A leap of faith led Ashley Outlaw to leave her corporate career to create a food truck specializing in gourmet nachos.
Outlaw says she chose nachos because they’re fun.
“People love nachos,” she said. “I came up with the base menu, but I knew that I could change it. I could change the toppings.”
Among her friends and family, she’s known for hosting and cooking meals from scratch. So, in December 2019, she turned her passion and creativity into a business: Nacho Average Truck.
In addition to gourmet nachos, Outlaw sells burritos and quesadillas, making many of her items from scratch, including her ranch topping and cilantro lime crema.
She decided on a base menu and website domain all in a single day.
Her entrepreneurial journey
Outlaw had no experience running a restaurant or cooking professionally. She’d spent the past decade working in technology and business-to-business sales.
Her transition hasn’t always been easy.
About three months after she launched, the engine on her truck went out and had to be replaced. Then, the Covid-19 pandemic came along, drastically changing how restaurateurs operated.
To make sales, Outlaw decided to take her food truck directly into neighborhoods and apartment complexes. She also expanded her menu offerings, starting with barbecue pork nachos and later offering Korean barbecue, chicken tinga and bacon cheeseburger nachos.
Outlaw says the beef nachos are her top-selling item. The burritos and quesadillas, she says, are popular with kids. “They’re a little less expensive than the nachos and [are] something that reheats.”
To nourish her creative side, Outlaw recently introduced a truffle mushroom and spinach quesadilla that, she says, has gotten positive reviews. Her personal favorite is the buffalo chicken nachos.
Before launching her business, Outlaw’s experience with food trucks was limited to placing lunch orders from the one that would come by her office each week. “It was always so busy,” she recalls, “and everyone looked forward to it.”
Like others in the food service industry, Outlaw says staffing shortages and high overhead costs still linger from the pandemic, so she has deferred her dream of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Instead, she’s now exploring the possibility of expanding to a food hall.
As the sole owner and operator of Nacho Average Truck, Outlaw says self-care is essential, so she prioritizes taking days off to spend time with friends and family. She also cooks on her days away from work…anything but nachos, she says.
Follow Nacho Average Truck on instagram to keep up with where they’ll be each week.