Category: Food Trucks

Catering, Event Planning, Food Trucks, Fun Story

Burger Wars, Burger Advertising Down The Years

2 April 2023
Burger Advert

William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925), founder of Unilever and later the first Viscount Leverhulme, once said (allegedly) , “I know that half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. My only problem is that I don’t know which half.” The remark was also attributed to a number of other businessmen, and is widely considered to have never been uttered.

Whatever the truth of the matter, advertising is now a huge industry, prevalent in everyday life. We are all constantly bombarded by adverts for everything from new teeth to milk shakes. I can’t honestly say that seeing an advert makes me want to rush out and partake in the cult of that product, but who knows, it quite likely might have some subliminal effect.

Burger Battles

One class of advert that we have all seen, and still do regularly, comes from the burger companies. In the UK we only really have two major players, and the rest tend to be small businesses that don’t have major advertising budgets. Across the pond, there are a number of major chains with restaurants in the hundreds, so there is a much wider range of adverts to look at.

McDonalds

The biggest chain is obviously the home of the golden arches. Being the top of the tree probably gives McDonalds a different perspective on what they need to advertise. Everyone else is throwing pot shots at McD’s but they aren’t trying to topple anyone else. As a result, much of their advertising has been, well, bland. It emphasis how good the food is, or how cheap the food is, and that’s about it. Probably the right thing when you are trying to sell good food cheap, but not exactly edgy or giving us the wow factor.

I tried googling ‘Edgy McDonalds Ads’ and come up with the ad below, visually more exciting, but not what I would call edgy burger advertising.

Edgy McAd
Edgy McAd

Burger King

The perennial number two chain around the world, Burger King has spent much of its advertising dollars trolling McDonalds. It has positioned itself as the cheeky younger brother to the number one chain, and this shows in its adverts. Few of the King’s adverts have really been about the food, they have always had an edgier tone, generally poking fun, occasionally skirting controversy, sometimes even classy.

bigmac Behind Advert
Big Mac Behind Advert

Burger King spent nearly a year trolling McDonalds without anyone actually realising. Until at the end they released images of their ads taken from a different angle. What this revealed, was that all of the year’s adverts for their whopper, had actually also contained an image of a Big Mac. Only because of the Macs smaller size, you couldn’t actually see it as it was positioned behind the whopper.

McDonalds in a rare display of edginess responded with an ad of their own exclaiming ‘Behind every good burger is a great burger’.

Burger King mouldy
Burger King Mouldy Advert

One which polarised opinion was the mouldy whopper ad. Much had been written about the abnormally long life of some McDonalds products, with it being claimed they were so full of preservatives that they don’t actually decay. BK produced a series of ads showing that over time their burgers turned mouldy. Although not mentioning their rivals by name, the inference was obvious, BK’s stuff was naturally free from additives.

pregnancy advert
pregnancy advert
currywurst Advert
currywurst Advert

Based in the German market, BK announced a range of really weird burgers for mother’s day, these were to satisfy the cravings of pregnant ladies.

blow advert
blow advert

With this one BK decided to take a leaf out of Carl Jr’s book and use sex to sell burgers. Or rather suggestiveness. Not sure if you would get away with this one in the current climate!

Whopper Detour Ad
Whopper Detour Ad

A brilliant piece of work, this promised you a Whopper for 1 cent, but only if you droe to a McDonalds, then used the app whilst you were in the restaurant to order a Whopper for collection from the nearest BK.

onion advert
onion advert

Always up with current affairs, this one was in the middle of the Covid crisis.

Order From Advert
Order From Advert

One of their classier ads, this one was asking you to order from their rivals. During lockdown, everyone was struggling, and their take on it was ordering from a fast food joint, any joint, would be helping people who needed the money.

Flame Grilled
Flame Grilled

The last one pokes fun at their flame grilling of burgers. For the record we all feel here that BK burgers do taste better than their rivals, whether it is down to being flame grilled, who knows.

Carl’s Jr. and Sexy Burger Advertising

In 1941 Carl Karcher and his wife Margaret, borrowed $311 against their Plymouth car, and added $15 in savings to buy a hot dog stand. By 1945 they had opened their first drive in, called Carl’s Drive In Barbecue. 1956 saw their first Carl’s Jr. opening, so called because it was a smaller version of their main drive in.

Plain Carl Advert
Plain Carl Advert

Carl’s Jr. started with pretty much the same adverts as other chains. Images of juicy looking burgers and prices.

Then in 2005 came a new direction. They decided that sex sells. Or More precisely, scantily clad women writhing and moaning whilst eating burgers sells.

Their first ‘slutburger’ ad as it was infamously christened, saw Paris Hilton, a fancy car, soap and water and a burger.

This was followed by a steady stream of sports illustrated alumni, models and singers. All stunningly attractive, all scantily clad and all eating burgers.

3 way advert
3 way advert
Audrina Advert
Audrina Advert
Best Pair Advert
Best Pair Advert

Predictably the ad caused offence. With one commentator claiming it had ‘set back feminism four decades’. On the other hand the ‘All Natural’ ad featuring Charlotte McKinney has garnered some 4.5 BILLION media impressions worldwide, so they are effective.

I must admit the all natural one was bloody weird, the ad boasted that the burger was a “first ever fast food” item made with “no antibiotics, no added hormones, and no steroids.” I mean WTAF, are they doing in a burger in the first place.

Otley Burger Company

I wasn’t really expecting tiny little independant companies to appear in this list. But it seems that the Otley Burger Company of Leeds, takes provocation to new levels. Or more accurately sheer bad taste. They leverage social media to promote their business. A good move for small businesses as it can be leveraged to create massive benefit at little cost.

Their Mother’s day advert however, used shock value that took bad taste to a new level. Advert below!

Otley Burger Co. Advert. bad Taste Burger Advertising
Otley Burger Co. Advert

A&W Burgers

A&W just happen to be the oldest restaurant chain in America. Founded in 1919 by Roy W. Allen as a roadside drinks stand in Rodi California, they have grown to some 900 stores.

Their single entry into our advertising hall of fame, is the launch of their bigger 1/3 pound burger, playing on the theme of bigger is better. Unfortunately it failed in spectacular fashion. Why? Well evidently your average American doesn’t do fractional maths very well. And by God anyone knows that 4 is bigger than 3 so a 1/4 pounder has to be bigger than a 1/3 pounder don’t it.

A&W Advert
A&W Advert

A&W are intending making a comeback with a new ad for a 3/9 of a pounder, in the hope that Americans take 9 as bigger than 4.

Grill’d

A relatively modern addition, Grill’d was formed in Australia in 2004 in Melbourne. Growing to some 150 stores, the company aired an add that caused outrage. It was meant to troll McDonalds, by having a creepy clown character. unfortunately having said clown chase two kids down a dark alley then appear to flash them, isn’t really acceptable advertising nowadays. In fact it wasn’t really acceptable advertising in any day.

Grill'd a creepy ad
Grill’d, One creepy ad.

Wendy’s Where’s The Beef

Founded in 1969 in Ohio, Wendy’s is the third biggest burger chain in the world.

Like most chains Wendy’s has the biggest, bestest, juiciest blah blah blah. Their adverts are pretty cookie cutter with everybody else’s. Except for one classic. The ‘Where’s the beef?’ advert aired in 1984, with the unknown actress Claire Peller, an elderly lady sat with two other friends looking at a tiny beef pattie in a big bun and questioning how much beef there is. This ad skyrocketed Wendy’s profits and became a classic line.

Wendy's Wheres The Beef
Wendy’s Wheres The Beef
Catering, Equipment, Event Planning, Food Trucks

It’s A Gas Gas Gas!

1 April 2023

No, not our favourite Rolling Stones song, Jumping Jack Flash. Gas Gas Gas is a reference to the recent news that the government is going to ban the sales of Nitrous Oxide, or laughing gas as it is commonly known. Evidently some people like to breath it in for its psychoactive properties. Whereupon unfortunately it can cause illness, nerve damage and even death.

Now why is that on a blog for a catering company you might well ask. Easy, the substance is also sold in mini cylinders which fit into a whipped cream dispenser and turn fresh cream into squirty cream. We make massive use of it on our hot chocolate, and waffle/crepe services.

Cream Dispenser
Cream Dispenser

The alternative to this is the cans of squirty cream, nasty UHT treated ‘cream’ that is four times the price.

Why are blanket bans imposed that affect the massive majority of people who use the product responsibly, because some minority of cretins find an illegal use for it. How about trying the radical idea of punishing those who sell it for the purpose of sniffing, or those who actually imbibe it illegally, rather than all those who don’t.

Coca Cola

It is a similar story with Coca Cola, and other ‘high sugar’ drinks. I don’t drink the stuff very often. But on the rare occasion I fancy a tin, I find myself in the position of having to sell body parts to pay the exorbitant cost. Why so dear I hear you cry. Because there are a large number of irresponsible parents out their who pour gallons of the stuff down their kids throats, resulting in some massively obese kids, oh sorry, my blogs AI inclusive language system is telling me not to use that word, they are now to be referred to as kids with higher body weight. WTAF, instead of playing stupid word games to try and wallpaper over the cracks, why not concentrate on educating parents not to make their kids of higher bodyweight.

Of course putting the price of Coke up with this sugar tax, is going to instantly transform the said parents into health freaks that only dispense wholesome good food to their kids. Of course it bloody isn’t, the same useless parents will just find something else, equally as unhealthy to shut their little darlings up.

Alcohol

We are heading for a similar position with alcohol. Due to some people not being able to control their drinking, there is a clamour for a minimum alcohol unit price. Seriously, you think this will suddenly dry an alcoholic person with alcohol use disorder out?

I have personal experience of people with drink problems. The cost of the product bears no resemblance to the amount they drink, They will beg, steal, borrow, sell their kids, whatever to buy what they need. The only thing a minimum price will do, is take more money off those people who drink responsibly. Instead of punishing everyone else, why not come up with a scheme that actually helps those people who need it, all that the extra revenue will do is line the pockets of the retailers.

Catering, Equipment, Food Trucks

New Equipment, High End Coffee Grinders

13 March 2023

We are in the process of building a new coffee van, this time based on a vintage Citroen Acadiane van. We wanted to give this more of a 1970’s vibe so commissioned the rebuild of a vintage Cimbali lever pull espresso machine to fit in with the ‘vibe’.

Claude Our Soon To Be Little Citroen Coffee  Van
Claude Our Soon To Be Little Citroen Coffee Van

Coffee Grinders

We also needed a new coffee grinder and wanted a more utilitarian looking grinder to go with this. The modern stuff is all flashing lights and in built computers, we wanted something that looked, well, a bit more solid.

Some one recommended the German brand Mahlkönig. After a brief look online, it looked solid enough to fit the bill, and came with a fabulous recommendation. So we bought one.

Jeez, when I actually went to collect it I was stunned. This wasn’t just solid. This was the King Tiger Tank of grinders. I think it is actually heavier than the single group coffee machine we are having refurbed.

Mahlkönig K30 Grinder
Mahlkönig K30 Grinder

You have to actually see this in the flesh to appreciate just how friggin big it actually is.

Mahlkönig

The company was founded in Hamburg in 1924. Initially it concentrated on the production of electric motors. But in the 60’s made the decision to concentrate on the production of coffee grinders.

Historic Grinder
Historic Grinder

The company rapidly established an enviable reputation for quality coffee grinders, leading up to its present day position as one of the market leaders.

Anyway stay tuned for images of our little red coffee van as it is due to be launched in the next few weeks.

Catering, Food Trucks, Fun Story

Ice Cream Flavours With A Twist

2 October 2022
PG Tips Ice Cream

One of the world’s greatest treats. Ice cream ticks the boxes for everyone (well almost everyone, I am sure there are some strange people out there that don’t actually like it). Everyone has their favourite flavour, though officially in the UK vanilla is the number one choice.

However, there seems to be a concerted effort to cater for more, ahem, exotic tastes, everything from squid, to lobster, god forbid that someone should ever think of adding Brussels sprouts. Lets have a look at some of the wackier stuff that’s available;

Heinz Baked Beanz

Salty Liquorice
Heinz Beanz Ice Cream

Definitely not sure about this one, I love ice cream, I also happen to love Heinz Beanz, but both together, its like fitting a Maserati with a 2CV engine, technically still a car but meh.

Coco Pops Ice Cream

Coco Pops Ice Cream
Coco Pops Ice Cream

Aah, now this is better, coco pops good, ice cream good, coco pops ice cream double good. In fact why isn’t this a regular thing. Both this and the Beanz Cream were limited edition specials from a pop up ice cream store in Anya Hindmarch’s village, London.

Salty Liquorice

Salty Liquorice Ice Cream
Salty Liquorice Ice Cream

Not sure about this one, personally I hate liquorice, and I’m not struck on salty, so probably a big fat no from me. I sometimes think that a lot of these ‘black’ coloured desserts, are purely made because the colour makes them ‘different’.

Goat’s Cheese (and Beets and Spinach)

Goats Cheese
Goats Cheese

Goats Cheese, yum, beet, perhaps, spinach yuck! There seems to be a regular move towards creating ice cream from savoury flavours. Some work some don’t, so I will reserve judgement until I actually get to try this one.

Jagermeister Ice Cream

Jagermeister Ice
Jagermeister Ice Cream

Now this is one we have tried, we were hired a few years ago to provide a photo booth and ice cream cart, with the cart dispensing Jager flavoured ice cream. TBH, it isn’t a flavour I would probably have picked, but on trying it, I found it to be a thumbs up.

Whisky And Prune Ice Cream

Whisky and Prune
Whisky and Prune Ice Cream

I think this is another where the Maserati/2CV analogy would hold up. Whisky good, prunes, not so much. In fact they are right up there alongside Brussels sprouts as the food of the devil.

Hire Ice Cream Carts

If you are looking for an ice cream cart for your wedding or event, we can supply a range of different options, from the traditional flavours through to some for the modern favourites such as Orea’s, Bounty, triple choc etc.

Or if you are a corporate client we can put together a fun food truck package to dispense your own ice cream for a sales promotion of event.

Catering, Equipment, Food Trucks, Fun Story

Food Trucks For Hire

28 September 2022
Citroen HY Food Truck For Hire

During the lock down, like many businesses we found our regular business model changing. We have always provided a large number of catering services, but usually what we called fun catering, doughnuts, waffles that sort of thing. A number of our regular corporate clients started asking us for things like burgers, noodles, pasta pots, more of a main course sort of thing. We swiftly set all of that up, initially in a range of street food style satalls. Perfect as they could be set up inside or out. However we also came to realise that many of the clients wanted more than just the food, they wanted something of an impact from the serving vehicle. To this end we are in the process of adding a range of fun and quirky food trucks for hire.

Citroen Hy Catering Van

Citroen HY Van Catering Unit
Citroen HY Van Catering Unit

Based on the vintage Citroen HY van range, but built on a trailer chassis using modern materials this is a fabulous looking food truck for any occasion, perfect for high output corporate jobs, but equally at home at a high end wedding.

Vintage Horse Trailer

Our Vintage Horsebox Trailer
Our Vintage Horsebox Trailer

A fully refurbished, vintage Sinclair horse box, with a stunning black and copper paint scheme, and finished in a high end Sapele hardwood this fits many country themes and can be fitted with any of our range of catering options.

Citroen Acadiane Van

Citroen Coffee Van Hire
Citroen Coffee Van Hire

The newest member of our fleet, another vintage Citroen design, based on the iconic 2CV car, but with a van body. Designed for many of our smaller food offerings such as coffee, doughnuts etc. This also works well with our our other Citroen food trucks hire.

Only Fools And Horses 3 Wheeled Van

Del Boy Van, One quirky food truck for  hire for weddings parties events
Del Boy Catering Van hire weddings parties events

Probably our quirkiest food van, based on the legendary Del Boy Trotter’s 3 wheeled van, again designed to take smaller offerings, this is a real head turner at any event.

Mini Camper Van Food Truck

Betsy The Camper Van Food Truck
Betsy The Camper Van Food Truck

Next is a mini camper van replica. Great for summer parties and beach themed events. Perfect for drinks offerings, but equally suited to food offerings. Check out our food trucks for hire and add a touch of fun to your party or event.

Traditional Ice Cream Trike

Back to the simplest vehicle of all, a tricycle. Bought initially fo ice cream jobs, it is adaptable for many desserts such as strawberries and cream, waffles, poffertjes etc.

Vintage Ice Cream Trike For Hire
Vintage Ice Cream Trike For Hire
Catering, Equipment, Event Planning, Food Trucks, Fun Story

Food Trucks From CRAZY & Co.

22 September 2022
Our Horsebox Food Truck before And After

Vintage Horsebox

Next up in our new range of food trucks is our converted horse box. We looked at a wide range of converted horse trailers, but were never 100% happy with the design. We happened by chance upon a maker called Sinclair, long defunct, but their trailers were different as they had a curved front panel rather than the usual triangular style.

After much searching we located one at the other end of the country, a brief conversation and we were told that it is perfect, ready for the road.

Cue and early morning trip to Bournemouth. On arrival, the rather vacant sounding young man informed us that actually the lights don’t work. Hmm, so not quite road worthy then. Luckily I had the foresight to throw a lighboard in.

However upon examining the trailer we discovered that it had four different sized wheels.

“Tell you what mate, I’ll ring the boss and tell her about the trailer and let you know”

Check out our other food trucks.

Knutsford

Luckily I had a back up plan, I had found another trailer at Knutsford, only about 100 miles out of our way on the return trip lol, and this one was described as ‘mint’.

We duly arrived at Knutsford. The trailer was far from mint, but it was suitable for what we wanted. We struck a deal, coupled up and discovered that a short on the trailer lights had blew the lights on the van. That turned into a whole other saga as changing the fuse necessitated a full strip down of the dash to reach the bloody thing.

But I digress, we set off home sans lights. On the way we did receive a text message from the first seller asking when we would be returning for the first trailer. FFS, we left there 7 hours ago.

Not Quite Mint, But Useable or What We Wanted
The Initial Strip Down

After careful consideration we decided that rather than doing what most people seem to do, a quick coat of brush paint and throw some counters in, we decided to make it something nice.

So we started with a complete strip down to the bare frames, leaving my other half to retort, all you have actually bought is a bloody frame!

Taking it back to bare metal we primed everything with rustcoat, then coated the entire frame with black Raptor, one of our favourite products. This gives a hard wearing textured finish that protects everything and covers amazingly well.

New Flooring

One of the concerns the health inspector had was that the original floor would contain years of horse urine soaked into the wood. No probs, as we stripped and burned the original wood flooring and binned the rubber coating.

A new wood floor was fitted, two coats of stain to seal it, then a new rubber coating.

Fitting A New Floor

Big Decision, Wooden Cladding

One of the major decisions was how we were going to finish the exterior. The original wood was a high grade hardwood, but because all the screws and bolts were seized in, we pretty much destroyed it taking it off. A trip to our local wood guys yard and a look through his collection of woods saw us settling on Sapele. A tropical hardwood that is related to mahogany, and is a fabulous colour, ranging from red to golden brown.

We used a soak in wood treatment on all the panels, then a number of coats of satin varnish, as we didn’t want an overly glossy look to the trailer.

We also settled on a satin black for the fibreglass roof and aluminium corner panels. Again, we wanted a less shiny look, though I admit the satin clearcoat was a nightmare to spray without it looking patchy. In the end after numerous attempts I gave up. But curiously, after a couple of weeks the patches disappeared and a uniform coating appeared????

Front Panels

The front corner panels were steel, they were overly heavy and badly rusted, so we replaced them with three mm aluminium. In retrospect two mm might have been sufficient as the three really took some bending.

Making It Different

We wanted a different look to the usual horse trailers, and I freely admit that we had seen an American horse trailer that we loved, so we used that for inspiration. One of the things we added to achieve this different look was a number of windows, both to let light into the trailer, and to add some visual appeal.

On To The Interior

Finally we got started with the interior. A number of steel frames were built in situ, with sapele front panels added and temporary countertops in MDF. A water tank, water heater and waste system, single and three phase electrics and a cooking fume extraction system. Also in common with our other food trucks we added a 42 inch display for menus and such.

The interior corners we added alternating sapele and idigbo strips to add some visual effect.

Another Of Our Food Trucks Almost Finished

Our programmable light panel.

We added decorative copper panels to the exterior and additional windows to the front. Just waiting on the production of our top sign at this point.

Horse Box Catering Trailer, another of our food trucks

Sign finished and fitted

Catering, Equipment, Food Trucks, News

CRAZY & Co. Food Trucks

25 August 2022
Citroen HY Van Catering Unit

Citroen HY Van

Gone are the days when people were happy to book a ‘burger van’ for their event. Nowadays it isn’t enough for the food to be first class, the serving unit has to look good too. Everyone from the bride to the company director wants something ‘Instagrammable’ as social media continues it’s relentless takeover of the world, so food trucks seem to be the way to go.

To this end we have commissioned and have added, or are adding, a number of fun and quirky vehicles to our portfolio of food trucks.

The first of these is the venerable Citroen HY van. Only it isn’t. We looked carefully at where we operate, which is pretty much nationwide. The Citroen HY vans were last produced in `1981, making the youngest of them 41 years old. Not bad to nip to a local event or two, but a bit taxing for charging up and down the highways and byeways of this green and pleasant land. The size of them also means they are too heavy for our fleet of car transport trailers, so initially we were a bit stuck.

Then we happened upon a Spanish manufacturer, that was creating fabulous copies of the HY, but built upon a trailer chassis, and made from fibreglass and stainless steel, so pretty rot proof.

We ordered one in the middle of last summer, but with the six month waiting list, it turned up in the winter and then had a round a three month fit out period before we actually launched it.

Construction

Some images of the construction phase below. In truth more of a fit out phase, as the actual structure was provided pre made to us.

This one we engaged Fairtrade Fabrications to fit out for us. A protracted build period ended up, with a fabulous piece of kit. We are a bit limited in signage and theming as what we do is different everyday, so it makes it harder to add signs and such, though it looks like it will be appearing at a Christmas Fayre for a protracted period this winter, so that is liable to see a full branding effort.

Finished Van

Citroen HY Van Catering Unit
Citroen HY Van Catering Unit

Check out our other food trucks at CRAZY & Co. Food Trucks.