‘The Great Food Truck Race’: Fans Have Gripes, and the Finale Is Unlikely to Fix Them

The Great Food Truck Race has been on the Food Network for many years. On a network flooded with cooking competitions, The Great Food Truck Race is one of the few that values business acumen and cooking desires. Tyler Florence may throw competitive curveballs, but the mini-challenges help the bottom line. Furthermore, business savvy truck holders are crucial to those serving Michelin-status food for fast food prices. The most recent season, which brings back series all-stars, highlighted the good and bad of this concept. 

‘The Great Food Truck Race’ values business

Tyler Florence of 'The Great Food Truck Race' at the 75th anniversary Oscar Meyer Wienermobile truck debut
Tyler Florence of ‘The Great Food Truck Race’ | T Roth/WireImage via Getty Images

The Food Network and its many series are no stranger to controversies. While most shows let the food do all the talking, The Great Food Truck Race runs on the sheer capital gain. As such, chefs sometimes value money over food. This sometimes leads to awkward moments, such as the season when Reality Blurred notes how Korilla BBQ Truck was accused of padding its margins and was swiftly kicked off the show with minimal explanation. Korilla, for its part, denied any wrongdoing. 

However, the series runs on the type of drama that gets the people talking. As such, during the show’s most recent season, while many saw the Lime Truck playing the system when they put a $200 meal on the menu to drive their profits up further, others saw foul play. Their opponent, Seoul Sausage, took significant issue with this tactic, especially with the pandemic in the backdrop. As such, fans had a field day figuring who was right and who was wrong.

The Lime Truck incident

The Lime Truck’s shady, albeit legal tactics, had fans sticking up for Seoul Sausage. After all, for a channel that constantly makes affordable food a part of its most iconic restaurant shows, The Great Food Truck Race focuses more on the dollar. This strategy can lead to events where people put forward the cheapest food to secure their profit margins in the long haul. User “plump-pie” noted what the issue was in a thread on Reddit

“I [wanted to discuss] people’s thoughts on how the food trucks price their food. This really came to a head-on tonight’s episode with Lime truck’s $200 dish. I have a mixed opinion on it since I usually loathe when the trucks markup their prices cause they know their fans would support them regardless. However, the ‘taste the truck dish’ literally is everything on the truck and would cost that much regardless,” they wrote.

This thread kicked off an onslaught of other The Great Food Truck Race fans chiming in about what they believe to be a flaw in the show’s system. People want to see a show that’s less concerned with money and more concerned with high-quality eats. After all, when money becomes the measure of success, the food suffers the most. That sentiment was a common thread throughout the Reddit forum. 

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“Sausage was right,” wrote another user in the thread. “It’s pretty s*****y for them to do, with points matching up with yours, but on the other hand, the game is a hustle. Tyler would be pretty impressed they could sell their food for $200+ for a menu meal. If they’re able to make it and sell it, then one can’t be mad, they’re good at the selling point, and there’s nothing in the rules that say otherwise. Sausage (or others) don’t have to like it, but that’s the game.”

Heading into the finale, some saw The Lime Truck’s tactics, right or wrong, as the reason that they’d probably win the series. After all, just because other shows let the food gauge one’s success, it doesn’t mean that every show has to follow. The Lime Truck’s strategy ultimately paid off. In a Shakespearean twist of fate, they faced off against Seoul Sausage en-route to winning the All-Star season. 

Whether the victory was earned or helped by shady business practices, the series’s discourse is what makes The Great Food Truck Race unique in a heavily saturated field of other competitions. Chefs who want the food to do the talking have a million options to choose from. However, those who want to win on business skills can do so, thanks to shows like The Great Food Truck Race.