Champaign — Sunday was a special day for Drew Smith and his family.
During the warm spring, summer and autumn seasons, the family carried a Blackstone 36-inch flat-top grill from the garage and burned it on the driveway. After that, Drew started preparing hamburgers. This was called “smashburger,” a technique that presses meat against the spatula to improve contact with the heat source.
The neighbor noticed.
“I really enjoyed making cheeseburgers for my neighbors and friends,” said Drew’s wife, Jessica. “At some point we started thinking about the fact that we could probably make something from now on.”
Drew, a bar manager at Bunny’s Tavern in Urbana, has been in the service industry for 20 years and has always wanted to start his own food business.
“My uncle Darryl owned one of the first food trucks in the area for several years,” he said. “I wish I had paid more attention to the business when I was young, but I was still impressed.”
Drew and Jessica started a family with two young daughters, but their passion for owning a food truck or trailer grew during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It was kind of eye-opening to me because every restaurant had to adapt,” he said. “But with food trucks and trailers, it’s a little easier.”
They considered the option, but when a friend put the trailer on the market, Drew asked about it.
“We’ve looked at trailers and trucks, but couldn’t find one that really fits,” Jessica said. “I’m always thrilled to see something, but this particular one seemed to fit our needs for what we wanted to do.”
The pandemic was still serious. The restaurant has rebounded and is busy, but this move makes sense for Smith.
“We decided to take advantage of the pandemic and take full advantage of it instead of falling into the same kind of pitfalls that many other companies are having,” she added.
The trailer was purchased in August and Smith opened Smith Burger on December 13. They have never looked back and were recently named the region’s top food truck by the People’s Choice in the News Gazette. The menu includes a variety of double beef burgers. The trailer location is pre-created on the company’s Facebook or Instagram page.
“It definitely didn’t go as we expected,” Jessica said. “But that’s a good thing. I didn’t expect it to be the current volume. I didn’t expect it to succeed soon. I was planning to drive with one or two people in the first year, but I’m busy. Due to the high demand for trailers, there are always five people on the truck (including the eldest daughter Lear). We were overwhelmed by the support of the community and never thought we would be so successful. “
As a result, Smith will soon add a second trailer to expand his fleet. At some point there is a debate about opening your own restaurant.
“Practical stores have their strengths and weaknesses. Right now, we’re just riding the waves we’re on,” Jessica said. “There are more restrictions and requirements, and more costs. You are scheduled and we enjoy flexibility with young families. You need to take a holiday. If, or if you need to take a short break, you can do it. It’s been discussed and we sometimes discuss the idea, but it’s not the right time now. “
Both work full-time – Drew at Bunnies and Jessica at the University of Illinois. Cooking on Sunday was late.
“This is our second full-time job, but passion is involved when you work for yourself,” she said. “It’s your product and you’re responsible for it. You give it your name, and you’re proud of it and want to do your absolute best. And when people come back as repeaters and you get to know them, it’s worth it. “
“It gives me the freedom to do what I want,” Drew added. “It’s been a dream for many years and we really enjoy this ride quality. How fast it grows and the support we receive from the community is amazing.”
Family food truck Smith Burger Co.Is a great success | Restaurant
Source link Family food truck Smith Burger Co.Is a great success | Restaurant