Colorful burgers from the Mercedes-Benz 307 D

The Mercedes-Benz 307D as a food truck at the Rheinau Docks in Cologne.

A food truck from the 1980s offers vegans in Cologne delicious alternatives to canteen food during their lunch break. The burgers from the Mercedes-Benz van are right up with the times: everything here is organic, regional and seasonal.

Organic and purely vegetable: the alternative to canteen food

With a spirited gesture Ulrich Glemnitz distribute the finely chopped olives and roasted pine nuts onto the richly laden buns which will cross the counter in a moment as the Don Corleone Italo Burger. The same time, Dr. Mario Binder prepares radishes and beetroot for the King Ludwig Alpine Burger. At “Bunte Burger”, the mobile organic restaurant in the Mercedes-Benz 307 D in Cologne, the extravagant burgers have a lot of prominent namesakes. The palette of flavors ranges from Bavaria to the Far East.

King Ludwig Alpine Burger - Foodtruck Bunte Burger

“Every burger is a composition of its own”, reveals Ulrich Glemnitz, who established the organic burger truck in 2014 together with Mario Binder. “As long as things never get boring.” Monotonous food was the inspiration for the mobile chefs. Because what are vegan supposed to eat for lunch when the canteen offers marinated beef yet again? Binder and Glemnitz wanted to counter this with “the best street food à la carte”.

Team play instead of hierarchies

Before Glemnitz and Binder dedicated themselves to street food they worked as managers. However, the path they had chosen was unfulfilling. The desire to increase day-to-day quality of life, even a little, was what drove them. That is why they swapped the office for the van and team play instead of hierarchies. “Together the work is simply fun and the atmosphere is good even despite the hectic pace here,” explains Glemnitz enthusiastically and pushes the black chef’s hat off his forehead. As a team the two have already handled a number of difficult situations. Such as when they once travelled from Cologne to Stuttgart to sell their products at the Evangelical Church Congress. The truck broke down halfway. And while stomachs were rumbling in Stuttgart, Glemnitz and Binder worked with the Mercedes-Benz emergency service and ADAC roadside assistance, doing everything they could to ensure that the burgers found their way to the hungry customers. They succeeded. “Staying calm was an extremely difficult test”, says Glemnitz summing up the event casually and cannot repress a grin.

Dr. Mario Binder and Ulrich Glemnitz preparing food in the D 307.

The desire to increase day-to-day quality of life, even a little, was what drove them. That is why they swapped the office for the van and team play instead of hierarchies.

Facing the hurdles of the food truck business with a good mood

The unique challenge of the food truck business? “Finding the right locations and events where vegan and organic burger concept will be well received.” And naturally the weather. “Once we were invited to the Amphi Festival in Cologne,” remembers Glemnitz and cuts a bread roll with a grin. “A music festival for the alternative music scene where there are a lot of vegans and vegetarians.” So the weather and the customers were right. “However, on the first day the wind was so strong that sales and the event had to be cancelled. We did not sell one single burger.” Glemnitz shakes his head. “When we were able to open the next day we were flooded with customers and sold the entire quantity planned for both days.” His motto for the food truck business: “You have to be able to improvise”, he says and adds with a laugh: “and you must never lose your good mood.” He spreads a few soyabeans on the Happy Buddha Asia Burger. Another lunch saved.

 
Profile of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter from Mario Binder and Ulrich Glemnitz:
Model: Mercedes-Benz 602 D 32
Commercial designation: 307 D custom retail vehicle
Date of first registration: 14.4.1981
Engine: Classic diesel engine with 48 kW

Bunte Burger Foodtruck
Cologne | Germany
www.bunteburger.de

Photos: Geli Klein

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