Philippines-based Guactruck, which serves Filipino-Mexican fare to young urban professionals at the open parking lot of Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, has been attracting attention for dishing out meals from a second-hand truck converted into a mobile fast-food stall using locally sourced ingredients.
Designed to be functional yet sporting a trendy minimalist look, the company is less than a year old, but has become a huge hit not only for its tasty Mexican ala cubana and Filipino chicken tocino, but also for being a pioneer in using biodegradable cutlery made from cornstarch, which has a 90-day lifespan.
Within a very short time, it has gained popularity for its sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. For instance, its loyalty scheme rewards customers with a free meal for every 10 used containers returned. The idea is to collect all disposables so that these may be sent to proper recycling channels instead of being disposed of at landfills.
Instructions for the scheme can be found on the container itself, which is made of biodegradable paperboard and designed in a way that does not make use of glue or plastic. It’s a subtle nod to Mother Nature, but the system has proven effective in raising awareness and influencing consumer behaviour.
“Not only do our customers return our packaging to us,” says Natassha Valene Chan, cofounder and operations head of Guactruck, “some voluntarily offer to use their own cutlery and reuse their brown takeaway bags, indicating that our system is effective in instilling a habit of being a more conscientious consumer.”
Events made easy
Local organisers in Metro Manila, who have their eyes peeled constantly for unique concepts to include in their programmes, have been quick to spot that Guactruck can raise their event’s environmental image and appeal. The company has been approached to provide food as one of the caterers or the main caterer for several outdoor events.
At the widely anticipated Manila Music Festival held at the Alphaland Bay City Grounds, Parañaque last May, Guactruck was among the caterers for a crowd of about 500. Previously, they were caterers to some 200 attendees at Sine Sindak, a Halloween outdoor movie screening that takes place annually at Bonifacio Global City’s popular food market, Mercato Centrale. For Sine Sindak, a table-and-chair setup was also included
Organisers of indoor events will be pleased to find that Guactruck is willing to drive into a large convention centre at no additional cost. On the other hand, those who are interested in Guactruck’s eco-friendly practices but are unable to accommodate the truck due to venue constraints may also hire the Guactruck team, who will supply table setup, servers and cornstarch utensils.
For its menu, Guactruck serves quick Mexican meals with touches of local Filipino flavour. Generally, customers select a base of soft taco, tortilla wrap, rice, nachos or salad; a meat viand of Mexican ala cubana, traditional Filipino chicken tocino or beef adobo (or none at all for vegetarians); and three toppings from a selection of tomato or corn salsa, sour cream or cheese and romaine lettuce or chips. This do-it-yourself process may be implemented during the event, but organisers can also choose to serve pre-concocted meals. With their own resident chef, Guactruck can add variations to their menu as requested.
Planners should book Guactruck for an event at least a week beforehand, and note that the dimensions of the truck are 6.5 by 12 feet (2 x 3.7 metres) for any space considerations.
Mobile food trucks come with an edge over traditional catering, given the relative ease with which they are set up. There is also the novelty that comes with queuing by a food stand on wheels, and in the case of Guactruck, getting your meal in a container that, thanks to its smart design, proves to be a worthy conversation piece.
“Having a food truck makes for a more memorable event and creates a different, visual and more fun experience,” says Chan.
TEL: +63 917 808 1999
Photos by Michealle Lee