Three Business Lessons From the Burger Truck Known as ‘Hooters on Wheels’

Listen To The Another Bite Podcast for The Full Episode
Bailey Maybray
Bailey Maybray


Finding the right way to scale your business takes careful planning. But on “Shark Tank,” the owners of Baby’s Badass Burgers sought an investment to scale their food truck business into a… brick-and-mortar restaurant.

An angel hands out money.

On the Another Bite podcast, hosts Jorie Munroe, Ariel Boswell, and Jon Dick dive into the episode to analyze Baby’s Badass Burgers pitch and business model. The trio turns the episode into a lesson on standout branding, sticking with your niche, and seeking investors.

To get their full thoughts and a dose of humor, check out the full episode on the HubSpot Podcast Network.

1. Lean into branding that pops

First and foremost, the Sharks adore the company’s branding. They drench their trucks in a dollop of pink magenta. They give quirky, risque names to their burgers and sides (can I get “The Bombshell” with a side of Sweetie Pie Fries?). Even their name, Baby’s Badass Burgers, sticks out amongst the lineup of ordinary food trucks.

The company’s branding gives them an edge over their competitors. Their customers know to look for a food truck straight out of the Barbie movie. Other businesses can take a page out of their branding playbook by:

  • Picking brand colors that pop compared to competitors
  • Making every part of your business (e.g., email, copy, product names) an extension of a distinct brand
  • Leaning into your brand’s unique value proposition

2. Use your business as a model when scaling

Baby’s Badass Burgers reached a point where they wanted to transition into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Their food trucks continued to pump out revenue. But scaling a food truck business often means buying more food trucks, so they figured, why not open a stand-alone restaurant?

But the Sharks point out this line of thinking makes no sense. Running a food truck business differs from operating a restaurant. When figuring out how to scale, you should use your business model as your foundation because it:

  • Tells you what works — and what doesn’t — about your business
  • Makes the transition from one phase of growth to another easier
  • Assures yourself that a similar, scalable business model works

3. Investors need a solid proof of concept

The Sharks see potential in expanding Baby’s Badass Burgers. But they resist the idea of turning the food truck company into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Why? Because the entrepreneurs lack evidence of Baby’s Badass Burgers translating into a standing restaurant.

They encouraged the owners to consider alternative ways to scale, but they resisted, and so the Sharks swam away. In the end, Baby’s Badass Burgers walked away with no investments.

Baby’s Badass Burgers left empty-handed because they had no proof of concept. They came in with a strong business model, flaunted it to the Sharks, and then asked them to invest in something completely different.

If they tested the waters for a few years (e.g., by validating that their concept works as a brick-and-mortar restaurant), then the Sharks would have reason to believe and invest in them.

Any entrepreneur looking for investors should always prepare themselves with evidence to validate their idea, whether that means testing it out by creating a minimum viable product or conducting customer research.

To learn more insights from Baby’s Badass Burgers, remember to listen to the full episode from Another Bite.

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