Ay Caray! A
Mexican Food Truck
It all started in the bustling kitchens of La Hosteria de Santo Domingo, the oldest restaurant in Mexico City, where Gabriel Orozco Arellano grew up. As a young man, Gabriel held various roles in this famous establishment, from dishwasher to waiter, eventually becoming a chef. Here he first felt drawn to the culinary world, while working on dishes such as 'Chiles en nogada', which would remain a favorite. At the age of 28, Gabriel moved to Oaxaca, a region in Mexico renowned for its diverse cuisine. There he started his own bar/dance club, Freebar, which was successful enough to get a mention in the Lonely Planet. However, it was meeting his future wife, Stéphanie, from the Netherlands, that would change Gabriel's life.
Mexican Cuisine On Wheels
For love, he moved to Amsterdam, where he quickly found a position as a chef in one of the city's first Mexican restaurants, Roses Cantina. But after years of working in various restaurants, Gabriel could not suppress his entrepreneurial spirit. Combining his love for cooking and his experience in the hospitality industry, he decided to start his own business - a food truck named Ay Caray!. This name is a commonly used expression in Mexico that expresses both surprise and admiration. And it's exactly the reaction Gabriel hoped to receive with his authentic Mexican dishes, served from his food truck. His inspiration came from his wife, Stephanie, who suggested the idea of a rolling Mexican restaurant. They wanted to offer something different from the usual Tex-Mex food trucks, and that's exactly what they did. Gabriel: "I thought, why work for someone else? I can do it myself! Then I can also make real, authentic Mexican dishes, which I grew up with."
“I needed an ordering system during the COVID crisis. ”
Ups and Downs
Gabriel has a lot of work experience and learned a lot about practical and financial matters from his wife, who is a DTP designer with a background in commercial economics. However, the start of Ay Caray! was not without challenges. The purchase of the food truck was a big investment and Gabriel had to get used to the unpredictable Dutch weather, with rain and wind. Gabriel: "The toughest moment was a winter storm with temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius, which caught us during a catering job. But even this job had satisfied customers!". The low point was when almost all his assignments were canceled due to the COVID crisis. But Ay Caray! was able to keep afloat during this period. Gabriel's hard work and dedication have paid off: Ay Caray! is now a well-known name in the Dutch food truck scene, loved for its authentic Mexican dishes and the lively Mexican atmosphere it brings.
"Vev even adds preparation time for my orders."
Vamos with Vev!
His advice to other entrepreneurs? "Just dare, just do it and take risks!" He also emphasizes the importance of technology in running a business. Ay Caray! uses the ordering software from Vev, to manage pre-orders from customers. Gabriel: "I started using Vev because this order software offers the perfect solution for many of my assignments. And it's also free!” Some catering orders run best if all guests or visitors can pre-order their dishes. Gabriel knows exactly what he needs to buy and when to serve each dish. And it prevents food waste. Gabriel: “I can easily determine the size of the time-slots and the Vev software even takes into account the preparation time of the dishes served before and after. The work then runs smoothly and the guests are satisfied!”
"I try to make the most of our gorgeous food truck with images and video."
What is the secret of your success? Gabriel: "Quality sells itself. Everything is fresh with us, which leads to good reviews and lots of positive word of mouth. In addition, I'm active on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram. In doing so, I try to make the most of our gorgeous and photogenic food truck with images and video." Gabriel's story is a testament to resilience, passion, and perseverance. From the kitchens of Mexico City to the neighborhoods in the Netherlands, he brought his love for Mexican cuisine and his entrepreneurial spirit to create something unique and beloved. And for the future? Gabriel plans to continue and add more vegetarian and vegan options to his menu, as he knows there's always room for growth and improvement.