Great Food Truck Race Novices Can "Lose Everything" in Season 3
Tyler Florence | Photo Credits: Mathieu Young/Food Network
Keep on truckin'? Not if you get eliminated from this season of The Great Food Truck Race.
In the Food Network series' third outing (premieres Sunday, 10/9c), everyday folks with nothing more than a clever food concept, determination and a dream compete to see if they can take the heat in the growing food truck industry. But these are not the veterans of seasons past. In fact, they don't even own their own food truck -- yet.
"In Season 1 and Season 2, they were real professionals who do this on a daily basis... but if they lost, they could just go back and be in business tomorrow. It wasn't that big of a deal," host Tyler Florence tells TVGuide.com. "But this season's contestants lose everything if they're eliminated. They have put their lives on hold. They have put everything on the line."
Like a benevolent patron of the culinary arts, Food Network funded and supported these fledgling mobile food purveyors, setting them up with everything they needed. But what Food Network giveth, Food Network can also taketh away.
"We start off the entire season with everyone kitted out," Florence explained. "They gave us ideas, they gave us a name, they gave us a notion of what the brand was all about. We had branding agency come up with a logo and we skinned the truck for them and came up with uniforms. Basically, we put them in business. This is food truck boot camp, and if you can make it, you can make it anywhere. So we started in Long Beach, Calif., with eight teams and we moved on from one city to the next across the country. But if they lost that round of the competition in a city, I'd take their truck away."
Florence also tells us why the show changed up the formula, how this affects competition and what his concept for a food truck would be:
You take the eliminated contestants' food truck away? That's so cruel!
Tyler Florence: It is, but at the end of the day, if we're going to put our endorsement on a food truck, they need to be good. We wouldn't want to put some team out there that didn't necessarily deserve it. Everyone came out just absolutely prepared for battle. That's what I loved about it. What became obvious in about three or four episodes was which teams deserved to be there and which teams didn't really understand what it was all about.
Why the twist this year, focusing on first-time truckers?
Florence: We were paying attention to who watches this show, and a lot of people online were starting to ask questions: "I would love to do this. Is there any sort of guide to start a food truck? Is there anything I can look at on Food Truck 101?" As soon as the show was over last season, we thought, "Wouldn't it be great if we started off with eight trucks, eight teams of people that have never done this before?"
What makes these newbies compelling to watch?
Florence: We took eight teams of just everyday people from all walks of life. In some cases, they had something to do with the food service industry, but often not at all. They just have this passion for having a restaurant. Because the buy-in for a food truck — the barrier is much lower than having to actually open a restaurant with four walls, [so] it's a much easier process for someone off the street, a civilian if you will, to say, "OK, I think I want to do this." We just role-play a bunch of fantasies this season.