SUPER-sized in Los Angeles and New York and now piping hot in Sydney and Melbourne, the food truck is set to roll into Newcastle.
Former soccer star turned entrepreneur Harry James and his wife Gloria, who own Harrys Schnitzels Joint at The Junction, have invested $200,000 in a state-of-the-art truck that will take their popular schnitzel wraps to inner-city streets within days, and next month feed its legion of grommet fans at Surfest.
Like the most successful US food trucks – including LA’s Kogi, a Mexican-Korean taco truck that reportedly banked $2million in sales within 12months of opening in 2008 – the couple plan to drive interest and revenue through social media.
Working with Cooks Hill creatives The Village of Useful to rebrand their business, they will use Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to inform customers where they can find their 7.5metre-long food truck at any moment. ‘‘One of my goals is that this will become a Newcastle icon and everyone will know when this brand grows that it was born in Newcastle,’’ said Mr James, who played for Newcastle United, Sydney Olympic and Canberra Cosmos in the old national soccer league before working in events in Sydney. A few years ago he bought and rebranded the fast food outlet Dineaway at The Junction.
Late last year he made a ‘‘research trip’’ to LA, where the mobile food phenomenon was fuelled in the US. ‘‘In the States there are about 8000 food trucks but only about 5per cent are really special, and some of them go to the most obscure areas because they have a massive following,’’ he said.
Mr James expects to have council approval to park his truck in locations including Bar Beach skate park, the Foreshore and Honeysuckle and said he had attracted interest from Sydney to Byron Bar.