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Meet John Ou of The Fix on Wheels

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Ou.

John, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am the owner of The Fix on Wheels. The Fix on Wheels is a food truck that is based on The Fix Burger restaurant in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Founded nine years ago by Paulo Joo, The Fix Burger focuses on making burgers with high-quality ingredients and proprietary recipes. Since that time, The Fix Burger has become a favorite of residents in the Silver Lake and Hollywood areas. Some of their most popular burgers include the Silverlake Burger, the Rodeo Burger, the Fix on Fire, and the Seoul and Ono Burgers.

As a customer, I had the privilege of trying The Fix Burger over a year ago, and I was completely blown away by the burgers they served. After a nearly two-decade career as a bond trader on Wall Street, I was looking for something more personally fulfilling. A mutual friend of Paulo’s and mine mentioned that we might want to do something together. That idea became The Fix on Wheels.

Since not everyone has the ability to drive out to Silver Lake to experience The Fix Burger, I thought it would be great to put the concept on a truck. So, this is it. The menu is abridged, but the favorites are there. The burgers are scaled to be 1/4-pound patties so we can cook things more efficiently and quickly on a truck (1/2-pound burgers will feature two patties), but the taste and recipe is the same.

I look forward to sharing The Fix Burger experience with you.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has had challenges, like learning any new business. A big part of the learning curve is where to park and the adage that “location” is the most important thing. And learning that a lot of the good locations are run by organizers and bookers.

Also, there are lots of fixed costs and a million ways to hang yourself because there are lots of variables and lots of constraints. For example, we have a commissary where we store our refrigerated (beef and produce) and frozen items (fries). The commissary is open from 4 am to 4 pm. Making sure we have enough on our truck between lunch and dinner and not having to make another trip to the commissary to reload is one challenge. Another one is having leftover stuff that can’t get put back into the commissary until the following day at 4 am because we made it back to the commissary too late.

There are a lot more challenges, but in the end, you do this because you love doing this. The money can be okay, but it is feast or famine.

The Fix on Wheels – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We are a gourmet burger truck. We have some competition which we feel make great products, as well We all know each other or know of each other, so we have mutual respect. But we are competitors.

I feel we offer a high quality, big burger for a very reasonable price. Our burgers are comparable to Umami Burger or Father’s Office, but we give you more food for less money and we pull right up to your location.

We have only been in business less than a year but have already gotten rave reviews and been booked for a lot of catering events. One of our best references is the Riviera Country Club, who have used us three times and love our food.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is doing what makes you happy and being able to pay the bills along the way. You can get more detailed that that, but that’s the essence of success to me.

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