The food truck I Don’t Give a Flying Frita, run by Steven Barone, is one of 4,130 in the United States. It’s a tough business to be in and most struggle to break even each year. The start up period is one of the most difficult in the food truck business. The person starting up the business would have to pay for the truck, permits, equipment, and food which can all add up to around $90,000.
“It’s tough,” said Barone, “when you have the idea of opening a food truck you think it’s going to be easy, just cooking and getting money, but you come to realize you’re the cook, the janitor, and you need to stock the truck.” Barone took a big risk by going into this business and he knows it, but that hasn’t stopped him.
He goes to the same spot on Bird Road and 65th avenue every Thursday through Monday at 6pm. Once he gets there he sets up chairs and tables outside along the food truck for people to sit and converse as they eat his food. After he’s done, he begins his work on the food and waits for customers to arrive, who hear about the food truck in different ways.
“Every time I went home I saw it,” said customer Enrique Quintero, “and eventually I stopped over here.” Barone has to make sure that his truck looks presentable to people as they drive by because he knows that’s how he gets most of his business. He also gets business from the quality of his food. The greater the taste of the food in the food truck, the more likely people will tell their friends.
“The food is great,” said customer Paola Treleani, “it has a lot of flavor and there are a lot of menu options.” Barone needs to make sure that all his food is at top quality to entice people to come back with their friends, if not his business may fail. However, Steven doesn’t plan to run his food truck forever.
“I would love to open up a stand-alone location,” said Steven, “like a casual place for people to come relax enjoy their food, have couches and TVs.”
Running a food truck is hard work, but in the end most food truck owners have a lot of passion for what they do. They all strive for that goal of having their own restaurant. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see an I Don’t Give a Flying Frita restaurant in the coming years.
Video produced by Jake Moscoso and Cesar Sabates.