California dream with the Hungarian lángos
Gábor Rill was born to a catering family. His family’s enterprise, Catering Ltd is still operating today. He studied at a catering school and he went to Hilton for practice. He was planning to go to London, but Waldorf Astoria made him stay in the USA. He did not work there for long, as Hilton offered him a permanent job. He worked as front office manager in Atlanta for four years, then moved to San Francisco.
In the multicultural environment, in which one can taste several nation’s cuisine from French to Basque, he began to miss the Hungarian tastes. It was a market gap waiting to be filled.
His first idea was to bake chimney cake. He purchased an oven and learned baking from YouTube. He managed to sell his first twelve pieces at first try.
He was aware of the risks and expenses of starting an enterprise, but he was still enthusiastic about the chimney cake business. He was selling his products from a tent, and they were quite popular, but he realized that something salty is needed to gain a wider clientele.
He was thinking about purchasing a foodtruck, but it was too expensive and risky. Such a truck costs about a hundred thousand dollars in California — it is the double of a new Tesla’s price — so Gábor decided to get a trailer from Oregon. He brought equipment from Hungary, thus he gathered everything for 40,000 dollars. He also purchased an off-road vehicle to tow the trailer, and he also copyrighted the “Rill’s Chimney Cake” brand, which cost him 5,000 dollars and two years.
He stated that foodtrucking is not all peaches and cream, as authorities tend to penalize for even the smallest mistakes. They are mainly protecting the restaurants with fix places and so are very strict with their rivals. There are sanitary checks every month.
Gábor and his crew drive from event to event around the Bay. They made 40,000 dollars in the recent three months. He stated that it is favorable to invest into a Hungarian restaurant. The salaries in California are high and the people are open to any novelties. The only thing that has to be kept in mind is to constantly scan the market.
The feedbacks are quite positive: Gábor’s langoses currently have an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 on Yelp!.