What does a BBQ food truck catering job have in common with a luxury hotel construction project?
A lot, Tin Hut BBQ Food Truck Owner Frank Diaz will tell you.
Last month, when Chef Martin Knaubert of Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina asked Diaz if the hotel could charter and rebrand his food truck for an evening of fine-Italian bistro dining, Diaz didn’t miss a step. In fact, he went along for the ride, both to observe and to help, and out of that evening an unlikely working partnership was forged.
“I was very surprised of the functionality, size and practicality,” Knaubert said of his experience working from the Tin Hut BBQ food truck’s fully equipped mobile gourmet-kitchen, adding, [the size of it] equals a professional kitchen.”
Following the success of the Island Pacific Academy event, the Four Seasons team, General Manager Sanjiv Hulugalle , Hotel Manager Philip Clough, Director of Sales and Marketing Nelson Hilton , and Anthony Frunzi – Director of Food and Beverage, were in agreement; this was a venture worth repeating, and Knaubert assured Diaz there would be some “pop ups” and surprise appearances with a truck again in the near future.
True to their word, a few weeks later the hotel again reached out to Diaz, this time for a catering job – providing a thank you lunch to the construction crew of the nearly completed Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina, slated to open late May, 2016, and expected to play a pivotal role in attracting more of the world’s most admired hotel and leisure brands to Oahu.
If we serve it they will come (BBQ that is)
While catering employee appreciation events is one of Tin Hut BBQ’s specialties, the sheer volume of this gig – getting 600 hungry hard hats through the line in under 60 minutes – might seem daunting to some, but to Diaz, aka SGT Tin Hut, it was all in a day’s work.
Like a construction project with a plan and a commitment to get the job done on time and on budget, Diaz broke the project down into bite size pieces. His prior military experience and entrepreneurial hard hat in hand, Diaz and his well-seasoned crew were up before dawn to prep the meats which had been smoked overnight. They readied the equipment, did a final inventory check and – on schedule – deployed all units to the front (make that the “lunch”) line. The road to food truck catering success is always under construction. There are a lot of moving pieces and the entire crew has to be flexible, work together, be able to think on their feet and (hopefully) always be one step ahead.
“It was a team effort,” Diaz said, “and my crew nailed it. Not only did they get over 600 workers through the line under schedule, they dished up a heaping pile of smiles and a nice side of fun alongside the BBQ.”