In Austin, food trucks are plentiful.
They have become a staple of the city, with more trucks striving to create a food experience rather than a simple grab-and-go occasion. Mo Pittle, owner of JewBoy Burgers, is an advocate of this movement. After spending years as a marketing consultant, Mo used his branding expertise and passion for food to start JewBoy Burgers. We had the opportunity to talk with him about his journey and find out what’s in store for the future.
What is JewBoy Burgers all about?
The concept behind JewBoy Burgers is to serve fresh, made to order burgers. They are griddled, diner style, because that’s what I think tastes best. I was always that guy who would order a burger in a Mexican restaurant and my friends would make fun of me for it. But they are so good! I’ve lived all over so I took certain food styles from different regions. We use potato rolls which are a Mid-Atlantic thing. We steam the cheese, which is what they do in the Midwest. We keep the burgers moist by grilling them on top of onions which has a Jewish element to it.
What inspired you to start a food truck business?
I’ve been working in marketing and advertising for over 20 years, but I wanted to make a change. As a Creative Director and consultant, I felt like I was always taking orders from clients. I wanted creative freedom and to make my own brand. I originally thought of the concept as being a t-shirt company actually. I have always had a passion for food and starting the food truck was my own venture to embark on.
Is it difficult to run a food truck in a saturated market like Austin?
Yes and no. Density implies demand, so obviously you won’t be the only one. People in Austin are already conditioned to accept the food truck model. However with so many food trucks, you have to make sure you have a branding concept that will help you stand out. You can’t just be crazy. The product needs to be well conceived with an enhanced marketing strategy to back it up.
How do you figure out what location to operate out of?
There is an element of trial and error. With marketing research, all you can really do is make an educated guess. You have to ask yourself whether you want it to be a destination with parking or rely more on foot traffic. Where we’re at now is considered more of a food truck park. I predict more of these will pop up in the future. People come here and they can try a snack from a few different trucks. It becomes more of a lifestyle choice.
What are the most effective marketing/social media channels that you use?
It’s tricky because people in Austin want to feel like they’ve discovered something. Some advertising seems too corporate so I’ve given social media a harder push. We want people to know about us and our brand without having to tell them. If people found us on social media before trying out the food, then they have already established an emotional connection.
Do you plan on opening a brick and mortar location?
Yes! As soon as I can. That is the goal. Food trucks are great to test out a concept but a brick and mortar will allow us to expand the menu and sell alcohol.
What are your plans moving forward?
I want to continue to grow. When starting your own business, it always feels like you’re one step behind. Something breaks every week, or the order doesn’t come in, there are always new challenges to face. No matter what the future holds, I have to focus on the present to ensure everything keeps running.
Experience JewBoy Burgers in person or visit the website.
Written by: Natalie Earhart