Friday, November 23, 2012

Grand Hyatt's Food Truck Fakeout: It's the Off the Grid Food Truck in Drag

Tooling down Stockton Street to check out the Black Friday madness, I spotted what appeared to be a shiny new food truck being tweaked on the plaza in front of the Grand Hyatt Hotel.  It was emblazoned with the hotel's name as well as the name of the Grand Hyatt's new OneUP Restaurant and Lounge. I knew that the Hyatt had previously hosted some of Off the Grid's stalwart truckers, but was this their attempt to one up (as it were) the Hilton Financial Distract's permanent Coffee Shack with an actual food truck of their very own?  Well, not exactly, at least not for now.

I talked to one of the principals who identified himself simply as "Ben" from the Hyatt (as did the badge on his shirt).  He told me that the truck was there as a two-and-a-half month promotion for the OneUP Restaurant and Lounge.  Initially it would be offering free samples of OneUP's food ("come back at two," said Ben, though I was unable to), but halfway through the promotional period they planned to actually be selling food from the truck. And what  becomes of the truck after its two-and-a-half-month run?  Well, it turns out that the truck will revert to its owner, Off the Grid. Yes, the truck is actually none other than the black and white one OtG uses to host chefs like it did for Farm255's Whitney Otawka at the 2012 San Francisco Street Food Festival, with a new wrap over its paint job. Ben also revealed that the truck was provided by a partnership of Matt Cohen (who forever finds new ways to monetize his resources and knowledge) and William Pilz of HapaSF, who presumable will consult on the fine points of serving food from a truck.

Before posting this I checked the Grand Hyatt's website for more information, and they apparently do have plans for a truck of their very own, so the Off the Grid truck in drag may be just a  stand-in until they get their act together. The plot thickens.

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