Man's Best Friend Gets A Food Truck
Food trucks are today's hottest food trend, offering every type of cuisine imaginable to people of all ages. So why should dogs be left out of the fun? This summer, Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck brought the food truck craze to dogs across America, with stops including Los Angeles, Detroit, Phoenix, and Minneapolis.
At the tour's last stop in September at New York City's Pier 26, the largest Alaskan malamute mingled with the tiniest Chihuahua, as they both waited for samples of chicken meatballs or beef sausage slices. A food truck for dogs was already unique, but Milo's Kitchen also created a whole experience for pets. At the "lapdog lounge," dogs were encouraged to relax on tiny beds, drink from bowls, and play with toys, all on an AstroTurf backyard setting. There was also a "doggie selfie" station, a photo booth where dogs and their owners could perfect a pose.None of this would be possible without people who have a passion for dogs and pets. Elena Martinez and Curtis Drayton are the two tour managers who have been with the truck the whole summer. For Martinez, a promotional tour manager with over ten years experience, Milo's Kitchen Treat Truck was a dream job that combined many interests.
"Not only do I love events and promotions and traveling cross-country, but I love animals. I used to want to be a veterinarian or a dog trainer," she told AOL Jobs.
As they drove the truck across the United States, Martinez and Dayton had two tiny co-tour managers, their own dogs Bella and Turbo. The two dogs could be seen sitting on the truck's pull-out dog bed or popping up behind the counter to greet customers. At each city they stopped in, Martinez and Dayton hired brand ambassadors to spend the day working for the truck. All members of the team were comfortable with dogs and some were even dog trainers.
"Sometimes I don't even feel I'm at work," said Martinez. "Being able to travel with my dog... it's been a really, really great opportunity."
For anyone seeking the same great opportunity, prepare for some training and fieldwork before hopping on the road. Prospective tour managers start off in the field at a local event, learning how events run and getting hands-on experience. Then they move up to being an assistant tour manager, where they get to travel on the road and work as the right hand man to the tour manager. Once they have enough experience on the road, they have the opportunity to become a tour manager themselves. They'll also have to go through extensive brand training to understand the brand and educate the field staff at local events.
Chrissy Trampedach, Milo's Kitchen's Director of Communications, was also at New York's Pier 26 for the tour's last stop, even if her own beloved canine Enzo was back home in San Francisco. In addition to getting to see so many different dogs, Trampedach said that a fun part of the tour has been learning how people in each city interact with their pets, as well as how they perceive food trucks in general. There have been differences in every city, but there's been one major similarity, the way the dogs act when they're near the truck.
"They stand there and sniff the air," said Trampedach. "Then they all walk up and drag their pet parent across the sidewalk to get here. They can smell the treats."
Milo's Kitchen operates on the idea that dogs are more than your pets, they're part of the family. At the truck, that certainly seemed to be the case, with dozens of dogs being treated to grilled burger bites and chicken jerky. More importantly, they were showered with plenty of attention and affection from their owners and the people around the truck.
"It's all about the bond, the passion you have for the dog being part of the family and being part of what you do every day," said Trampedach.