The Bistro Bus, a custom built Sprinter food truck customized by Kitchens on Wheels, is on display in the Mercedes-Benz exhibit at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show. Kitchens on Wheels was just named an approved food truck upfitter for the Sprinter by Daimler Vans.
Kitchens on Wheels president and CEO Felix Eliorriaga said, “We are proud to be an official food truck upfitter for the Sprinter. The Bistro Bus is our premier Sprinter model that can be built either with a full service cook line, like the vehicle here at the Show, or as a coffee bar, which we’ve done many times for clients such as the Community Coffee franchise.”
Recognizing the Food Truck Trend
When Felix Eliorriaga graduated from high school in his Texas hometown, he wanted to be a doctor. However, his father asked him to help establish the first Wendy’s franchise in their native Mexico, and soon Felix was flipping burgers while attending the University of Guadalajara. He and his father ultimately developed a highly successful network of fast food restaurants all over Mexico.
With his broad experience in the food service industry, Felix sensed that food trucks would become a hugely popular trend, so he asked an experienced Texas upfitter if they would install a kitchen in a Sprinter. The upfitter had always used traditional box trucks, so they were reluctant at first, but their Sprinter food truck became very popular, allowing Felix and his wife to dominate the food truck business in their area.
Felix said, “The Sprinter van is a dramatically different canvas than a box truck, and it’s visually more marketable. The sleek look of the Sprinter food truck got peoples’ attention, and we followed that up with gourmet food that was a cut above our competition. Six months later, the kitchen upfitter asked me to buy him out, and Kitchens on Wheels was born!”
Sprinter Preferred Upfitter Program
Nearly a decade later, Kitchens on Wheels is a highly successful Texas based company that has become the first Preferred Upfitter for Sprinter based food trucks. The Preferred Upfitter Program is designed by Daimler Vans to ensure the quality and safety of all modifications. To become a Preferred Upfitter, several Sprinter specialists review each upfitter’s plans, visit their facility while work is in progress and inspect finished vans. Approved upfitters get advance product information, exclusive access to certain options and ship?through service. Each upfitter also receives special programming of the electronics system that is tailored to the customer’s need and vehicle functionality.
Felix said, “Although we are experts in upfitting food truck kitchens, the Sprinter specialists who work with us have provided many helpful tips. For example, they showed us where frame members are pre-drilled, so we no longer have to drill extra holes, and they taught us the same technique that’s used on the Mercedes Benz assembly line to bond metal sections together without drilling or welding.”
Find the entire article by JDavis at emercedesbenz.com <here>