Mention "food truck," and fast-food staples like burgers and hot dogs pop immediately to mind for a lot of people. That was a problem for Chris Kim when he set out to launch Rolling Sushi, his mobile sushi restaurant in Orange County, California. He realized the idea of sushi sold from a food truck might give some potential customers pause, but he knew his skills as a chef and his unwavering commitment to quality and freshness would win them over, if only he could get them to try it. That's where the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter comes in. "They're not buying sushi from a food truck; I'm serving it to them from a Mercedes-Benz," he says. "The Sprinter helps us stand out from all the other food trucks on the road, and it projects an image that reflects the same kind of commitment to quality that we take with our food."
When Kim launched Rolling Sushi in 2010, his goal was to provide healthy food prepared in an eco-friendly mobile kitchen. "Our short-term goal was to show people that it is possible to get healthy food from a food truck. Our long-term goal is to spread the idea that you really can enjoy sushi anywhere and anytime," says the man whose typical breakfast consists of seafood miso soup and a bowl of rice.
“I don't feel like I'm driving a truck when I'm behind the wheel of the Sprinter because it's so comfortable, and the ride is so smooth.”
Healthy food served from an eco-friendly van
The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Model 3500 High Roof Cargo Van with 144-inch wheelbase was the perfect vehicle to launch Rolling Sushi and spread Kim's message for several reasons. "For starters, it's an eco-friendly, green vehicle, thanks to its BlueTEC diesel engine," he says, and the van's auxiliary generators run on propane, adding to the eco-friendly theme. With its capacious interior, the Sprinter easily accommodates a full-size sushi counter/prep station, a three-basin sink, a commercial deck oven, a frozen yogurt machine—all the tools the sushi chef needs to ply his trade and even serve dessert in the bargain.
"The neat, sleek exterior of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is a magnet for attracting customers, and with our colorful graphics wrap and beautiful illustrations of the food we serve, it really stands apart from other food trucks," Kim says. "It's maneuverable, comfortable, and easy to drive, and with its fuel efficiency, the Sprinter is saving us money."