Tasty Fresh Food Co : Conquering the Lunch Truck Concept

Josh RayfieldLiam PyeRachel Carr
Josh Rayfield - Head of Projects Liam Pye - Project Manager Rachel Carr - Junior Editor
Highlights
  • Today, Tasty Fresh Food Co's fleet of 200 vans serve 40,000 customers daily at their workplaces across four states in Australia.
  • “Our employees are proactive, driven, and upbeat. We aim to take care of our staff so they can look after the customer,” says Colin Lear, Director, Tasty Fresh Food Co.
  • Tasty Fresh's efficient and convenient model ensures workers across Australia can maximise their break times, and enjoy the food and drinks that they love the most.

Celebrating 45 years of delivering convenient cuisine to workplaces, Tasty Fresh Food Co’s Director, Colin Lear, discusses the company’s family ties to feeding Australia’s workforce and its future plans.

CONQUERING THE LUNCH TRUCK CONCEPT

Whilst he was a young man raising a family, Colin Lear, Director of Tasty Fresh Food Co (Tasty Fresh), was inspired to enter the food and beverage industry.  

His decision was influenced by his father, who ran a logistics company, and his in-laws, who owned a general store. 

“I bought a second-hand lunch truck after observing two operational businesses and pouncing on an opportunity,” Lear opens. 

“As a land surveyor who had never heard of the lunch truck concept, I was intrigued when I saw it and envisaged myself running a fleet of them,” he adds.  

Lear, and his wife, Carly, purchased the first van in 1979 and together they built their business through trial and error. Following decades of continuous growth, this year marks the company’s 45th anniversary. 

“Five years ago, we celebrated our 40th anniversary with a huge party that was fantastic for the entire team. For our upcoming celebration, we will spread the joy to our loyal customers,” says Lear.

AN INDUSTRY ON THE INCREASE

Today, a fleet of 200 vans serves 40,000 customers daily at their workplaces across four states in Australia. The produce is sourced from Tasty Fresh’s bakeries and production facilities in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Newcastle.  

Each location is bustling with activity as they create salads, rolls, wraps, sandwiches, sushi, pies, sausage rolls, cakes, and pastries for customers to enjoy. 

“Every business day of the year, our Van Sales Managers sell our full range with a smile,” Lear notes.   

The business has seen a clear upward trajectory since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Unlike many organisations in the Australian food and beverage industry, Tasty Fresh was a safe retail environment option because it served customers outside in the fresh air. 

“Our communications team progressed and matured over that time. Our online presence increased, and we introduced a bonus incentive for our sales team. In addition to that, the recruitment strategy became more targeted. We now have 600 fantastic employees working at Tasty Fresh each day,” he emphasises.  

Tasty Fresh has also successfully launched in Queensland and implemented several initiatives in recent years. 

“No single solution has been a magic wand for Tasty Fresh. We have a proven, tested service, and we maintain effective and reliable systems.  

“We’re committed to offering great products and convenience to our customers at their workplace. With the help of technology, we are continuously striving for improvement. The model is just gaining momentum,” Lear says optimistically.

“Our employees are proactive, driven, and upbeat. We aim to take care of our staff so they can look after the customer”

Colin Lear, Director, Tasty Fresh Food Co

GENERATIONAL VOCATION

Lear prioritises continuous improvement and shaping operations around the family business. 

Indeed, Carly played a significant role in building the company’s initial success before Lear’s children, Katherine and Matt, joined the company. As such, the family has always been at the core of Tasty Fresh and has become ingrained in its DNA.  

“I’ve always wanted the family to be involved so I’m glad they’ve shown a strong interest. When Matt was in high school, he started by helping load the vans and even convinced his friends to pitch in. Now, he manages his own workplace food service called Tasty Xpress,” Lear prides. 

Meanwhile, after gaining experience in sales, marketing, and communications, Katherine launched the Boardroom Catering division of Tasty Fresh and managed internal recruitment while supporting her father’s work.  

“Our eldest daughter, Michelle, worked in the kitchen during the early days too. Now, many of the staff who have been with us for years feel part of the extended Tasty Fresh family; we truly operate as a family business in every sense of the word.” 

Since the company’s inception 45 years ago, Lear has witnessed the progression and development of Australian industry in general. 

“Population growth and expansion in the Industrial estates around Melbourne has been impressive to witness. We serve businesses in and around those estates each and every working day, so we’ve seen a lot of growth over the years. 

“Jayco Campervans is an excellent example. We started servicing them during our early days in a small factory in Bayswater, Victoria. Now, after 45 years, we provide services to over 1,000 of their employees across various locations. The two businesses have grown side by side,” says Lear.

“The menu offers a variety of options, and the hot chicken fillet suggests Aussies are getting used to spicy food. Our classic sausage rolls and country bakery-style pies are still the most popular items on our menu”

Colin Lear, Director, Tasty Fresh Food Co

THE FOOD FRONTIER

Tasty Fresh aims to be the best food and beverage service available for Australian workers. Its efficient and convenient model ensures that workers can maximise their break times, and enjoy the food and drinks that they love the most.  

“We move with the business and work to ensure everyone’s food and beverage requirements are met. This eliminates the hassle of employees leaving their place of work to go to the shops, and removes the hassle of running a canteen onsite,” notes Lear. 

Australia’s diverse workforce has led Tasty Fresh to create a menu that caters for different cultural cuisine preferences such as sushi and pan rolls. Additionally, its spinach and ricotta rolls or Mexican bean burittos are great options for vegetarians.  

“The menu offers a variety of options, and the hot chicken fillet suggests Aussies are getting used to spicy food. Our classic sausage rolls and country bakery-style pies are still the most popular items on the menu,” Lear confirms. 

Another exciting initiative is the app, which notifies customers when a Tasty Fresh van is about to arrive and offers exclusive deals such as 50 percent off sausage rolls. 

“The app currently offers great value to customers but we’re looking to enhance this value even further.”  

Suppliers, including Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Frucor Suntory, and Four’N Twenty, will support giveaways and competitions on the app as part of Tasty Fresh’s 45th anniversary celebrations. 

“All of our valued customers will have the chance to celebrate our 45th anniversary by participating in a contest for the grand prize of a luxury holiday. The odds of winning are quite favourable, so we hope everyone will download the app and participate.  

“Our goal is to develop the app to allow us to communicate with our customers regarding their product feedback, loyalty rewards, and any other necessary information to provide the best possible food and beverage service to our customers,” finishes Lear.

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By Josh Rayfield Head of Projects
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Josh Rayfield is Head of Projects for Outlook Publishing. Josh is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Josh is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Josh to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.
By Liam Pye Project Manager
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Liam Pye is a Project Manager for Outlook Publishing. Liam is responsible for showcasing corporate stories in our digital B2B magazines and Digital Platforms, and sourcing collaborations with Business Leaders, Brands, and C-suite Executives to feature in future editions. Liam is actively seeking opportunities to collaborate. Reach out to Liam to discover how you and your business could be our next cover story.