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“Food Trailer Case Study”

Case Study 1: How a Melbourne chef built a successful food trailer business in outback central Australia

Case Study 2: How a uni student became a mobile food entrepreneur – in less than a year.

Case Study 3: A busy farmer launches a successful mobile food business in rural Queensland

Case Study 4: From Security Guard to In-Demand Food Trailer Business: James Mason’s Story

Case Study 1: How a Melbourne chef built a successful food trailer business in outback central Australia

Deependra Bhatti runs a mobile food business called NEP Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

The enterprising chef decided to build his freedom business after moving 2,800 kilometres to Tennant Creek, a small town in the heart of the Australian outback.

“I was running a fruit and vegetable business in Melbourne but only at weekend markets,” he says, referring to the original venture that inspired the successful mobile food business he runs today.

It was in June 2020 that Deependra made the big move from one of Australia’s largest capital cities to a dot on the map in the centre of the Northern Territory.

“It’s very remote,” he says.

But the motivated entrepreneur quickly established himself by working two jobs: one in community service and another at a local service station.

It gave him the vital local-market knowledge he needed while he planned his mobile food business – and saved the funds to get started.

“I knew the Melbourne market really well but it was different in Tennant Creek,” he says. “I didn’t know much about life in the NT but by working at the service station I was able to learn, for example, what food they liked from what they bought.”

It was valuable market research. It opened the door to establishing and running his own business in his new home town.

Next, Deependra started looking for his mobile food solution.

“I looked around at different options but I always remembered Food Trailer King, which I’d found on Facebook when I was living back in Melbourne.”

After doing his homework, Food Trailer King was the obvious choice.

“It was easily the right company to buy from,” he says.

Deependra chose the Maxi Elite for his new mobile food business. He purchased it in April 2021.

He was underway.

“Despite my experience, I was slightly nervous starting my new business. I had a limited budget and I needed to ensure sales were good.”

“It was a new environment for me – but I was determined to succeed.”

There were various challenges Deependra had to manage, including Tennant Creek’s remote location.

“So many supplies need to come from Melbourne or Adelaide, which means they have to travel 2000-3000 kilometres to get here. It can make supplies a little more expensive.”

“And then there’s the need carefully manage food and supplies at the right temperature and quality – because the product must always be kept right.”

But the resourceful business operator swiftly got on top of them. And the wins arrived quickly.

“The population here is only 3,000, so when you put yourself and your business on Facebook, people come to you,” he says.

“And the first day I did this, people came right away.”

There’s a particularly special moment Deependra always remembers when he started with his Food Trailer King trailer in Tennant Creek.

“It was when people said they liked my food. That meant a lot to me.”

It was a big milestone. Deependra had built his new mobile fruit and vegetable business in his new home town. And at the heart of it was his Food Trailer King Maxi Elite.

What’s more, Deependra quickly saw growth opportunities.

“I’m thinking about franchising my business,” he says with excitement. “It’s been my dream. It’s early days but I’m working towards it.”

So, what advice does he have for anyone looking to follow his business journey?

“Be patient. When you work for someone else, you always know what you’ll be earning. But when you start your own business, this isn’t always the case. Making money can sometimes take a little time. So don’t give up.”

And he’s quick to credit Food Trailer King for its part in his business journey.

“Food trailer King is a great company. They’re a great supporter of small businesses.”

Deependra’s used his Food Trailer King Maxi Elite to go from working as an employee to running his own mobile food business, despite moving thousands of kilometres to one of Australia’s most remote country towns.

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Case Study 2: How a uni student became a mobile food entrepreneur – in less than a year.

Joe Davis run Shakey Joe’s, a mobile food business that specialises in healthy foods, such as protein smoothies, acai bowls, banana breads, and juices.

The Newcastle local’s freedom business came about after he decided to pause his university studies in high-school teaching so he could scratch a long-standing itch.

“I’d been holding on to this idea for a while,” he says. “I wasn’t enjoying uni at the time and I wanted to try something different.”

Joe found himself at an important crossroads. He was already on the path to a professional teaching career and he had his life ahead of him.

And the idea of starting Shakey Joe’s was a big decision.

But Joe had an entrepreneur’s mindset. And it was the right approach.

“At the end of 2020 I thought ‘I’m young. I’ll give this a go.’”

He was clear about what he wanted to achieve.

“I wanted my mobile food business to be health-based and I wanted to be known as the place to go in Newcastle for a healthy meal.”

“Ideally, I wanted to be the first business other local businesses turned to for the services I wanted to offer.”

Joe was committed. And he didn’t waste time with the next step.

“So I started my searching for a food trailer supplier,” he says. “I spent some time looking at second-hand units but I kept coming back to the Food Trailer King website.”

“They had the best offer of quality and price.”

Joe did his homework. Having saved money from his part-time job, he was careful about his food trailer investment.

And the spark for Joe to take the plunge came in March 2020.

“I was talking to my friend about my business idea. She owned a Food Trailer King coffee van and her advice was simple: ‘You should just do it.’”
“That’s what really set it in motion for me.”

Joe continued his preparations and ordered his Food Trailer King Mid Plus Food Trailer in November 2020.

And when he took delivery in March 2020, his new venture was underway.

But despite everything being new to him, his work experience gave him a solid start.

“My first time setting up was a little daunting – it was so new! But it was good to put myself out there and get started.”

“I was working in customer service in my part-time job so I knew how to adapt my trailer to deliver what customers wanted.”

It didn’t take him long to learn how to get the best from his mobile food trailer to build his business.

“I quickly figured out what works best: locations for customers, the best markets to attend, and how to pack the trailer for each event.”

“My whole process became streamlined.”

“My Food Trailer King trailer is so convenient. It’s so easy to get around.”

“And I’m impressed by how well made it is. It’s really nice inside.”

But despite his strong start, Joe says there were a couple of challenges.

“Some people thought I should’ve continued my uni studies but my business grows every week! And I can always return when to my studies when I want.”

And the second challenge?

“I had to learn to reverse my trailer! Towing and reversing were new experiences but I learnt quickly! It’s actually easy to manoeuvre.

Learning to reverse his trailer wasn’t Joe’s only early win.

“I still remember the first time a local gym asked me to come to them instead of me reaching out to them. It felt great!”

“And I recently had the best day so far when I worked a local market,” he says, smiling. “There was a swarm of people gathered at my trailer and I sold out of a lot of stuff.”

Life’s a little different these days for Joe. He’s busier, he’s added a few more early-morning starts each week, and his business keeps growing.

“It feels like the last four months have flown by! I’ve been that busy.”

“But it’s busy in a good way because I’m building my business and setting up my future.”

Joe says he might need to add some help to keep up with the growth of Shakey Joe’s. It’s a long way from when all he had was just the idea for his business.

“My advice is simple: don’t be scared to take the leap,” he says. “If you think you’ve got a good idea, believe in it and commit to it.”

“Jump to it.”

It’s great advice. Joe shows how his Food Trailer King Mid Plus Food Trailer has helped him go from uni student to entrepreneur in less than a year – starting from scratch. Lots of others have made similar business journeys with our trailers. You can join them. The first step is simple: all you need to do is talk to us. Simply get in touch.

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Case Study 3: A busy farmer launches a successful mobile food business in rural Queensland

Melinda Miller’s mobile food business, All About Food, provides a tasty menu of burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs and nachos and even classic cakes and slices to the locals of Duaringa, a country town located about 700km north-west of Brisbane in rural Queensland.

She knows a thing or two about running a successful business. The busy mother of four helps manage the family’s beef cattle farm. And despite the workload that comes with a family and a farm that’s located on three separate properties, the decision to start her mobile food business was a big achievement.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” she says. “I had the idea of a small coffee van and it grew from there. And when my daughter was in the process of finishing her schooling, I knew it was the right time to do it.”

Melinda’s research was thorough. She quickly established she wanted a brand-new food trailer and she worked out everything she needed to do, right down to the necessary permits from her local council. Along the way, she came across some Facebook advertisements for Food Trailer King.

“I looked into what they built and what Matt was doing – and we were interested.”

She had no doubt she’d found the right food trailer company.

“Once we had a look at Matt’s trailers and spoke to the right people at Food Trailer King, it all went from there. We went with Food Trailer King because we knew our trailer would be built to the right specifications and quality and meet all of our requirements. They sent me photos of our Maxi Elite during its build and their estimated delivery timing was spot-on.”

In June 2021, Melinda and her daughter had All About Food up and running.

“We were a bit nervous at first! Making coffees was a new experience but we learnt quickly with the help of a friend – that was a steep learning curve! The first week was a bit new but we got ourselves into a good routine.”

And it didn’t take long for the first breakthrough to arrive.

“We’ve now got people waiting for us before we open! And yesterday a fellow came over to me and said ‘I give you 10 out of 10 for your burgers!’ Hearing that was great.”

Melinda and her daughter might be busy with All About Food, but they’re having a great time.

“It’s been good running a business separate to the farm – it’s good fun. And you meet some interesting people.”

When asked if there’s been a moment where she’s thought to herself “I can’t believe this is my life now!”, her reply is simple: “Every day! It’s lovely!”
It’s this theme that’s become the map for Melinda’s next steps with All About Food. She wants to keep it humming along and continue the joy of working with her daughter.

“I love being on the land and working on the properties, but our mobile food business is more for my daughter and giving her an opportunity to do something different. And it’s great to have another income stream alongside the farm, especially when conditions get tough such as during a drought.”

It’s this entrepreneurial mindset that makes so many Food Trailer King customers so successful. And Melinda’s approach is common to many of them.

“This is a good business to be in! People always want nice food, so if you’re keen to do something different, have a go!

Melinda’s a great inspiration. If someone who’s busy managing a family and a cattle farm can build a successful mobile food business from scratch, anyone can. We can show you how. Simply get in touch.

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Case Study 3: From Security Guard to In-Demand Food Trailer Business: James Mason’s Story

Aussie Tucker Van is James Mason’s successful mobile food business. It’s a regular fixture at Lilydale Lake, located one hour’s drive east of Melbourne in Victoria’s Yarra Ranges. And it all came about after he made a big career turn-around.

James was in the security industry before he started Aussie Tucker Van. He worked long hours as both a security guard and a team leader. And having also served in the British military and corrective services, 2021 began with a long-awaited new idea: change.

“The time had come for a more relaxing life,” he says, referring to the intensity of his high-pressure career. “There had to be a better way to earn a living – and with less risk and danger.”

The change James chose to pursue was starting his own enterprise – a mobile food business.

“I was sitting on my verandah on a warm afternoon and I was thinking how I needed something new. I was also thinking how much I enjoyed cooking. And that was it: that was the moment I decided to do it.”

It was a bold move.

“I’d never run a business before,” he says. “And to get one up and running at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic made it a challenge.”

James mustered his discipline and drive. He got to work doing his research and he was clear about what he wanted to achieve with his mobile food business.

“I wanted to cater for a variety of people. I wanted to offer products for a range of tastes. And I wanted to keep our prices fair for everyone whilst still having a profitable business.”

James consulted a number of people. He made a deep-dive into the food trailer industry. He joined various Facebook pages to learn all he could and one name kept coming up: Food Trailer King.

“Everyone who recommended Food Trailer King had a positive experience with them,” he says, adding it was exactly the same for him. “We enjoyed dealing with Matt and his team.”

James ordered his Maxi food trailer and continued preparations. And despite his background working in often tough situations, he still felt those new-business nerves.

“My biggest fear was my business wouldn’t work! But we quickly discovered this wasn’t going to happen.”

Their first outing with their Aussie Tucker Van was in early July 2021. And they were quick to get success.

“We put a lot of thought into what our customers would want. For example, when they visit the lake to have a quiet walk, they often want something quick, tasty and satisfying. And we quickly adapted by listening to their feedback. We’ve since trialled all sorts of menu options and found what’s really popular.”

James and his family test all new options they add to their menu, even trialling five different local bakeries along the way. And they source most of their produce locally, including their own homegrown fruits and vegetables.

“We make our own burger patties and tomato and caramelised red onion relish,” highlighting one of his most popular burger options.

In fact, ‘popular’ sums up James’ first business venture.

“We started seeing customers returning within two weeks. Now we have so many people coming back for specific items, such as our egg and bacon rolls, which have been a hit.”

And the biggest, most exciting results so far?

“When regular customers keep returning and complimenting us. And when we get requests on Facebook Messenger actively seeking us out – that feels great. And after trading for only four weeks, we already need to scale up to meet demand! We’re even looking at adding some casual staff to keep up.”

They’re the type of new challenges James relishes.

“I’m no longer working night shifts. I work when I want. I get more time with my family and my work-life balance is so much better. In fact, we’re planning on moving from working four-to-five short days to only three slightly longer days now that spring and summer are on the way.”

It’s been a transformative journey for James, going from under-stress security officer to running his own successful mobile food business. And it took a matter of months to happen.

“Don’t just think about it. Do it,” he says.

It’s solid advice from a successful go-getter. You can do it, too. We can help you make the same journey. Contact us today.

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