A popular food truck that regularly sets up shop on campus is looking to raise $40,000 to fund a new venture.
Swizzler, a food truck that sells spiral-cut hot dogs with gourmet toppings, launched a campaign Tuesday through the platform Kickstarter to help get its broken down truck back on the road to sell grass-fed burgers. The company hopes to raise the funds by the beginning of next year to purchase repairs for the truck, a permit for the new venture and rebranded uniforms for employees.
Additional donations will go to maintaining the truck, stocking inventory and purchasing kitchen equipment and new logos for the existing hot dog truck and new burger truck.
The campaign has raised more than $4,100 with the help of 54 donors as of Thursday.
The new truck, which will be called Real American Eats, will swap spiral-cut hot dogs for a variety of burgers including the “O.G.” ($7.25), a burger topped with cheese, arugula, dill pickles and dijonnaise, and the “Swizz Stack” ($7.50), which is piled high with cheese, caramelized onions, arugula, candied jalapenos and “swizz” sauce. Customers can also add a second burger patty for an extra fee.
Swizzler’s hand-cut fries will also be available at the new food truck, where guests can choose between regular fries ($3.25) and parmesan truffle fries ($4.75).
Those who don’t eat meat can still eat at the Real American Eats truck because the menu will offer plant-based burgers like a classic veggie burger with a lentil-quinoa-sweet potato patty or the “Gigi on that Beet,” a quinoa-beet patty loaded with goat cheese crumbles, arugula, candied jalapenos and dijonnaise on top.
Jesse Konig, the company’s co-founder, said the new venture is an attempt at expanding their menu to revolutionize fast food as a whole.
“We think of Swizzler as this overarching idea of taking something, putting a twist on it and doing something different,” Konig said. “We want to create something called ‘Real American Eats,’ that fast food people grew up on and love, but with real ingredients and the same quality sourcing.”
The idea for a burger truck came after Swizzler ran farmers market stands around the District this past summer, where grass-fed burgers were served, which Konig said received “rave reviews.” Swizzler also served burgers last year at Prequel, a restaurant incubator located at 919 19th St. NW that hosts pop-ups.
The Swizzler team is also offering prizes and deals for supporters who donate to the Kickstarter, including deals on gift cards, catering packages and company-branded merchandise. For a donation of $1,000, fans can even get their name on the new truck and a $250 digital gift card.
Based on the amount they give, donors can also receive unique experiences like a restaurant crawl accompanied by the editor of EaterDC Tierney Plumb, a behind the scenes tasting with the Swizzler founders and a photography class with the blog Bitches who Brunch and District Doughnut, a doughnut shop with locations in Georgetown, Capitol Hill and The Wharf.
“We definitely want to get people that already know our food involved,” Konig said. “But we don’t want it to be purely people donating or charitable giving – which we appreciate – we want to deliver value.”
Once the new food truck launches, Konig said he aims to have dinner service a few nights a week where both the burger and hot dog trucks are on campus. He also said he plans to accept GWorld at the burger truck.