January 3, 2013
BBQ Bus Playoff Packs $109
Feeds a crew of 8-10. Includes free delivery.
Spend your time this weekend enjoying the game with family and friends! Let BBQ Bus deliver to you a feast of smoked meats, fresh-made sides & plenty of our house-made BBQ sauces!
BBQ Bus Playoff Pack Includes:
Rack of Tender Smoked Baby Backs
Smoky Pulled Pork
BBQ Bus Beans
House-Made BBQ Sauces
Add More Ribs for $22 per Rack
Add Sliced Brisket for $15
Add a Quart of Three-Bean Chili for $8
Orders Must Be Placed by 5 pm Thursday.
Applicable sales tax will be added to all orders.
Order today at (202) 656-QBUS or email@example.com!
April 8, 2012
Share Your Love of BBQ in Haiku and win up to $1,000 from BBQ Bus!
Do you love BBQ & ancient Japanese poetry? Friend, have we got the contest for you! To help celebrate turning 1 year old, BBQ Bus is holding its second annual BBQ Haiku contest – this time with a prize of up to $1,000! Contest Instructions:
The more people who enter the more you can win! Prize starts at $250 and goes up one dollar for every entry – up to $1,000!
Step 2: Vote for the best haiku after May 6!
Only original haikus may be entered. One entry per person.
Grade school English class refresher: Haikus are 17 syllables long divided into 3 lines, like this:
Here are some examples to get you going:
Enter my belly
Sweet, savory, delicious
I digest you. Burp.
Wrap my lips around
Meaty, sweet, savory rib
Nom nom nom nom. Burp.
Pulled porc, beef on top
Slab of ribs my foundation
Sauce soaking paper plate. Burp.
February 29, 2012
Letter to District of Columbia About Proposed New Food Truck Rules
The District of Columbia in February asked for the public’s comments about Mayor Vincent Gray’s proposal to update food truck rules. Current regulations are more than 30 years old and state that police can shut down a food truck if it does not have a line of waiting customers. Overall, the Mayor’s proposal significantly improves mobile vending, and BBQ Bus supports the proposed new rules.
February 29, 2012
Dear Director Majett,
My name is Tadd Ruddell-Tabisola. I am a Washington, DC Ward 2 resident and the Chef and co-owner of the DC-based food truck, BBQ Bus.
My journey from growing up in the restaurant business, drifting away and then finding my way back “home” is a long one, but I will do my best make the long story as short as possible.
From the early age of 7, I remember waking up with my grandfather at 4 am on weekends and going with him to our family’s restaurant to help get ready for breakfast service. I’m sure I wasn’t much help at 7 years old, but I was learning and I was spending time with Grandpa. I’d stand on wooden stools (that were build by my great grandfather) at the prep tables or at the grill because I was too short to reach otherwise. Over the next several years, I not only learned about cooking but also about how a business operates. I also learned the importance of treating your customers as if they were your family and the importance of putting out a quality product at a fair price. I also learned that it’s probably not the best practice to call one’s servers “dingbats” or threaten to “…wring your neck if you do this one more time.” Grandpa could sometimes get a little stressed. I spent the next 12 years absorbing everything I could about our business.
As a rebellious 19-year old, I moved away from our businesses to pursue other opportunities. What I could not have known at the time was that making and serving food was the only thing that I ever wanted to do.
After nearly 20 years in corporate America numbness and after nearly 20 years of trying to decide what it is that I wanted to do with my life, I realized what I was too young to know at the age of 19—I already knew what I wanted to do with my life. Worse, I had it in the palm of my hand and let it get away from me.
With my path now understood, I enrolled and graduated from culinary school. After graduating, I spent a number of months trying to figure out what to do next.
With knowledge of the first food trucks operating in the District—and seeing how beloved they were to their customers—I decided that I would create the BBQ Bus. BBQ is something that I love and something that I love to make for friends and family. My pastime would become my new career.
The political climate for food trucks in DC has never been an easy one. Even as our truck was being built in late 2010 and early 2011, there was a threat of a moratorium on the issuance of vending licenses for mobile roadway vendors. When the threat of the moratorium came about, we were tens of thousands of dollars into this new business. The thought of getting part of the way through the truck build—and most of the way through my savings—was terrifying and almost unbearable.
The moratorium never occurred, but at the same time, the first version of new food truck regulations never passed either. A year plus later, the second version is up for public comment.
I feel that the newest version of the proposed regulations is a great start for our new industry. Does it contain everything that I’d like to see? No. Does it contain everything that those opposed to the new regulations would like to see? No. In my mind, this feels like the newly proposed regulations are pretty fairly weighted and attempt to consider the concerns of both sides.
I fully support the newly proposed regulations and I thank DCRA for writing them and thank the Mayor for introducing them to the public. I truly hope that they can be passed into law quickly so that I can operate my business without the constant fear of the police closing us down.
I’ve spent every penny that I have to start this business. Like any infant business, I struggle every day to try to keep it afloat. Those out there that would suggest that food truck owners are going home every night and rolling around in piles of hundred dollar bills are either ignorant or simply uninformed.
Previous commentators have made preposterously false assumptions and statements about the rent, fees and other expenses involved in operating a food truck. I would like to shed some light on the overhead of operating my business.
Food trucks pay a similar set of monthly expenses as brick-and-mortar restaurants. In addition to our mobile kitchens, food trucks, by law, must also rent, purchase or build a brick-and-mortar commercial kitchen for food handling and storage. Depending on the needs of the particular business, our brick-and-mortar kitchens can cost thousands of dollars per month. We too pay for electricity, water, natural gas, trash collection, and all other utilities. We too carry the same $1 million-plus General Liability and Workman’s Compensation insurance policies that brick-and-mortars do. These policies average several hundred dollars per month depending on the business. Our roaming restaurants also pay the same payroll, social security and Medicare taxes as brick-and-mortars, which can climb to more than $1,000 per month with just 2-3 employees.
To put this into perspective I’ll share some of a typical month’s fixed expenses for our business, the BBQ Bus. Keep in mind that these expenses are before we purchase a single of item of food or make our first sale to a customer.
Typical Month’s Fixed Expenses for BBQ Bus
Kitchen rent – $2,000
Kitchen utilities – $600
General Liability and Worker’s Comp – $550
Payroll – $5,480 (excluding the owners)
Payroll taxes – $1,100
Vending licenses – $250
Equipment leases – $680
If these expenses seem tiny when compared to those of many brick-and-mortar restaurants, please consider that unlike those restaurants, my business serves for only two-to-three hours a day, five days a week, has one point of sale, has no dining room, and does not sell alcohol.
This is not to say that I believe my business operates at a disadvantage. In fact, it is difficult to do a point-by-point comparison between food trucks and restaurants because we operate under different business models. Food trucks and brick-and-mortars alike both pay more than their fair share of rent, fees, and taxes.
And we certainly are subject to the same challenges of the market and economy and sometimes fall short of success. Few people realize that since the first food truck opened in Washington, DC in 2009, eleven have closed. Businesses come and businesses go; in a free market, it’s the consumer who should decide who flourishes and who does not.
Anyone in the foodservice industry can attest to the fact that you don’t enter this business to work short hours, and you don’t open a good truck to get rich. Like many owners of a new business, I work an average of 16 hours a day, seven days a week, to make sure our customers love the food that we prepare for them, that our rent, utilities, insurance and taxes are paid and that our employees are paid. Most of the time there is little or nothing left at the end of the month. But do you know what? It’s all worth it because I freakin’ love what I do, and that is what matters most.
Chef and Co-Owner, BBQ Bus
Washington, DC Ward 2 Resident
January 12, 2012
BBQ Bus Dishing Up New Sandwich to Celebrate Patron Saint of Bacon!
Celebrate the Feast Day of the Patron Saint of our favorite food group – St. Anthony, the Patron Saint of Bacon - with a new BBQ Bus sandwich that we’re dishing up for just a few days starting Wednesday, January 18!
BBQ Bacon Burger $7
A delicious sandwich featuring smoked brisket, crispy bacon, house-made pickles, lettuce, tomato & introducing our NEW Looosiana Hot BBQ Sauce #26: A sauce that combines the sweetness of the South & some good ol’ Louisiana Heat!
Add any side dish & drink for $2!
When: For Just a Few Days Starting Wednesday, January 18