The cheese of Neapolitan pizzas caramelized in a rustic wood oven. The meat of handmade beef patties barbecued next to juicy red wine shallots on a close-meshed steel grill. A massamam curry cooked for several hours radiates hearty “umami aromas” in the air. “Do you smell it too,” asks Arjan de Hoon. “That’s why I do it,” he explains with a laugh. The Dutchman’s concept also worked this time. The three food trucks in the yard of a large Dutch medium-sized company are about to turn the company festivities into a street food festival.
Arjan De Hoon’s business is to make this transformation possible. He serves, so to speak, as an intermediary between customers and his business partners. With ToetToetFood he has created a platform on which interested parties can find suitable food trucks for their event. What sounds like unromantic business-to-business work is an achievement for him. Perhaps it is because of the 38-year-old’s great culinary enthusiasm, or alternatively, the nature of his business partners. Because food truck owners usually have a special character: they have successfully escaped a life full of professional stress and dependency. “For me, these people are artists. Therefore bureaucratic activities generally are not priority one,” the entrepreneur explains.
I wanted to offer food truck operators a platform where they could be presented and booked.
Based on this observation, Arjan de Hoons and a friend developed a website four years ago. “I wanted to offer food truck operators a platform where they could be presented and booked,” he explains. Over time, from a simple idea, a colorful pool of different food truck genres developed. He calls it ToetToetFood – simply because it is fun. What is “tut tut food” supposed to mean? “I want people to smile when they hear our name,” he says. The 38-year-old brings more and more customers and mobile restaurateurs together with his carefree business sense. The smile will never end.
The smile of Toine Rops is also part of the history of the platform. The mobile restaurateur’s concept has become a fixed pillar of ToetToetFood’s diversity of genres. A huge banner is emblazoned on the roof of his food truck: “Ecopizza” is written in wooden letters. The name speaks for itself. Toine Rops sells handmade, Neapolitan organic pizzas out of a big van. The independent entrepreneur is one of many prime examples. In 2011, he fulfilled his life’s dream by converting an old Mercedes-Benz 609 D into a food truck. “This old van combined everything I had imagined: a hip retro look, combined with classic lines and, of course, more than reliable engine,” he explains. Nevertheless, that alone is not enough; Rops could not make a living from his business in the early days.
When Toine Rops discovered ToetToetFood, everything changed: the booking tool gave him access to an extremely lucrative network. The orders accumulated. Then he realized that the money he had earned was enough to make a living. “Thanks to the platform, I am now largely active at corporate events and festivals,” he says. Would it have been possible to become self-employed without ToetToetFood? “Maybe. But it made it a lot easier for me to get started in my new life,” replies the food truck owner. In the background, you hear the sound of an incoming mail. “That could be a request from Arjan,” says Toine Rops. He gets up, opens the screen of his notebook and immediately grins.
The shown conversions were carried out by independent third parties. The suppliers and conversions were not checked by Mercedes-Benz. In this respect, these illustrations do not represent an assessment of the supplier and/or conversions by Mercedes-Benz.