#GetMore Hoss’ Loaded Burgers
In the past 5 years, the Nashville Food Truck scene has exploded. Now, there are close to 100 food trucks serving up their own specialties and creating a vibrant and diverse food scene.
This is no small feat. Aside from the talent and creativity of these chefs who continue to delight and amaze customers, it’s taken the entire Nashville community and local government to come together to get us where we are today.
Let us introduce you to Hoss’ Loaded Burgers – one of the first Nashville food trucks to hit the streets. They have been stuffing burgers (and belly’s) for 5+ years!
If you’re wondering what a “loaded burger” is, it’s a hamburger stuffed with cheese. And dang, it is delicious! It’s so delicious in fact, that we think Nashville needs to #GetMore Hoss’ Loaded Burgers in their lives.
So we’re teaming up to do just that!
Come to Street Food Thursday’s this Thursday (September 1st) and stop by Hoss’ Loaded Burger truck between 11am-2pm. The first 85 burgers are free, courtesy of Kasasa.
Still not convinced?
Meet the man behind the griddle: Dallas Shaw, owner of Hoss’ Loaded Burgers and one of the founders of the Nashville Food Truck association. In this interview we talk burgers, small business, and Nashville.
Can you tell us a little bit about Street Food Thursday’s?
Our Mayor, Megan Barry pushed for this to happen. She wanted to highlight the local food truck scene, and make sure government employees got a taste of what we’re offering.
It was originally every other Thursday, but this summer she said “why not make it every Thursday?” We weren’t going to argue!
So every Thursday 15-20 local food trucks park along Deaderick Street between 4th Avenue North and 5th Avenue North. We serve up food from 11am-2pm.
It’s been super successful. People love having quality food trucks downtown.
I’m sure! It seems win-win for everybody. Can you tell us how you came up with Hoss’ Loaded Burgers?
A corporate gig with AT&T is what brought me to Nashville. It started to wear on me after a while. I wanted to do something on my own.
Food had always been something I was passionate about, and at this time (2011) there were only 4-5 food trucks in Nashville. I saw the opportunity and took the leap.
It looks like it’s paid off. What’s been most rewarding part of running your own small business?
For me, I love seeing the instant gratification of handing someone their food, watching them bite into it, and just seeing the enjoyment on their face.
There’s no greater feeling.
Also, knowing that I can go to the people.
Almost any day of the week, we go to office parks. We are able to serve people up delicious food, way better than the fast food chain they’d normally be rushing off to eat. I feel like in a small way, we’re bettering people’s lives by going to them, saving them time, and letting them enjoy a great meal.
What’s the hardest part about running Hoss’ Loaded Burgers?
People assume that because your truck is 1/10th the size of a restaurant that everything must be much more scaled down. That isn’t the case.
As a food truck owner you wear all the hats. You’re the CEO, the accountant, the marketing guy, you do the purchasing and inventory.
There’s a lot more that goes into it than us pulling up to an event and serving our burgers. I’m the guy that is constantly checking and answering emails throughout the day just to get ahead of tomorrow’s work.
Can you tell us a little about how the food truck association came to be?
The same month that I got Hoss’ Loaded Burgers on the road (August, 2011,) Public Works was holding a hearing for how to structure the Food Trucks popping up around town.
Up until this point, all regulations had to do with sidewalk vendors. The food truck “boom” had not yet hit.
There were about six food trucks out in Nashville. I think The Grilled Cheesery, Mas Tacos, and Blue Monkey Shaved Ice had all come out, a few others as well.
Right before public works had their hearing, we reached out to one another and agreed that we should come together as a unified voice.
Let’s all agree on what we want, and push for it.
We didn’t have the name yet, but in terms of a group businesses working towards a single goal, that was the day when the Nashville Food Truck Association was born.
With the boom, has the association has grown quite a bit?
It’s been exponential. We started out with 5 or 6 members and now have 77!
People always ask me, “Is there going to be a breaking point for too many food trucks in Nashville?”
In my opinion, I really don’t. Competition is always a good thing.
Competition pushes the trucks that are out to be better. It pushes them to create something unique and special that will keep customers happy over the long term. I think right now we have 7 different BBQ food trucks – each has their own unique spin and customer base.
How do you feel Nashville has reacted to food trucks?
The fact that Public Works took a chance on food trucks back in 2011 was huge. Megan Barry’s support has also had a big impact. The local government in Nashville has really embraced us. If your city is supporting your cause, that’s a big first step.
And even more so, all the food truck owners are friends. We all are trying to help each other. I’m constantly passing along events and opportunities to other food trucks in town.
We’ve come together as a group of friends to make sure Nashville food trucks are seen as a civil group of business owners that are here for Nashville. We have a strong community here.
What the best piece of financial advice you ever received?
Hmm, that’s tough. My parents made me financially responsible from a young age. I think in 4th grade I had a checking and savings account that I was responsible for managing. When I got a car, my parents made me pay the insurance on it.
It wasn’t one particular lesson they passed on, but over the years they showed me how to be frugal, how to know what to spend my money on, and how to save.
They showed me the benefits of saving money left over at the end of the month. You don’t need to spend everything.
It’s important to have savings for when things go wrong. Especially when you’re running a business because it’s bound to happen at one point.
Last question: What is the best thing about Nashville as a whole?
The food. The city is getting so many new great restaurants, food trucks, and pop-ups. Chefs are really stepping up their game in this city, and it’s amazing to be a part of it. Nashville is so supportive of new food ideas.
Just take a look at the Nashville Food Truck association website and you’ll see the wide array of gourmet food trucks within Nashville.
Don’t forget to head to Street Food Thursday’s this Thursday between 11am and 2pm. The first 85 customers to stop by Hoss’ Loaded Burgers get a free burger.
We believe you deserve to #getmore when you stay local. So eat up!