Interview: Lotus Food Truck

One of the most important parts of a wedding is the catering. There is a lot to think about from style of food, cost and ensuring you have options for all your guests with specific food requirements. With so much to worry about sometimes its difficult to think behind just the food and look at the whole experience. I believe this is why we seeing a rise in food trucks at weddings.

Food trucks are a creative and fun experience your guests will enjoy with their food. Today we are talking to Kyle over at Lotus food truck, who serves up fresh and authentic Asian street style dishes.

Let’s start with a simple introduction. How did it begin and hows the experience been so far?

We started in July 2013, after following the growing food truck scene in USA and Europe. After some travelling in South East Asian and a love for street food we came up with the concept of serving delicious, healthy and simple food to customers on the go. It has since then grown into a massive business.

Cape Town Wedding Lotus Food Truck

Walk me through the process if you don’t mind. A couple calls you up and says they want to book you for their wedding. Do you customize the menu or is it as simple as just arriving at the venue and start serving?

We definitely chat to the couple to see what their preferences are, their budget, how many people and also the type of wedding they are having.  We are a food truck so we lean to a more informal dining experience, even though we can do the sit down plated options. We tailor our offering and menu based on whether they would like 7 small courses or a standard 3 course meal.

I read in the article on Estate Living where Chris said at your busiest you do about 100 dishes in an hour. Very impressive. Is there a limit to how many guest your truck can cater for? Would a 150 guest wedding be too much?

We are able to cater to large amounts of people,  I think our largest wedding was 180 guests with a 7 course tasting menu. An amazing feat working out of a 4m x 2m kitchen.  It all depends on the menu. We can serve 2 meals to over a thousand people!  Our craziest service for a public event was 200 per hour, that’s 3 meals a minute!

Cape Town Wedding Lotus Food Truck Dish

How many people actually work in the truck.

We have 4 full time staff including Myself and Chris, but on busier events we take on 2 casuals to help with the volume.

Do you recommend guests collect their food at the truck or do you suggest hiring waiting staff? Obviously you want guests to get that food truck experience however with large weddings, particularly those with a lot of older guests, standing in line can be a strain.

With larger weddings we would definitely recommend using service staff to get the meals out quickly and ensure that everyone gets every option.  For smaller weddings less than 60 people, we welcome guest to approach the truck and be served from there.  Again it all depends of the type of service that the client wants.  Some weddings we have done, we have sent the canapés and starters with waiters and mains have been served from the truck.

You serve contemporary Asian food. What would you say is your signature dish/dishes.

Currently our Crunchy Salt n Pepper squid with Asian salad has been blowing people away! Our seared Yellowfin Tuna Takaki is always popular at weddings as well as our Thai red curries!

When working at a wedding do you prepare a set menu/dishes or do guests order anything off the menu? Can you explain that process?

When it come to weddings, all the dishes and amounts are always prepared in advance.  Most menus are set, with maybe a 2nd option on the main dish.  We obviously do cater for dietary requirements and vegetarians before hand.

Cape Town Wedding Lotus Food Truck Bride

Suppose you wanted your guests to order off the menu. How would the budget work?

If the client would like say 3 options as a main dish, we normally cater accordingly as we know which dishes will be more popular, so maybe a 40:30:30 split out of 100.  We always keep a bit extra just in case  Dishes are priced individually as main ingredients differ. Based on the 40:30:30 split and the individual prices we work out an appropriate budget.

Why do you think food trucks are the way to go when compared to more traditional caters. In other words what makes you stand out.

We are a complete, plug and play solution,  all dishes are prepared and cooked freshly, we don’t need additional staff or equipment hiring costs that add to bottom line, and we are fun and interactive, a talking point and look awesome in photos!

Looking a head what are you guys planing for the future of Lotus? Are you looking at hiring more staff maybe even a second truck?

Looking to the future, we are currently opening our own Café/ Deli in Masons Press building, Ravenscraig rd Woodstock.  I don’t think there is space to open another truck quite yet, especially with winter looming. We also have another great Street food idea coming early 2016, but I can’t elaborate on that quite yet.

Food trucks are defiantly taking over the wedding catering industry. It’s easy to understand why. Simple, delicious food with stunning visuals for amazing photos. Lotus food truck is no exception.

Contact Lotus via email at  info@lotusfoodtruck.co.za, find them on facebook at www.facebook.com/lotusfoodtruck, follow them on twitter @lotusfoodtruck on Twitter or #Lotusfoodtruck on Instagram.

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