A Mobile Dining Innovation

by Braden Kelley

skillet street food           VS.           taco truck

OK, there aren’t too many food concepts that I would call innovative, but here is one:

It’s a business that is starting up here in Seattle called Skillet Street Food.

It’s concept is that it retrofits Airstreams into working, mobile kitchens that serve “evolved cuisine” during breakfast and lunch at locations that change day-to-day. But not day-to-day in the you never know where it will be next sense. They have a calendar and tend to show up at the same spots once per week.

Now I know you may be thinking to yourself, a mobile kitchen, what’s new about that?

You may also be thinking to yourself, that sounds strikingly familiar. You might be thinking that sounds just like a taco truck, or roach coach as some would say, well except for the “evolved cuisine” bit.

So what’s innovative about that?

Well, it’s this:

  1. A taco truck has no story. Skillet Street is building its own myth, somewhat consciously, somewhat unconsciously (kind of like the Bacon Salt guys).
  2. Like the Bacon Salt guys, they seem to love bacon, having created an eBay store to sell their Bacon Jam along with t-shirts and the like.
  3. Whether they realize it or not, the genius in their implementation is that it crams most of the typical once a week customer revenue possible in a catchment area into a single day (times five locations), probably doubling the revenue they would earn from anchoring in a single location. At the same time they reduce burnout at each location – inspiring people instead to schedule the weekly visit in their calendar.

To see if there is there anything in this concept that you could adapt to your business, ask yourself questions like the following:

  1. Do you have a compelling and interesting story that would make people like your company?
  2. Are your products too available?
  3. Do you give your customers something to look forward to?
  4. What is your customer surprise and delight strategy?
  5. What unorthodox ways can you think of for getting your products/services to customers?
  6. Are there different customer “neighborhoods” you could make your products/services available to in order to increase its exposure (coffee by boat anyone)?

Check out the video below:

Innovative or not?

What do you think?

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