Casey and Jarod were already entrepreneurs with a restaurant under their belt when they rolled out the Chicken Mac Truck. The sight of their vibrantly colored vehicle is enough to bring a smile to your face, but when they hand you a heaping bowl of comfort food–I mean, happiness–it’s sweet satisfaction. It also comes in spicy!
Casey dished on their experience for our series, My Experience… Food Truck Exclusive. He talked to us about getting starting in the food truck business and with a minimal impact on the environment.
Food Truck Exclusive: Q&A with Casey Thiemann from Chicken Mac Truck
How did the Chicken Mac Truck get started?
Casey Thiemann: “We started this truck in June 2016. We serve different varieties of pulled chicken over mac and cheese. We were in the restaurant industry for awhile and we decided hey, why not take the food to people instead of them coming to us. That’s how this started.
“We contacted businesses and asked if they’d like us to come out and serve lunch. From there, we would try to get as many big events as we can, such as Bunbury Music Festival. We do a lot of food truck rallies. From there we got our name and our brand out. More and more people see us on social media or through our website chickenmactruck.com and basically word of mouth and social media is how we started selling our food.
Tell us about your menu.
CT: “We start off with a sweet bourbon chicken, most people like that if they don’t like a lot of spice. Then we gradually work up from there to our honey sriracha, which is more sweet than spicy. Then we have a zesty chicken which is right in the middle. If you like heat, we’ve got a buffalo and a spicy chicken.”
How did you come up with the idea for chicken mac?
CT: “We were serving it over rice for awhile. We were trying it over different toppings. One day we tried it over mac and cheese and we gave it to our friends and they liked it. From there on, we’re like, who doesn’t like mac and cheese?”
You serve your food in compostable bowls. Is environmentalism important to you?
CT:” When we’re going through a lot of product you want to minimize your waste and footprint as much as possible. Being able to take advantage of using solar has been great for us. We’re not running a loud generator, most people don’t want to hear that when they’re ordering. We found going that route has been very beneficial to us as well as the environment.
“Our truck runs off propane. We also have solar panels so we can run electric during the day and at night. We run a tv sometimes with a menu and our lights are solar. So we’re very environmentally friendly.”
You’ve had the truck a year now. What do you wish you had known before?
CT: “I should have started it sooner.”
What is the most challenging part of getting started?
CT: “When you first start out it’s the unknown. You’re worried about, you know, where am I going to sell this? Are people going to like it? But, basically as hard as you want to work is as many people as you’re going to get to try it. You got to have a good product number one, and I believe we do. From there, we just started going around trying to get the word out and selling as much chicken mac as possible.”