Beansie’s or Bust: The Challenges of Managing a Food Truck Business
Paul E. Olsen, Connor Mitchell
January 1, 2017
Strategy & General Management
marketing, small business management, food truck, hospitality management
Journal of Critical Incidents
This critical incident discusses the challenges Jay LaShombe, owner of Beansie’s Bus, faced trying to attract new, younger customers to his Burlington, Vermont food truck. Beansie’s Bus had been located seasonally in Burlington’s Battery Park since 1944. As the owner and only full-time employee, LaShombe ordered supplies, prepared food, greeted customers, took orders, hired parttime staff, cleaned and stocked the bus, and was responsible for complying with state laws and health department food service regulations. LaShombe, a part-time MBA student, was aware of the increased popularity of food trucks and hoped to capitalize on the trend. While Beansie’s menu had not changed much since 1944 and included hamburgers, grilled cheese, hot dogs, French fries, and soft serve ice cream “creemees,” newer food trucks served gourmet items including cheddar-ale scallops, spring rolls, perch po’ boys & truffle fries, and Korean gyros. With an aging customer base, LaShombe wondered how he could attract new customers. Would his menu/product need to change? How could he reach younger customers? LaShombe was ready to apply what he learned in his graduate Marketing course to grow business at Beansie’s Bus.