Chef Davis provides plenty of options with his jaw-dropping and mouth-watering kabob menu, featuring a Chicken & Waffles Kabob (which can be enjoyed with lavender or jalapeño syrups) and the “Dirty Bird” Chicken Kabob.
How did you choose your name?
Once I decided what type of food I would serve, coming up with the name was easy. I’ve always called myself “King Chase” growing up so when I knew I was going to server kabobs, King Kabob was it.
How did you come up with the idea for your new business?
Spending three years in high school and four years in college studying culinary it was a given that my career would center around the food and hospitality industry. My first thought was I wanted to open a restaurant. As I did my research, I realized that financially it seemed close to impossible. Determined to stay in the field I began to think about a more doable approach to the industry and that’s when the idea of a food truck came into the picture.
I wanted to be different, something that would standout from all the other food trucks. As I brainstormed with my team I thought, “why don’t we do a little bit of everything, all the foods I like, and put it on a stick”. King Kabob Food Truck was born!
What do you think are the most important skills for a new food concept?
People nowadays want an experience, especially when you talking food trucks and new concepts. The food of course has to be consistently good combined with a friendly personable customer service experience.
What’s the biggest food business related challenge that you had to struggle to overcome?
Finding good help is and continues to be one of the biggest challenges I encounter. Since our work isn’t 9-5 employees have to be flexible which often leads to them needing a second job which doesn’t always work out. Although it continues to be a struggle through out King Kabobs existence we’ve had some great employees…ones that have bought into our concept and that have a sincere desire to see our truck be the best!
What prompted you to start a food truck?
I started a food truck businesses cause I didn’t have the funds to open a restaurant. Banks were not eager to give a new startup the capital needed to succeed. So I looked in a different direction. It was still a challenge to get funding, no one wanted to give a young straight out of college black male money to start a business. I got discouraged a little but I was determined. Someone jokingly said to me, “they give loans all the time for weddings”, so of course, my first thought was to give that a try. It worked, I was able to get a $25,000 personal loan to cover my “wedding”. The rest is history!
What’s on your food truck menu? Why did you choose this cuisine?
Honestly, my menu consists of all the foods I like to eat! We have a standard menu that consists of Chicken, Steak and Veggie Kabobs served over rice but we also go outside the box and have items like our Famous Chicken & Waffle Kabob, Low-Country Boil Kabob and a favorite of many, King Gobbler Kabob, served only at the beginning of November, all your Thanksgiving Day favorites on a stick.
Do you make all the food on the truck, or do you use home-based kitchen or commissary space?
We prep and cook our food on the truck. Most of the prep takes place in our commissary unit which allows a little more space to maneuver on the truck. Our commissary kitchen has always been at Prep Atlanta since our conception in 2015. We initially came to Prep because we liked the vibe of those running it. Since then we noticed that all of our needs were being taken care of so there was no need to go anywhere else. We also get leads generated from Prep so that’s always good especially if you’re a new business.
What’s the best part of being a food truck operator?
I really like the food industry and my ability as a food truck owner to have flexibility. Over the course of the last 6 years, I’ve learned how to work smart. I’m no longer interested in working 60-80 hours a week which would be the case for a restaurant. I like being able to make the same kind of money while minimizing the hours I work. It wasn’t always that way but the more you develop your brand, provide a good consistent product and become known in the industry as a “go-to”, the more you are in control of your destiny.
What’s the worst part of operating a food truck?
At one point the worst part of owning a food truck was unknown variables…whether people would come out, will it rain, will there be too many trucks and not enough people. That’s changed for us over the course of the last six years. We have a set minimum now before we come out which makes everything a lot easier.
So I guess the worst has to be the uncontrollable issues that we occasionally run into, truck or generator problems or any other mechanical issue. The truck is your restaurant so if something goes wrong with it, the restaurant is close!
What lessons have you learned since launching the truck?
How important it is to be strategic about EVERYTHING, from whether to attend festivals to setting minimums to come out, to how you structure your support team. There is a method to the food truck madness. What’s important is you have to find what works for you.
Is there anything you would have done differently at the start?
I can’t really say that I wish I had done any thing differently. I was disappointed that I couldn’t get funding when I started but what I did get made me work a little harder. So I have no regrets!\
Any new exciting news or events coming?
We’ve had lots of good things happen to us lately starting from being at Tyler Perry Studios all of 2020 catering “in the bubble “ while production continued. Last year I taped two television shows for the Food Network. The first, “Guy’s Chance of a Lifetime” premiered Sunday January 2nd and runs for six weeks. I will also be featured on “Guy’s Grocery Games” and “Chopped”!
How can someone find where King Kabob is going to be vending?
Since most of our events now are catered the best way to get on our schedule is to give us a call(706.318.1223). When we are vending publicly we will put that information out on our social media (thekingkabob) and website (thekingkabob.com)
What would you do differently next time if you could launch your business again?
I can’t really say that I wish I had done any thing differently. I was disappointed that I couldn’t get funding when I started but what I did get made me work a little harder. So I have no regrets!