Ruby’s Diner, a California-based diner concept, is taking its menu to the streets via a food truck. Aptly named The Ruby’s Diner Food Truck, the 24-foot-long, 12-foot-wide vehicle serves a limited version of the chain’s menu offerings, including burgers, grilled cheese and shakes.
“We could not physically stock up a truck to serve our main menu,” said Tad Belshe, vice president of operations, Ruby’s Diner. “Our main focus on the truck is speed. Nobody likes to wait a long time for their food. And we can customize our menu based on the needs of the individual.”
The truck’s equipment package includes five feet of grill space, refrigeration and a shake mixer.
While food trucks are trendy today, this is not Ruby’s first foray into this segment of the restaurant industry. The 33-year-old company previously operated a food truck but could not keep up with the volume, so Ruby’s ceased operations for a while. Seeing another lane of opportunity opening up, Ruby’s did not hesitate to get back into the driver’s seat, though.
“We have been planning a food truck for a while and we found the right truck at the right time to meet our needs to provide a great vehicle for our guests,” Belshe said. “When you can get your brand in front of customers in any location that’s a benefit for the company. We are fortunate to have a loyal guest base that want to have more of a personal engagement with the company at personal events.”
Indeed, food trucks can offer some established restaurants a more cost-effective way to grow their businesses. “Price to entry is a lot less than your traditional brick and mortar. But like any other business this is not an instant success. There’s a lot of work and effort that goes into this,” Belshe said.
Ruby’s will use the food truck to serve private events such as birthdays, corporate catering, etc. Other potential uses include school fund raisers where the money goes back to the organizations. Ruby’s is not pursuing traditional street business at this time but they are evaluating every opportunity moving forward, Belshe added.
Right now, The Ruby’s Food Truck is corporate owned but Belshe won’t rule out expansion in the future. “When capacity is outreached for this truck we will add more trucks based on need. And it gives potential new partners another aspect for support,” he said.