The Great American Scream Machine


5. The American Dream

So I worked at that fast food restaurant for 8 months.  My sister got a job with a high-profile bank and had a training class in NYC.  I came up from Tennessee and stayed on her couch while I started looking for trucks and registering my business and learning a little about the business in NYC.  I finally moved to NYC in November and was able to buy a food truck. Got it wrapped, designed the logo, and I was ready to roll by December.

I opened my food truck in December of 2013.  


My first few months of business were pretty difficult.  Last winter was one of the worst winters in New York City's history, so starting a food truck business where your success in large part is determined by the weather was pretty tough.  The winter of 2014 seemed to last forever.  The business really didn't get off the ground, and it looked like it was going to fold before we even really had a chance to see if we had a winning concept.  

Then, in early March, we had a brief warm up.  People came out and we started making money.  We started gaining a reputation and doing better and better for our lunches.  We missed out of on planning for the events that many of the more experienced trucks took advantage of.  Some people in this business are awesome people, but they still keep a great deal of information close to the hip.  I would find out about these awesome events where people would make 10,000 a day....the Monday after the event....

So...we trudged along and began the grind.  The first really great day of our business came when we ended up in the South Street Seaport.  It was a Friday morning, and we were looking for a spot, and I noticed a great spot where there were a few other trucks posted up.  Me, being new to the business, decided to roll up and see what was going on.

Security waved us in, and we posted up for the day.  It was the best day we've had since we've been in business.  We did almost $3,000.  We returned the next day, and did almost the same amount.  It seemed we finally found the spot where we could build our business.

Some of the other trucks were a bit jealous of our success, came over to inquire who we were covering for, since we weren't on the "list" of the trucks that were scheduled to be there for that day.  Little did we know, there was a list of trucks that had filed out extensive paperwork to be at the Seaport.  

One of the administrators of the Seaport lot called us to ask us who we covered, and we didn't have anything to tell her.  We were ordered to not return.  I did everything I could to get us back in the Seaport, even bringing an edible arrangement to the lady who had banished us, which resulted in me having to run away from security.

I was not completely deterred.  I kept up with trying to get back into the Seaport, and finally by the end of July, I was able to get a few days a week at the Seaport.  I also was able to get my weekends scheduled at Governor's Island.

These were lots that some of the premier trucks in the city were participating in, and I thought I was well on my way to being successful when it became apparent I was only able to get into the lots because other trucks weren't having luck being there, and decided to move on and try their fortunes elsewhere.

So, I had basically 5 days during the week at the Seaport and my weekends were at Governor's Island.  Business was fair, but I thought it was wise to put in time there to wait for it to turn around.  Well, summer quickly came and went...and it was now approaching September....and I wasn't really able to save much after I was still crawling out of the hole I had been in from the winter.....

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