Food truck challenge: Students tackle concept in business class

Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018
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Best in Show

BEST IN SHOW – Chico senior Samantha Hernandez (right) won the food truck design challenge and senior Laynee North took second. The contest was part of their Principles of Business Marketing and Finance class. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

The featured item on the menu of Samantha Hernandez’ food truck is pizza fries – French fries topped with piles of mozzarella and marinara sauce.

The prep space for the specialty and the other items on the Freakin Frydays truck are a bit cramped, fitting in the palm of the Chico senior’s hand.

Hernandez and the rest of her classmates designed food trucks out of three pieces of paper for Samantha McNorton’s Principles of Business Marketing and Finance class.

Hernandez’ truck took first place in the food truck design challenge. Fellow Chico senior Laynee North took second.

“I’m a perfectionist,” Hernandez said. “It was hard making the appliances and taping them down.”

North said she also had trouble fitting the appliances into the tiny space.

“I couldn’t get the little appliances to stay where I wanted,” she said.

The class worked on the food truck project throughout the spring semester. McNorton said the goal of the activity was to provide a real-world business model. Students had to come up with a name and logo for their truck along with designing a menu.

“I wanted them to see how they needed to do a business plan and marketing plan,” McNorton said.

The students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, tested their artistic skills by creating the miniature 3D model of the food trucks.

“They had to find a way to fit everything in it on a sheet of paper,” McNorton said. “They had to plan it out with functioning doors and appliances.”

She also pointed out that they had to leave room for a driver’s seat to take the truck around.

After the class finished the trucks, McNorton’s other classes voted on the winners.

North’s Sweet Syrup Surprise focused on breakfast items, including waffles and French toast. Her specialty item was stuffed French toast.

North said she learned one big lesson from the project: “It takes a lot to start a food truck.”

The lessons will continue for the rest of the semester with McNorton’s students tackling the accounting side of running a food truck – taxes and payroll.

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