A Day In The Life Of…

31 Mar 2015
4 min read
Marko Ertl, co-founder of the Wrapstars Food Truck, is trying to slowly introduce Austria to the food truck culture.

A lot of people, even my family and friends, often believe that we are living the high life, working only two hours a day during lunch time for sometimes only 2-4 days a week. I have to admit that by only following our facebook newsfeedI would also be tempted to think that running a Food Truck is easy money. But…


We are three founders and have three employees, so I do not have to work at the kitchen or the truck every day. As a result, my daily routines vary greatly, depending on whether I am doing the lunch shift or working at the office. I would say we spend 50% of our time in the office and 50% on the truck. When working on the truck, I usually wake up around 7:00am and after a short morning routine I head straight to Matthias, my co-founder, as the truck is parked at his house. At around 8:30am I drive the truck to our kitchen. If the traffic is kind to me, I check in at the kitchen at 9:00am and meet up with another member of our crew. We quickly assess the weather and other factors to decide if we stick to our production plan. You need the right amount of food available at the right time and the right place. We cannot just go back into the kitchen and get fresh supplies. What is not on the truck, does not exist. On the other hand, we also have to be careful to not take too much food with us because a lot of ingredients have to be disposed after our shift and we want to minimise food waste and of course save costs. Consequently, we try to estimate our sales numbers very accurately, which often leads to the infamous line “Sorry, we’re sold out”. Afterwards, one of us starts to prep our salsas from scratch, while the other one starts weighing the other ingredients and filling them into the right bowls. After about 1.5 to 2 hours we are usually finished and start going through our checklists to make sure we don’t forget anything.


After the truck is loaded we check if everything is closed and put into a safe place, as things tend to fly around in the back of the truck during a drive, which can sometimes generate a bad surprise once we arrive. It usually takes us approximately 30 minutes from our kitchen to point of sale. This is a really great part about our job. Even if we have some regular vending locations, we always change locations, hence get to see a lot of different places we usually would not have access to with different challenges and people.

Once we arrive we usually meet the third crew member for the day and start to get everything ready for sale, which takes us about 15 minutes. After the crew has checked everything and is ready, we turn on the music and open the sales flap. We take a lot of care and time in the kitchen to make our ingredients from scratch and free from any kind of „bullshit“ but the moment we open up we are all about speed (fast food without bullshit). We are organised like an assembly line. Every member of the “wrap assembly line” has only a few movements, which he is responsible for. This way we are able to take an order from start to the first bite in less than 60 seconds and we definitely need to be this fast, as all our customers usually want to eat at the same period of time. On a good day we are usually sold out shortly before the end of our 2-hour sales window or at least close to selling out. If there is still something left, then we all eat something and enjoy the peace after the lunchtime chaos. Yes, we still love our own food and are looking forward to this moment every day! Afterwards we clean everything up and I release our other two crew members from their duty, as their truck shift ends here.


Between 2:30pm and 3:00pm, depending on traffic, I check in back at the kitchen with our truck and start to unload everything and get the dishes ready for washing. At around 16:30-17:00 I am usually finished and I bring the truck back to Matthias’ place. The truck shift officially ends here. From this time on I switch roles and act as a business owner.


On my way home I usually check my emails and see if anything urgent is happening. Afterwards, I grab something to eat and turn on my computer to write offers for catering inquiries, check our social media accounts and see if we got good content to publish and work on other marketing or controlling-related stuff. By 8:30pm I am usually finished and take a break of about one hour before I head to the gym to work out for about two hours. I love working out, as it takes all my focus away from the daily hustle and calms me down after a long and stressful day. A day on the truck looks basically the same for all of us but the extra work we put in, which is handling all marketing stuff and controlling for me, varies. David for example checks if anything needs to be cooked after a shift and starts a cooking session to ensure the supply for the upcoming days, places orders and does product development. Matthias in turn focuses on building new partnerships with locations and lobbying to ease the life of street food vendors in Austria.