Would you buy something from a food truck for $205?
In a competition driven by sales, setting such a steep price is a risky move that could make or break a food truck’s success. It can also cause a lot of tension.
Which is what happened on a recent episode of Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race: All-Stars.”
Lime Truck, a food truck that makes Cali-Mexican cuisine, opted to sell its menu sampler plate for the whopping price of $205. That decision led the food truck Seoul Sausage — which was selling menu items for as high as $70 — to call its competitor the “Slime Truck.”
Utah’s Waffle Love, meanwhile, steered clear of that drama. But compared to the other two food trucks, brothers Adam, Steve and Jared Terry set their prices substantially lower — the highest item on Waffle Love’s menu, a sampler plate, sold for $45.
So which strategy paid off?
In a nutshell, Lime Truck claimed an easy first place with a two-day sales total of $7,652.
But who clinched second place and a spot in the finals, which aired on July 11? Did Waffle Love, which was the runner-up on the show in 2015, get redemption?
A shot at the finals
In the episode before Sunday’s finale, Waffle Love felt confident.
The food truck had made it to the show’s top three, despite finishing in the bottom two for the past three rounds. Now, the Terrys were competing for a spot in the finals and were tasked with arguably their hardest challenge on the show to date — transforming from a food truck team to a delivery team that had to drum up customers on mobile devices and personally deliver the orders.
It’s a different skill set, and Waffle Love struggled to keep track of all the orders. The brothers also had to navigate the bustling traffic of downtown San Francisco as they made their deliveries. Add in the fact that some of their baking equipment broke down and all of the dough had to be mixed by hand — not to mention the fact that they locked their keys in their food truck — it all easily could’ve been a recipe for disaster.
But Waffle Love drummed up a lot of business. And heading into their second day of selling, the Terrys expanded their menu to include the most items they’ve ever sold at once.
When elimination time came around, Waffle Love also learned it had finally won its first challenge in the competition: Aaron Miles, a player development coach for the Golden State Warriors, had deemed the food truck’s special farm-to-truck creation — a Southwestern-themed chicken, waffle and fried egg dish — the best offering from the remaining food trucks.
That meant Waffle Love would get an additional $500 added to its sales total.
The Terrys were confident they were headed to the finale.
They waited with anticipation as Tyler Florence, host of “The Great Food Truck Race,” began to reveal the results.
With their $500 bonus added in, Waffle Love had generated a two-days sales total of $2,770. Seoul Sausage, meanwhile, raked in $3,977.
Waffle Love wouldn’t be heading to the finals.
“I am more shocked than any other week that we’re going home,” Steve Terry said during the episode. “I just wanted to win so bad.”
A different kind of victory
On Sunday, Lime Truck — a team that has consistently been ahead in sales throughout the competition — claimed the all-star title and $50,000 prize.
Although Waffle Love fell short of reaching “The Great Food Truck Race: All Stars” finale, making it to the top three in a competition featuring some of the best food trucks from over the years is no small feat.
But for the Terrys, the competition gave them something even better: a chance to strengthen their relationship.
Prior to returning to the competition, Adam and Steve Terry had a business-related falling out that seeped into their personal lives, the Deseret News previously reported. Although they had reached out to each other to make amends, their bond wasn’t what it used to be.
The competition — which required all three brothers to return to the show — brought them back together. The brothers were visibly emotional as they hugged and celebrated their run on the show.
“It was so cool to be on the same team again,” Steve Terry said.
“In the end, I still feel like we win because we’re back together again,” Adam Terry responded. “The brothers are back.”