So-Cal Tacos was one of the first food trucks to hit the Dallas scene just two quick years ago, before the city even had rules established for such ventures. In September of 2011, we reported on stringent codes that actually prevented So-Cal Taco's owner, Scott Wooley, among others, from wandering our streets with their goods. Soon, however, all of those details were ironed out and the streets were replete with roving eateries.
After two years of pushing Southern California-inspired tacos out of the small window of his food truck, christened Woody, Wooley is planning his first brick and mortar restaurant in Grapevine (2140 Hall Johnson Road). Just last week he received the green light from the Grapevine city council, and he hopes to open the restaurant in late August or early September.
If you follow So-Cal's Facebook page or have bought tacos from Wooley, you know his energy and enthusiasm runs high. It's a bit contagious. As you can see in the photo above, Wooley has figured out the fine nuances of running a food truck. He's established pockets of loyal customers that follow him on social media so when he shows up, so do they.
Wooley also creates a strong rapport with his customers. And he runs a tight ship. Last Friday when he parked in Irving, Wooley and his team served 185 customers in 35 minutes.
We spoke to Wooley about the many miles and tacos conquered to arrive at his restaurant destination, and he offered up three pieces of seasoned advice.
Are you looking forward to the transition to a brick and mortar? Heck yeah! We're stoked! Outside of leading, motivating and giving people hope, bricks and sticks were our ultimate goal!
Any advice for others out there looking to get into the food truck business?
1. If you do it for the money, you may be very disappointed. The effort/pay factor is very lopsided. We were only open 25 hours per week when we were a vending truck. To make that happen, I would put in about 120 hours that week. And sometimes I did all that work and made zero dollars for the week. A couple of those weeks and any logical person would say "the heck with this." But, I'm not logical.
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2. Food trucking is fun, but it's no fun when you're cooking in a 140 or 25 degree box. Weather is a huge factor that is often overlooked by new truckers.
3. You have to wear many hats to be the best. Not cool with social media? Keep your day job! You must have a social presence.
Will Woody still roam the streets even after you have a restaurant? Woody? Heck yeah! We've been doing private events for the last 3 months. Once we open he will be busier than ever.
Will the menu be the same at the restaurant? Same menu, plus a little extra including breakfast all day. We're going to keep things super simple and leave the massive taco menus to the other taco players.