Advantage helping Sauce Odyssey revolutionize the food truck in Austin
January 10, 2019
Amid a sea of late-generation trailers in a booming foodtruck industry in Austin, Texas sits the pristine and expansive Sauce Odysseytrailer. The new kid on the block officially opened its doors Dec. 16 with itssights set on serving up a unique experience to locals and tourists alike.
The 48-foot mobile kitchen trailer, outfitted and customizedby Advantage Trailer, features both a restaurant and a one-of-a-kind sauce tasting bar, providing an opportunity for customers to not only eat lunch ordinner from a tasty and eclectic menu, but also sample up to 14 differentsauces and then purchase a bottle of sauce on-site.
The inspiration for Sauce Odyssey, said owner Rod Crosby,was to provide exposure for sauce makers around the country. Crosby partnerswith makers of sauces ranking from hot sauce to masala sauce and everything inbetween, purchasing their sauce in bulk and then exposing it to his customersin Austin.
“I've had an infatuation with sauces since childhood,”Crosby said the day after the grand opening. “I was always on a kick of somesort. I always had that passion, and to now know that I can help the makers connectwith an audience much beyond where they currently reside without having tospend lots of money. Someone needed to go to bat for them and I do it because Ilove it. Plain and simple.”
The sampling bar encompasses the rear 13.5 feet of thetrailer, but since it wraps around in a U-shape, provides about 30 linear feetof sampling space. The bar-height counter top features 14 recessed, chilled cupholders to keep the sampling tubes cold, while full-size refrigerator behindthe bar displays bottles of each sauce that customers can purchase. Next toeach sauce sits a photo and location of the maker, providing a humanizingaspect to the sample.
The front portion of the trailer houses a full chef’skitchen with flattops, fryers, refrigeration, and more. But the centerpiece isa floor to ceiling rotisserie that showcases the day’s cooking meat tocustomers viewing through the 6-foot by 3-foot service window.
“The sauce tasting side piggybacks off of the restaurant inorder to survive. It’s its lifeline,” Crosby explained. “Having food andbeverage is what makes it a full-bodied experience. People come, they want totaste sauces, and naturally the very next thing they want to do is they eitherwant a beer or they want some food to go with it. So we paired those two thingstogether because they’re very complementary.”
Crosby had been planning his idea for years but eventuallylanded on a trailer when he realized the costs of brick and mortar in the oversaturated market. A trailer made sense for its resale value, its ability tomove around the city, and the lower start-up costs that allow a small businessto test the market.
After vetting several trailer manufacturers and dealers, atrip to Chicago last winter, during which owner Dan Webb and creative salesmanager Jim Groveau walked Crosby through a recent food trailer they had justfinished for Bojangles, sealed the deal with Advantage Trailer.
“No one else I had talked to had done something of thatmagnitude, so being walked through every step of that was priceless,” Crosbysaid. “It allowed us to know that Advantage would be capable of it, and thenthe feeling we got there, meeting the team, seeing first-hand hundreds oftrailers in the lot and then the custom-built side…slightly a leap of faith(but had a) good feeling about those guys. They seemed very personable andprofessional.”
Both sides admit that completing a one of a kind trailer ofthat magnitude was a learning process, but the end result is not only a functionalspace but a spectacle, as Crosby described it. Outfitted with top of the linekitchen equipment, a retractable awning to cover the service window, a fullsurveillance system that includes three cameras on each side of the exteriorand three on the interior, a weather-proof sound system, and a graffiti-proof ceramiccoated exterior, the Sauce Odyssey trailer is a far leap from the‘underwhelming’ food trailers that exist all over Austin, as one customer putit lightly.
Crosby was mostimpressed with the work of Paul Caruso, lead tech of special projects atAdvantage.
“I always felt like Paul Caruso had my back,” Crosby said.“Even when I went up to do the inspection, he would point things out that couldhave been swept under the rug, but instead – he’s not even a restaurantoperator – he would say ‘this is going to drive you insane so I’m going to fixit before it gets shipped to Austin’. And he did that a couple dozen times.”
Caruso has spent the past 20 years doing custom work as partof the Advantage Trailer family, leading the conceptualization, design, build,furnishing, and outfitting of anything one could possibly imagine to put in atrailer. In addition to his work on the Sauce Odyssey trailer, he hascustomized product display trailers for Verizon, AT&T, and James Hardy,full mobile kitchens for Bojangles, and much more.
“Paul was very helpful,” Crosby continued. “I think we seeeye to eye. He’s very easy to work with and he’s a good communicator. Heprobably helped me avoid at least 20 potential issues. At least. And he can install damn near anything.”
That’s the type of service that Advantage Trailer pridesitself on. Whether it’s a new build or a reproduction of something we have donebefore, our team of creative, solution-oriented experts can help you bring yourdream to reality.
“You look at it and it’s a symbol of all your hard work,”Crosby said. “It’s light years beyond most of the food trucks in town. This is anew generation food trailer. Modern technology, modern everything, modernengineering.”
How can Advantage Trailer be your advantage in 2019? If youhave a business idea, a marketing program, or a personal trailering need, give us a call at 630-524-2029 or request a custom quote today.
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