, the world has changed so much since then, I really wanted to get him back on the show and just kind of touch base and see where he was at with things. I mean, between COVID Having to pivot, food cost, labor shortage, labor cost, all these things that have really kind of exploded in the past year and a half. Yeah, I thought I'd have Jared on again, we could kind of talk about some of those things. So if you don't know who he is, you can go back and listen to his earlier episode. I'll link it in the show notes. But we don't spend really any time talking about who he is or how he started his business. We do talk a lot about barbecue though. But mainly how it relates to pricing with the crazy increases in meat costs. And things like how he comes up with his menus and recipes and kind of the vision for his food truck. Jared went on break the end of October. So he's shut it down until early next year. So I want to talk to him kind about what he does in his off time, and what the food truck might look like when he comes back next year. I really hope you enjoy the show. And as always, you can find me on social media. And you know, leave a comment on Instagram. Send me a DM shoot me an email. Tell me what you think about that episode. And that'll be coming right up after a word from our sponsors. Is a grits enthusiast I'm honored to welcome our newest sponsor Professor Torbert orange corn. I've been buying their products for a couple years now so I can speak to the awesome quality of these products. Professor torwards orange corn is the result of its founders lifelong dedication to improving the world through science and agriculture. over 20 years ago, Torbert set out to answer a simple but revolutionary question. Can you naturally make corn more nutritious? Could you deliver the benefits of a vegetable through a grain? Today, non GMO orange corn is helping fight micronutrient deficiencies in more than 10 African countries. The vibrant orange color comes from significantly increased levels of carotenoids. Torbert decided to see what he could do with it here at home. To his delight, he found that not only could Americans iHealth potentially benefit from its higher levels of antioxidant carotenoids, but it also tasted unbelievably good. So when you choose Professor torwards you aren't just saying yes to better flavor. You're also helping deliver better nutrition on a global scale. Tastes good, feels good. All of Professor turbots products grits cornmeal and cornflower are non GMO, gluten free and vegan. All their products are sold online and Professor Torbert stock Tom on Amazon and wholesale. And now through the end of November, Professor turbots is happy to offer all Chefs Without Restaurants listeners 10% off on all orange corn products, go to Professor Torbert calm and simply use the promo code chefs 10 at checkout, that's c h e f s one zero. Did you know restaurants turnover employs four times faster than most businesses? What if somebody created an affordable and effective hiring solution for the restaurant industry? What if there were a job site that only focused on people looking for food service jobs? What if that site only cost $50 A year to advertise for every job your restaurant needed? Forget the big corporate sites like indeed and Monster, our sponsor, savory jobs has a job site exclusively for restaurants. The best part is savory jobs only charges $50 for an entire year. And you can post all the jobs you want. And for our loyal listeners, use the code savory 10 and get 10% off. That's S A Vory. One zero. So you go to savory jobs, calm and discover the job site shaking up the industry. And remember to use savory 10 for 10% off. And now on with the show. Thanks so much. And have a great week. Hey, Jared, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for coming back.

Unknown:

Thanks for having me back. I feel like it's been a long time coming.

Chris Spear:

Yeah, you are the most appearing guest, I guess. So you were on episode seven of the show, which probably made you like our third or fourth in Person guest then you sat in for like, one of those other episodes, because we bashed them that day. And then you got to co host with me. So this is like your fourth appearance on the show or so. Yeah,

Unknown:

I enjoy it. Well, we

Chris Spear:

were just talking. I mean, it's been two years since you actually were on the show. And so much has happened. I mean, it's crazy to think that you were on the show, you know, December 2019. And in the year that's followed, I mean, not just with your business, but the world COVID, obviously, but looking at everyone's pivots, food costing third party apps, staffing, like all this stuff, you and I had kind of talked previously about some of that stuff. And I think that's what I want to get into a little bit today. For those listeners who don't know anything about Jared. He does have a food truck called barbecue here in Frederick, Maryland, where I live a lot of knowledge based around food trucks, if you want to learn a lot about him, you can go back and listen to episode seven of the podcast. And I'll link that in the show notes. So we're not going to spend really any time getting into your backstory of like who you are and what you do. I'm sure some of that'll kind of poke in there while we're talking. But I want to talk about some of these food issues that I think could be very beneficial conversations for our listeners sound good? Yeah, absolutely. Let's kind of talk about branding, staying in your lane, finding a new course and like maybe when to throw in the towel. Like, if we can find a way to kind of wrap that stuff up. I know you've pretty much kept with barbecue. You've done some experimenting. You know you've got smoked wings, I've seen you do burger specials. And a lot of our peers and friends have diversified whether it's you know, having a burger truck doing a taco special or rebranding as a you know, a steak truck as in Brett's case, or, you know, Andrew with a pizza truck getting into catering. Where do you kind of stand on this?

Unknown:

I kind of had an aha moment in the middle of this past season. I got caught up in holding tight that barbecue needs to be tried and true. Me and some sides and you don't really stray from that. And when I didn't really differ from my menu, I got stuck in a rut. Everything was the same it was either do you want brisket Do you want or do you want ribs. And it really hit in our bottom line because with the rising food costs, everything needed to be brought up as far as what we were selling it for. Were increasing prices. One Wednesday, you could see a ton of people coming through and then the next Wednesday, it was a ghost town. So I kind of had to get out of my own way and realize alright, we do do these smoke wings but right now they're sitting at $4 a pound. How in the world can I sell smoked things? I don't think I can. So what can we do on Wednesdays now to try and get people out here? What kind of gimmick can we have? We have the brisket trimmings that I make these burgers with and it got to the point to where I just I hate cooking burgers now because they became the same thing for people who didn't really want to try barbecue and with my love hate relations With these burgers, I decided, Okay, well let's let's do a barbecue style of these burgers, we're going to smoke them, we're not just going to toss them on the propane grill, we need to have that smoke flavor in there. And when we started selling those again, that very quickly turned into an entire fire hall calling us before we open in saying we don't care how many you have, we want them. So that's when you look at okay, well, do I rebrand? How tried and true do I need to stick to barbecue? What spectrum of barbecue Am I gonna stick to am I gonna sit here and do mostly burgers, then I kind of get lost away from the brisket and the poor pork and everything that we've built our name on since 2010 When we started this. So how can I make all of this work by still holding true to regular barbecue, but also giving people something and that's exciting and new, that they want to come out and try and they have a reason to come out to the trailer. Instead of we just want a pound of brisket or a half pound of pork, or whatever that may be. When we moved at the beginning of COVID. From the spot that we were at to the brewery that we went to we were probably less than five miles away from each spot. But that five miles changed our clientele from a farming community to a downtown brewery community of people bar hopping. And the last thing they want is this big giant plate of you know, greasy meat put in front of them unless it's their last stop of the night. So how can we incorporate finger foods into that kind of thing. It took me all the way up until the end of this past service here we shut down November 1 to kind of reel it in and regroup for the year to kind of come to terms with okay, we can't we can't have the Texas barbecue pipe dream. Not that we serve just Texas barbecue. But we need a lot more than brisket pulled pork House made sausage. And you know trying to keep it local, we had pit beef. So now that we're in our off period, we're starting to tweak things looking at other not necessarily other people's menus but looking through cookbooks and how can we use this technique with that flavor and create something with barbecue with it? Is it a new side dish? Is it a new new kind of meat with all of the prices as crazy as they are right now. Brisket used to be the junk meat of barbecue world. It was used out of necessity. Just because it's the end of the week, the farmers need to do something with everything that they didn't sell. Okay, let's cook it for a long time. We'll feed all of our help with it. Now all of those cuts have gone up in price. And it makes you wonder Are these prices gonna go down at all?

Chris Spear:

What are ribs right now aren't ribs like insane.

Unknown:

ribs were five. I think 574 pounds for the baby back. So last time I had them. And then we switched over to spare ribs that were still for something a pound rolling through Sam's Club today, they had finally dropped the spare ribs were down below $4. They were three something pounds. And the baby backs were at four something pounds.

Chris Spear:

And that's coming from what like where were they pre COVID

Unknown:

in the twos I think baby backs for 299 you can get spareribs for in the upper one dollars lower too.

Chris Spear:

So like essentially double.

Unknown:

Yeah, chicken wings were the same way. And like I said, that's why we had to stop selling them. By the time that we got the wings, we put our rub our time, our efforts into it, you know, we do a smoked and then fried so you're also using the oil, which has skyrocketed as well. So you're losing money, you're essentially giving people food for free. And then you're also throwing a $5 bill on top of it for them. You know, how can you adjust that pricing to justify selling a pound of wings to somebody for close to 12 to $13 and they're getting four or five wings?

Chris Spear:

Yeah, I mean, that's it's tough. Like I haven't had wings in forever. I mean, looking at restaurants. I was somewhere looking at a takeout menu last week and I think it's you know, like $10 for six wings or something maybe and that's probably like a good price or at least on par with what everyone else is doing. It's it just doesn't make sense at all.

Unknown:

I fear that this is really going to push it more so in our case, because we deal with local farms and things like that, we did a pig roast at the end of the year. And the amount that we had paid for the pig, which was completely justified because it was one of the best things we've ever cooked. It almost wasn't worth it, after we put 14 hours into cooking it an hour and a half into trimming it. But these smaller farms have to charge these prices because all of their pricing is going up. They're putting three months into a hog, if not longer just to get where it needs to be in order to sell that. And then you you incorporate how they have to package it up and things like that, it's going to push a lot of places to start using bigger box stores in the bigger name brands just because it's the cheaper option. And it's, it's really pushing out a lot of the local people that we really love to support and going to two and three different butchers or two in three different stores, just to make sure that you can get all of your materials that you need for the next cook. So you can make a little bit of money, it stinks because you have these relationships with these business owners. And they see your orders shrink every week, because you have to go to another place to get what you need.

Chris Spear:

And it's not just BBQ meats. I mean, it's all meats, right, like I did a Thanksgiving dinner for a client yesterday, and I wanted to get a good Turkey and I went to common market, which is our local place. And they use you know, local farms and heritage breeds and stuff. And they're quoting me 999 a pound for a turkey. And their turkeys from that farm were in the range of like 1314 pounds of like $140 for Turkey, like you can buy like some butterball turkeys for 29 cents a pound. And then there's some really great stuff in the four to $5 a pound. And you know, as much as I want to use local I mean, it was for five people, like I can't justify spending 140 bucks literally on just the turkey when I've got to have, you know, five other sides that are gonna go with this plus a salad and a dessert like, even if I jacked up the price, like people just aren't gonna pay that.

Unknown:

Right, not at all. And I, one thing that I found is we have to Audible, because there will be people who will ask for us to do whole hog for a party of 20. And it's like, you know, we don't like cooking a pig under 80 pounds. To me, it's just not that big hasn't had an opportunity to grow to the potential that should have been sown the humane side of things. I don't mess with something that's small. So that's when we kind of redirect them to try and you know, hey, let's do some pork shoulders, maybe add in a second meat for somebody who might not be interested in pork. And we just to kind of connect the dots on this. We sold more Turkey last for this year's Thanksgiving cook than we did hold turkeys. Just because we're still seeing a lot of people who are doing these small parties like you were talking about. And they don't mean an entire 12 to 16 pound bird or something that's even even bigger than that, because it's five or six people at their table that particular time and, you know, possibly let's do turkey breast or something like that. But it's been interesting to try and navigate your way through it and then incorporate your cost into it. And you know, that's trying to figure out when is it worth it? And when is it not? You know, we have hours at the smoker. And our prep work is 95% done all the way up until pork shoulder gets bored or brisket gets sliced and put on a platter. It's still figuring out the best way to serve the customer at lowest price. I guess that kind of goes back into staying staying in your lane

Chris Spear:

to where does competition come into play? In your mind? It seems like there's a ridiculous amount of barbecue food trucks in this area. Like every time I go out I see a different one at a brewery that I've never heard of. Or an office park. I don't know if they're all in the city here or if they're coming from other places, but it seems like so many people are doing barbecue like Are you watching that? Like are you looking at people's menus, their pricing thinking about that? Or do you not even have time to be bothered with like your competition?

Unknown:

The only time that I might take a look at somebody else what they have going on is if you know we have messages that get sent to us Like, hey, check out this thing that so and so is doing and I'll take a look at it. And sometimes I look at and I'm like, Wow, that's pretty ingenious. Then there are other times when I look at it, I'm like, you just basically scooped a little bit of everything and threw it on top of, you know, a pile of beans or you put it in a bowl somewhere. And there's there's no creative structure behind it. It's like, here's your kitchen sink. Here's a witty nickname. There you go. And I think that's another one of the reasons why I didn't want to really stray away from the tried and true barbecue type stuff. I feel like if you can keep the barbecue, no frills people know exactly what they're going to get. I don't need to hide a whole bunch of meat behind a big pile of sauce or a whole bunch of different ingredients. But at the same time, that's also what people want sometimes, you know, having a chopped brisket sandwich that has fried onions on top of it. And coleslaw or whatever that may be, you know, it's essentially putting all of these different players together and giving the customer a new experience. A lot of the new people that are coming through, I think had a big push to do with when COVID started, people were staying at home. They have the time to the YouTube community with barbecue is absolutely massive. Aaron Franklin pretty much put down the entire ground works as far as smoking meat period. He's got a PBS special that he had, I think it was eight or nine episodes. He had YouTube videos that went into smoking and trimming all kinds of meats and now you could cook them. Then he did a masterclass on all of that stuff. The only thing that he didn't really get into was the business end of those things. So kind of when we started, you know, I What do I know about business? I don't know a lot. I've worked in restaurants before, I kind of know what not to do. And I kind of know what to do. Do I know the nitty gritty financials, no, but that's why you can find an account. So when you have all these people who are at home, with all of this stuff at their fingertips, they have a lot of time they can look into it, they have a lot of times they can practice, you can go and get a piece of meat, try it out and ruin it, so to speak. And then take your notes, start working on the next time that you're going to make it. I don't think we're ever going to see it at least not in our time or our lifetime. Where people can be sent home from work, still being paid, still be employed, and have the opportunity of you know the internet at their fingertips to where they can sit and they can learn. And they can do anything that they want to they can try it out. And it's not just you know, you see people that post videos on Facebook tick tock is taking off to where people will put a three minute How To video up, you can get on YouTube, and you can learn how to do the regular brisket worker and chicken or you can get into some of the creative stuff where people will do smoke baloney. They'll make jalapeno poppers they'll do you know, they started calling them like poor man's burn ends to where you take a whole ground chuck and you smoke it and then you cut it in you're not paying the I think it was 548 pound a day when I went to go get brisket. You know you're paying close to $3 a pound in your end product is going to be just as good if not better, because you also have all of these people on socials who are selling their rubs are selling their injections. They're selling everything to where you can essentially start an entire business based off of other people's rubs other people sauces and other people's techniques.

Chris Spear:

Do you make your own rubs and sauces?

Unknown:

Absolutely. All of that was stuff that we had put together when we first started within trial and error. And there are still times when I'll have a brisket during a cook that I'll put one different spices or I'll add another 5% salt, or I'll use a different mesh of pepper. And make sure that I mark it after we're done cooking to where I can kind of tweak that. It's just making sure that you remember which one it is but I've also realized and I had a conversation with somebody about this the other day. They sent me a message and they said we've we've used All of these different rubs on a pork shoulder, why do they always all come out the same. And I said, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret, just do salt and pepper on your pork shoulders. And it's like, and you've mentioned this before, a million times, pork shoulders are so forgiving. You can wrap a pork shoulder and inject it and do all kinds of things to it with that piece of meat is so big, you're not going to get much flavor out of it. So save those rubs for when you're done, sprinkle it over top after you've pulled it. And then you're going to get the flavor that you're looking for at that point. A lot of these rubs that are commercial, are putting a bunch of brown sugar and all that kind of stuff in it. And when you have something in a smoker for 1012, you know, our brace gets can go up to 16 hours, those sugars are going to burn, and it's not going to the bark that you're going after is going to be so dry and then you've you've really got to rely on the fat within that piece of meat to kind of bring everything together. And even still, you're making become tacky, because you mix the hard bits in with the juicy moist bits, then it just kind of it's not what it could be at that point. So tweaking our rubs as we go, it's also figuring out what rub is going to be better for the finishing product when we rub it right before we put it on a sandwich. Or you know, how much vinegar do we want to put inside of our Carolina vinegar sauce? Do we want to stick to just apple cider? Do we want to put a little bit of red wine in there and give it a twist that not a lot of people are going to really grab on to that flavor and just tweaking things as we go. So that way, it's a different flavor. And it's we can also say that we know every single ingredient that are put into these rubs or put into these losses, when people come up to our window and they let us know, hey, you know we have celiacs disease, or we have we can't have milk products or whatever it may be. I've looked at all of these ingredients and everything that goes in them that I can tell them you can have this, this and this, stay away from that, and you'll be good to go.

Chris Spear:

How often do you tinker with those things? And have you ever had any customers? Notice like, is there ever a time where someone comes and says, Hey, last time I was here, I got the brisket, and it tasted different than previous time? Like have you ever had any issues with that as you kind of change the way you do things.

Unknown:

The only thing that we've ever really had a customer call us out on and they were a consistent customer, we would see them once a week for sure. Sometimes flights. And we had we put dill in our cucumber salad. And we stopped putting bill in it. Just to kind of go back to the basics of things. I didn't like how the flavors weren't coming through as well. So I had stopped using it. And one week she came back. And I saw her go over and sit down in her car. She took her by she sat there for a second. And she got out and she came back up she goes What did you do? What do you mean? She goes your cucumber salad is not the same. I said well, we took the devil out of it, she goes you need to put it back in. And she even she called us out about the style that we were cutting the cucumbers because we used to use a mandolin had the I guess you'd call it like a crinkle cut. And she said you need to keep the crinkle cut because it's holding on to the dressing better. And I was like okay, these are all things that I need to think about. But beyond that, we haven't really gotten called caught out on something like that. But we also don't change things that drastically when we do try something new. And it's only on one piece of meat when we do it. So if we're in a trailer and I cut into it, first slice or first poll when I taste it, I'm like okay, this is off, I can just pull it over to the side and then that turns into Sunday dinner family. So there are also a lot of times that those flavors might not even get to the customer to where they can really take notice of it. But you know at the same time we have our return customers but we also have a lot of new faces that would come through being in the old spot that we were at you know you you have people that were from Baltimore DC, McHenry County coming down just to try the brew the beers and then they would get some food and they didn't have any pre noticed Have what our food tastes like, beforehand,

Chris Spear:

going back to your off period, so you're not cooking now. So what is what are your days look like? I mean, are you doing anything workwise related to your business or not related to your business like, I don't know, income, like you're not working. And then how much of your day is spent kind of thinking about the upcoming season, I guess I just kind of want to know, like, when you open back up in the spring, what's barbecue gonna look like

Unknown:

right now and our off period. Because it's the holiday time of year we do. The Thanksgiving turkeys or turkey breast we offer beef ribs and brisket this year as well. That was a pretty big turnout. We have a lot of catering inquiries going on it's wedding planning season for a lot of couples right now getting into next next year. We're also doing holiday parties. And when we do catering jobs, typically they're for the corporate end of things. And we're able to have enough of those to where it gets us through each month until we get back out in the spring. And it also gives me an opportunity with some of the returning customers to say, Hey, I'm gonna send you a small little half fan of this new thing that we've been working on. It's all on me, I just need your feedback. And I need you to be brutally honest. And it's given us some pretty good results with that as well on some of these new items. So we're also menu testing as we go, I took a bunch of the brisket trimmings that we had, I made three kinds of soup, and chili for chili dogs, just to try and see what kind of flavors that I could get out of the smoker. Or I also had a live fire going at the same time using cast iron. So you know, maybe this upcoming year we turn to cars, we make our own sausage, maybe I can start making my own hot dogs, and have chili dogs on the menu with some of the brisket trimmings or trying to elevate that to how can we make more of a high end hot dog, which is kind of a thing in itself to where it's okay, let's be honest, it's still just a hot dog. But if you're going to eat the hot dog, like how can you make it memorable. As far as the financial end of things go, anytime we have a catering job throughout the year, that money gets bank to the side. And I don't touch it, I leave it be so that way come wintertime being in a food truck, and it's cold outside, your lines are going to die down pretty quick. If people are more interested in what's the quickest possible way for me to get food and the location that we were at, we were connected to a brewery but we were also not very close in close proximity. There was a small walk to where with other Frederick breweries, people could walk out a door and see the truck right in front of them. So it's trying to make sure that we're we're not losing money throughout this winter season as well. We've had busted pipes before that will shut an entire day down and you can't Well, I shouldn't say you can't you can. We don't typically like to use our brisket a second day, are we any of the meats, just because the product that you put out is not as good as what it should be. And getting back to a lot of the food trucks, the new barbecue food trucks, I haven't had a chance to try many of them. So I can't really say for sure. But when you're new, and you're first starting out, you have to get very creative on how you keep your meats held. As far as temperatures go while keeping it safe. You know, five degrees in a warmer over a five or six hours service can be the difference between a juicy piece of meat and basically jerky.

Chris Spear:

I think that's what's so different between like barbecue trucks and everyone else like if you're a burger truck, you have raw beef. And if you don't sell it all today, you can use it tomorrow. But you have everything cooked and ready to roll right?

Unknown:

Yeah, absolutely. And you can shoot yourself in the foot with it because there were slower Wednesdays when we would have an entire brisket and or an entire brisket still there at the end of the day. And it's like well, what am I gonna do with this? And that's when you start messaging other food trucks like Hey, I got old brisket if you want it, you know, I'll give you a little bit of a discount and nine times out of 10 We were in got to kind of get rid of it that way, and just kind of get our money back from that piece of meat. But you also have the cook, going into the next day of, you still need to get your money back. And that meat sold as well, because it doesn't always necessary, necessarily carry over into the next day or into the next couple days, just because your product is going to go down. And when you're not putting out a very good product, that's when you start getting reviews online from people, you know, bashing your product, because it was really dry. And I don't think a lot of people realize, time and effort goes into any business, not necessarily just food shops, but just business in general to where there's so much to do. And you know, I have a family. So I have family life as well outside of the food truck. When I'm leaving at eight o'clock in the morning to get to the food truck to make sure it's set up. All the sides are ready to go by noon, and we're serving until eight. You know, when I get home at 845, nine o'clock. I've missed an entire day with family. And that's something that I'm not going to get back. But I also know that when I get home, I still have to go through my messages from people on Facebook, that you know, 9.9 times out of 10 it's just somebody saying, Hey, that was great. Thank you so much. But it's that point 01 time where somebody had an issue with something to where, okay, let me try and respond to these people. Oh, by the way, it's 930. At night, do I really want to respond to a complaint this late at night. And social media in general has also killed timeframe for a lot of people. I've gotten messages at 1145 at night, saying, hey, we want you to cater our wedding, can you send us a catering menu. And I'm like, I guess boundaries are completely gone now. But you know, in the world, everything is kind of open and connected, it's easy for people to leave a review that fast without thinking like, okay, maybe it was just an off day, or maybe something was going on with that particular piece of meat, they just didn't see it. Or it's kind of tough to work your way through a lot of those things. But still making sure that you have a great product to put out to the customer. So that way they come back. And then that's when you start to get the emails this time of year that say, Hey, our son is getting married, or hey, we're having a Christmas party, you did it for us last year, we want you to do it again. It's tying up a lot of loose ends this time of year as well, working on many things working on pricing working on what are we going to do in the spring and finding the next new spot to where we might want to go. And luckily, one of the great things that came from COVID. And I'm kind of just bouncing around right here thinking is things as I'm working are talking through this. Food trucks in the Frederick area. got the green light to go a lot of different places this past year, it was more open to neighborhoods now to where a food truck could go and set up in a neighborhood and serve from four to 8pm. And have a better day than what they would have at a brewery sitting there for eight hours, they still have the opportunity to go to different breweries. And you can take as long as your food truck is tied to a local business or a place that you're accepted. You're allowed to be there. So the opportunity for food trucks is opened up a lot as well to were in this is a great time for food trucks to start communicating with these neighborhoods to try and get in there next year or what big festivals are going to be happening again this upcoming year. You can make an entire business just based off of large festivals.

Chris Spear:

Are you thinking that you're going to look for one place to stay or are you open to moving around? I mean, I know. I mean, I guess since I've known you you've pretty much been located in just two places like you're not a food truck that goes to one brewery this weekend and or somewhere else next weekend is that kind of your plan is that you're going to hopefully find a place to park it for the most part outside of catering.

Unknown:

I think my big plan is going to be kind of bouncing around again. I realized I lost a good bit of ground this past year just because I would be at a grocery store somewhere and somebody would see Then I had a whole bunch of apple cider vinegar, and I get this kind of look out of the side. I may be like, What are you doing with all of that while making barbecue sauce? Oh, that's a lot of sauce to make. Yeah, we have a barbecue food truck. Oh, you do? What's the name of it? Oh, our barbecue food truck is barbecue. Oh, no kidding, I've never heard of you before. So you get kind of humbled being out thinking there are people that know we're here. We've done a lot of different things with a lot of different people. Like we just did a concert benefit, or platoon 22. And they advertise everywhere, you know. And there, there are a lot of other advertising opportunities. But you can share on Facebook so many times, and not everybody is still going to see that there are posts that we'll put out that even our followers don't see. So you know, for every one or two people that do know who you are, there are probably 100 to 200 that have no idea who you are. So I'm thinking I need to get back out to different places, get more eyes out in front of us, maybe not necessarily brewery out. But trying to find the right place at the right time to be where we can, we can get more eyes on what we're doing. And then also trying to figure out new menu items that'll get people kind of kind of get a buzz going again, as well.

Chris Spear:

So it sounds almost like a little relaunch of sorts.

Unknown:

I'm hoping so and I I still want to hold true to basic barbecue, and what it is. But I also plan on having some twists the menu that aren't necessarily gimmicky. I'm not gonna copy recipes or anything like that, just because to me, that's easy to do. Can I adjust something that they're doing and create my own flair into it? Make It Mine? I think that's what I'm going to be more so after doing more things with pork belly. Whenever I have the idea towards the end of the this past season, to create a club sandwich that was using chunks of pork belly instead of bacon. How can we use our smoked turkey breast and add that into the mix? Instead of just using plain lettuce? How can we use spinach or addressed a ruble and things like that to where we're elevating the flavors, but it's not just tossing a whole bunch of stuff onto a TO GO Box and saying Here it is. You know, we're still gonna have the classics that the people like from our initial album, but it's time to create a little bit of new music.

Chris Spear:

I can't wait to have you back out there just because I love your barbecue.

Unknown:

I appreciate it. I always appreciate the support.

Chris Spear:

Well, is there anything you feel like you really need to get off your chest before we get out of here today?

Unknown:

I don't think so. I it's like I said, I I'm just trying to stay in my own lane here. I got enough. Going on with what we're doing to where it's, let's figure out how we can get ourselves to the next level. I think it's been awesome. Seeing a lot of people kind of work through their own cooking beginnings. You see a lot more people cooking at home right now. I hope that people continue to cook at home and work on their own flavors and things like that. You know, I hope that and this is completely irrelevant to the food world, but more regular world, that people just kind of keep pushing forward with what they're doing. You know, turn, turn the TV off a little bit more and talk to your neighbors a little bit more. You know, it's weird times. It's tough times, but it's not that we we can't get through.

Chris Spear:

Get out there and experience the world. And yeah, talk to your friends and neighbors and maybe grab some good food while you're out.

Unknown:

Yeah, go eat good BBQ support your local pitmaster.

Chris Spear:

Well, thanks so much again for coming on the show. It's always a pleasure to have you and I know I'll see you around town.

Unknown:

Absolutely. Thanks for having me again. Look forward to the next time.

Chris Spear:

And to all of our listeners. This has been Chris with the Chefs Without Restaurants podcast. Go to chefs without restaurants.org To find our Facebook group, mailing list and Chef database. The community's free to join. You'll get gig opportunities, advice on building and growing your business and you'll never miss an episode of our podcast. Have a great week.