Today’s guest is Allen Tan, co-founder of Me.n.u. food truck in Toronto. Me.n.u. is one of the most popular food trucks in Toronto winning the People’s Choice award for two years in a row (2014 + 2015), but the success and popularity of the food truck hasn’t always been this way.
In fact, the last time I spoke with Allen on the podcast, he didn’t even have a truck yet. Me.n.u. was still more or less.. just a cool concept. Allen and his partner Bryan Siu-Chong had only started doing pop-ups around this time and success was in no way a guarantee.
In today’s interview, Allen gives us a rare insiders view of what it was like to start a food truck in the early days of street food within the city. Allen also shares practical actions you can take to create a wildly popular brand in any city based on his own experience over the past two years.
Quotes from the Show
When I told them I wanted to start a food truck there years ago, they sort of brushed off the idea. – Allen Tan on how friends and family members responded initially to starting Me.n.u.
I can’t really compare anyone else’s food truck crew to the one myself and Brian have created. We have amazing people working with us that are super energetic and super youthful and just there to have fun. And people really, really notice that when they come to our truck. – Allen Tan on how the people behind Me.n.u. help drive the brand.
What You’ll Learn
- How to start a food truck business in Toronto, Canada
- The history of food truck laws in Toronto
- How local business owners have become more educated about food trucks
- Learn how to Me.n.u. created a youthful and exciting brand that is attributed in large part to the crew.
- How the unique food like asian fried rice balls can separates you from other restaurants.
- How collaborations with other local organizations and businesses can be an effective way to raise awareness for your business. One example for Me.n.u. is with Bubble Tea franchises since they share similar demographics of customers.
- Future plans for Me.n.u. including a potential travel / food brand.
Mentioned in the Podcast
Me.n.u. Food Truck Official Website – This is the official website of Me.n.u. and today’s guest Allen Tan. Check out the website for vending locations, photos of the team, and contact information.
Vending in Toronto Explained – Part 1 – The folks at Me.n.u. food truck were kind enough to put together some informational blog posts that explain the unique food truck laws and regulations in the area.
Vending in Toronto Explained – Part 2 – Part two of the series.
Toronto Food Truck Alliance – This is the local food truck alliance in Toronto.
TorontoFoodTrucks.ca – Website with a big list of active food trucks that operate in the city.
SimpleOrder – Discover how SimpleOrder is changing the purchasing, inventory and menu ordering process for food trucks and restaurants alike.