Tysons-based Curbside Kitchen imagines a food truck-friendly world where companies can easily coordinate with food trucks to cater events or just switch up lunch-time options.
Amy Katz, the CEO of Curbside Kitchen, founded the company around 2017 after talking to her husband Brian about his struggles in real estate and difficulty coordinating food trucks for events.
To solve the problem, she decided to create a technological platform that allows managers to schedule food truck arrivals for their business or building.
Katz described the company as “Uber for a food truck — with a ton of heart” and said that her company helps buildings maintain tenants by building a sense of community and diversity based on a shared love for food.
“Each truck has its own DNA,” Katz said.
When first starting out, the main obstacle was finding a way to coordinate with hundreds of food trucks with unreliable hours and various management types, she said.
“The biggest struggle is bringing the food truck owners up to the same standard,” Katz said, adding that there are many “unforeseen” circumstances around food trucks, including maintenance issues or poor weather.
But, despite the challenges, Katz is optimistic about the company’s growth. “I am so passionate about it that every day we learn something new,” she said.
Today, the company has around 300 food truck partners on call in three cities, but Katz said they plan to keep growing thanks to the Virginia Founders Fund from the Center for Innovative Technology, which recently granted Curbside Kitchen money to expand their venture.
Katz said she did not feel comfortable revealing the grant amount, but she did say that she plans to hire a few more employees and build an app.
The app will tell food truck patrons when their favorite trucks are nearby, allow trucks and managers to schedule gigs and remind trucks to show up at certain times. She said the app should be available for download within six months.
Though they are not the only company that works with food trucks, Katz said that Curbside Kitchen isn’t worried about competition.
“There isn’t really anybody out there with the technology and integration we have,” she said.
As Curbside Kitchen expands, they plan to keep their headquarters in Tysons — where the community is incredibly supportive of the food truck culture.
“I believe people have a close eye on what we are doing,” Katz said.
Photo courtesy Amy Katz
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