When the Burrito Bande plans another weekly ambush you need to be quick. So put down your pen. Quickly but carefully leave your workplace and head outside. Because there it is: the food truck from Jan Dinter and Oliver Meiser, matte black and painted with the red bandit logo. “Ambush” is what they call their live cooking in the food truck whose current location is announced via social media. Their stuffed tortillas with names like “Cowboy Bill”, “Chicken Bob” and “Greenhorn Jack” have been praised by the press and “The Gourmet” magazine even described them as a “true masterpiece”. So if you do not want to be left standing in the queue during an ambush, you need to prove how fast you can react.
Jan Dinter stands in front of one of his seven Vario food vans and shrugs his shoulders with a smile: “We were surprised just how well the last year went.” They have travelled to 42 cities and primarily provided business catering in addition to mid-day meals. “Three years ago we were still sitting in the kitchen”, says the 38-year-old with a laugh. “We were just tossing around ideas and wanted to change the world. Now we have a company with a 200 employees during the peak season.” It is almost impossible to believe that the economists who met while studying launched their first “ambush” with just the two of them. With no idea about cooking but with a vision. The vision of a burrito whose flavor is the result of preparation and quality instead of generous seasoning. They worked with three chefs to develop the recipe – from 24 hour braised beef to the barbecue sauce. They refer to it as “slow fast food” or: “an attack on the taste buds”. Then they got into their Vario food truck and opened the business.
“It was important to us to sell the burritos in the right vehicle,” says Dinter. He now primarily handles the company’s sales and marketing: “Anything but a boring food trailer. Instead we wanted a vehicle which reflects the origins of all food trucks: America.” That is why the trucks had to be robust, angular and cool. “The Mercedes-Benz Vario was the perfect fit for this look.”
The company is now doing so well that the two gourmet bandits have gone on to establish a second brand: “Burger Unplugged” with pulled beef and pork. “Our success is also because of the mobility which our company is based on,“ explains Dinter. “We can be at one event at lunch and somewhere else in the evening where we offer completely different things. In contrast to a restaurant, we are always an eye-catcher at the event.” That magically attracts people. No one has to shout “hands up” any more. In an ambush by the Burrito Bande the people surrender voluntarily.