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Well-oiled machine

Well-oiled machine

Mike and Lori Eiserman are taking years of foodservice experience on the road

By Chris Cornwall

From serving prison inmates to Yale University fundraisers, Mike Eiserman has worked every venue that the food service industry has to offer. Now the retired Army Veteran is taking his skills on the road with Dizzy Izzy’s Food Truck.

Mike and Lori Eisermen. Photo by Chris Cornwall

He and wife Lori recently moved from Kansas City, KS. when she took on a new job in Hendricks County. The move allowed the couple set a decade-long business plan into motion (literally).

“We originally wanted to open up a BBQ place in Chicago, but there is just too much politics in that area,” Mike said. “The Indianapolis area is food truck friendly. One example is that I only need one food permit for all of Hendricks County, rather than for
each individual city. It’s just simpler.”

From Chicago, the couple moved to Evansville, then Kansas City, and finally to Danville where they purchased their own food-truck.

“We didn’t borrow any money at all,” Mike said. “This is a total cash operation. We took everything we had a put it into this truck.” With Mike’s knowledge of food service, he says he was ableto base his menu on the cooking equipment that came with truck rather than

looking for one to fit a pre-conceived menu. The other factor that went into choosing a menu was the need to provide fast service.

“From the time someone orders the food, I aim to have it served in less than three minutes,” he said. “A lot of our customers are at distribution centers where we feed 30-40 people in a half-hour.”

To make this happen, Mike needed to calibrate the cook times in a way that each entrée and its side-dish would both be ready to eat in two and a half minutes. He said this involved choosing the right cooking oils and temperatures, fries, cuts of meat, and prepping fresh ingredients (sometimes at four in the morning).

So what’s been the most popular item at Dizzy Izzy’s?

“We sell a lot of pork tenderloins,” Mike said. “When I was in the army, I was stationed in Germany for 10 years, which is where I got the inspiration for a Germanstyle schnitzel that’s tenderized and breaded. It’s crispier and well-seasoned.”

Mike also smokes his own brisket at the 4-H Fairgrounds where his truck and commissary are located.

Food-trucking, however, is about more than having a successful menu says, Lori.  “A big part of it is making the right contacts,” she said. “You need to figure which events are worth traveling to – does it make business sense? You also want to be able to do business through the winter like caterings
and sporting events. When it gets cold, no one wants to stand outside for their food.”

Despite Mike’s foodservice experience and Lori’s business know-how, they understand that being new to scene puts them at a disadvantage. Yet it is this same combination of experience and business sense that makes them optimistic about the future.

“This is our first year, so we are a little behind the curve,” Mike said. “But if you have good food, continue to learn about the area you serve, and make the right contacts then your first year will be the hardest. The second year will be booked.”

For more information about Dizzy Izzy’s Food Truck, call (317) 563-1237 or check out facebook.com/DizzyIzzysFoodTruck.

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