Business

AN INTERVIEW WITH ALI ALMATROUK

Food Truck



Tell us about your first truck experience?
My first experience was with my daughter’s friend who decided to have a burger truck. I helped her design the truck and showed her how to do the menu. Also, I provided my aid in teaching her the special techniques in choosing the meat cuts and spices which is the secret ingredient. We used a 1972 UPS truck and converted it totally with a help of a garage. This was in the United States.
There, the idea of having a social hub is more dominant than the idea of a normal food place.


How did you start your food truck journey in Kuwait?
I started by enrolling in a one-day workshop in Kuwait and I was fortunate to know a person who was manufacturing the trucks in Kuwait for international buyers. Then I started looking for designs and created my own concept design which I sent to different manufacturers. Then I bought a truck and sent it to the factory, this was back in September
In February 2018, I started my first day as a food truck owner, specifically in a liberation day celebration. I was serving burgers as the main special item along with the pasta station and shawarma station as well. The business was great, and I received a number of invitations to talk about the food truck businesses.


Talk about your licensing experience in Kuwait.

This is a major issue in Kuwait. The problem with food trucks is that it has not been regulated by 100%. There is still some misunderstanding between different government entities in order to license a food truck. I had a problem with the design approval and name registration which made me go each and every day to the ministry of commerce in order to follow up on my request. The process was long and there were no regulations especially in different entities such as the ministry of health, ministry of interior
etc. This created an unnecessary hassle for me as a food truck owner. Sometimes it depends on the ‘mood’ of the inspector or the employee.


How do you evaluate the regulations in Kuwait?
When it comes to food trucks especially, it needs clear and specified regulations for each type of truck. For example, there should be more communication between government entities. Also, there should be more technical regulations when it comes to design and operation. This will help the owners to have a clearer vision and would reduce the time wasted in understanding the hazy regulations.

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