Wednesday, August 21, 2013

7th Cutting Edge, The Foodtruck Throwdown

A few weeks back, I was invited to judge a competition amongst the students of De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, School of HRIM entitled "7th Cutting Edge, The Food truck Throw down".

It was not hard for me to say yes, since food and design are two of my passion.  Although the organizers have set the criteria, each of the judges have different fields of expertise therefore resulting to different approach in judging.

As a general unsolicited advice to the teams, I'm looking at how they balance the product with the concept and design.  Some has great concepts but lucks luster in their product.  Some has a good product but exaggerates on the concept.  Some focused more on the product and failed to make the food truck just as interesting.

Congratulations to Bunzwhich, PK Generation, The Caribbean, Healthy Avenue and Nacho Warma.  My scores for them were good enough to qualify them to the next round... if there's any hehe.

The Caribbean

I love the product.  The flavored crabsticks and squid balls were so addicting.  I like the Pirate Ship theme of truck and the way they integrate details like the sail and the wood planks in the design.  I was hoping that the Pirate theme was translated more on the display itself and not just the costumes.  Because there's not much to see in the display, I felt the costumes overpowers product.

Healthy Avenue

I like the display.  The consistency of the design of the food truck, the uniforms and the collateral to the Healthy Food for People on the Go was spotless.  My issue on the team is on product knowledge.  Since they already have created the menu, and they claim that its healthy, they should be able to answer the question what makes your food healthy easily.  It can be expressed in calorie count, fat burning and muscle building properties of the ingredients.  Maybe they were just nervous when I approached them, but I did not get the answer I was looking for.

PK Generation

I like the product and the concept.  It's just not as spectacular as the other group.

Nacho Warma

I did not see the efforts to marry the Mexican and Middle Eastern Concept.  I felt that these are two concessions sharing the same truck.


I like the uniform, the graphics and the travel theme.  The Pandesal with international fillings failed to live up to the concept.

Moving on to the Teams I like.  Tied at 4th place were 5 teams.  The Breakfast Lab, Bursilog, Crazy Calzones, That's a Wrap and Wheels on Fire.  What's common with these teams is that I think they have a breakthrough product and they develop their concept to compliment it. 

The Breakfast Lab

I like the product.  I love the idea that it allows you to interact with what you eat.  The uniforms were functional.  The display and menu were consistent to the theme.  The design of the food truck could have been improved more with graphics.  They could have added a maze of pipes or just have kept a vintage silver steam punk design.


I like the idea of making our favorite Si-Log portable by wrapping it like a burrito.  The color choice and the graphics catch the attention.  The uniforms were fun and functional and consistent the theme.  I don't see how the Vinta's of Zamboanga fit into the concept, but I like how it turned out.  They could have just focused on what’s common between the Philippines and Mexico that is the Fiesta.  The muted pastel colors made it look more expensive.

Crazy Calzones

Making Calzones convenient is a great idea.  I like the uniform and crazy patterns.  The design of the truck is also consistent with the theme and colors.  My suggestion is to use less of the black and more of the red and orange or add white to balance the dark shades.  Black and Orange looks Halloween to me.

That's a Wrap

First, I love the energy of the team and its members.  The way they interact is enough to get me to buy their product.  I like the concept more than the menu items.  They have the best menu board for me.  The uniforms were simple yet utilitarian and true to the theme.  The design of the truck looks like a crew van, much like a delivery truck that I think is still consistent.

Wheels on Fire

The Fire Truck inspired food truck is my favorite.  I like how they simplified the fireman's outfit into their uniforms.  The menu items were consistent to the theme and I like how you can specify the intensity of heat that goes into your food.

My 3rd top Choice is Luto ng Ina Mo

Although their product is very common, they have managed to make it more interesting with their Name, Menu Board, Food Truck Design and Graphics.  I like the Filipiniana uniform, but would have simplified it a bit.   The Terno would restrict movements especially inside a food truck with limited space and ventilation.  The display communicates the concept very well.  I love the Bahay Kubo inspired Food Truck.

My 2nd Place is Mighty Meaty

I like the quality of their presentation and display.  They're one of the few teams that considered integrating innovation and sustainability in the truck design by adding solar panels.  The uniforms were simple and utilitarian.  I like how they packaged the product into the sporty athletic boxing concept.  Choosing the females to be the boxers was a nice touch and balances the very masculine graphics, theme and colors.  The portion of the Meat Cakes could have been smaller, but the packaging was good.

My Top Choice would be Kahit Saan

I love the Jeepney inspired food truck.  The menu items were common but true to their market.  Their display communicates the theme very well.  The uniforms were utilitarian.  The vest added a nice touch and actually helps in delivering their service.  The Plate Number inspired menu board was genius.  The way they group their menu items with Jeepney slogans is also very creative.  I also like the dynamics of the team.

Now to my least favorites:

Waffles on Wheels

I like the product, the packaging and the menu board.  I just hoped that the food truck design was just as good.

Crepes Wonderland

I like the concept, the uniform, the display and choice of colors.  But the Crepes, and design of the food truck lacks the whimsy to live up to the concept.

YOLO Sandwiches

The social media concept was ok, but I don’t see how it connects to the sandwich.  The food truck was utilitarian but lacks design.

The Baconation

The Menu Items were good and the food sample was great.  The Graphics, Menu Boards and Uniforms were OK.  I just wish there's more to their design than the colors of bacon.  An Italian Deli inspired food truck perhaps. 

Yummi Eummi

I like the promotional uniform.  The product was OK.  The areas for improvement would be the Logo, packaging and food truck design.

The Cheetoes

I like the vintage diner, Beatles inspired concept.  The product seemed ok and the menu board was good.  They could have improved more on how to connect the product to the concept.  Also the food truck design needs improvement.

After combining the scores from the other two judges, the following emerged as winners:

Top: Healthy Avenue, 1st Place, Middle: That's a Wrap, 2nd Place, Bottom: Mighty Meaty, 3rd Place
Top: Wheels on Fire, Best Uniform, Bottom: Kahit Saan, Most Unique Concept

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