For a while it seemed as though food trucks might be another hospitality fad – something that disappears as quickly as it comes along.
Not a chance. The city has dozens upon dozens of trucks lining up at festivals, catering events and wherever they happen to visit. There’s no sign it’s slowing down, either. The market is worth at least $1 billion in the US alone, and with Melbourne’s love for food a permanent fixture, food trucks are firmly set in park.
We’re proud to be a key part of the growing food truck industry. We think our involvement says a lot not only about our love for food – but our love for tailoring solutions for any challenge.
Starting with the right stuff
At Luus we know space is a premium. That’s why our products are designed for kitchens with a limited amount of space, including burners and configurations that can change based on what type of food people want to cook.
(With rent getting higher and spaces becoming smaller, it wasn’t a hard decision for us to go down this path.)
Well, someone in the food truck industry got a hold of that. And several years ago we were contacted with an offer: would we consider fitting out some trucks?
Not only was our equipment reliable, but the fact we make all our products in Australia means we can configure equipment to fit certain trucks quickly and with accountability.
Not only that – the food truck industry can often have some pretty specific legal requirements. After all, it’s not exactly a traditional kitchen. Being located in Melbourne means dealing with those issues is easier for truck fitters – there’s no need to have multiple conversations with an overseas partner when you can just head to our Melbourne factory and see your custom pieces made in front of you.
So, of course we said “yes” to this opportunity. We’re never ones to shy away from new markets. But food trucks presented some interesting challenges for us in how we developed our products.
Rising to the challenge
One of the big problems many food trucks face is wind.
When serving not only is half the truck open, but a side door might be as well. Drafts can be a big problem in kitchens, particularly for pilot lights.
That’s why we’ve done a great deal of work in helping customise trucks to install shields or guards. We’ve even upgraded designs on some of our products to make sure those pilot flames never go out even with a burst of wind.
The other point is that food trucks aren’t like a normal restaurant. They are designed for one thing: speed. Which means all the equipment needs to be durable and reliable, day after day after day.
They’re a great test of how things are built to last. But not only that: recovery time is a big issue too. Take a deep fryer. If you cook at a certain temperature, you’re putting another basket of food in soon enough. But how long it takes for that fryer to reach an optimal temperature again is a big issue for lots of food trucks in feeding as many people as they can.
But, don’t take our word for it…
Straight from the source
Andrew Hajichristou runs A&B Foodtruck Outfitters, the key company in Melbourne for getting a custom food truck built. If you want a food truck, Andrew is the guy to talk to. And we’ve been a preferred supplier for A&B for years – so we thought it’d be great to get his thoughts on what makes us stand out.
“The food truck industry is still booming, and there’s plenty of activity going on. They’re getting in because bricks and mortar are just getting too expensive to maintain.”
“Luus makes a good product, and it’s reliable. You can get after hours service when needed, and that’s so important to us. I can ring them and I always know they’ll fix the problem.”
“Not only that, they’re made in Australia. I think that’s the most important thing. If you build things here, they last longer and you’ve got the access to the parts.”
We’ll keep truckin’ along
There you have it. The food truck industry is a big part of Melbourne hospitality and we’re proud to be a part of it. Both now, and in years to come.
Are you interested in learning more about how we make custom parts for food trucks, or even just our products in general? Come take a look at our factory in Melbourne where we design and build everything.
We’re always showing people through the floor, so get in touch and we’ll organise a time for you to come and see everything in person.