The owner of Coyote’s Bistro on Franklin Avenue bought a food truck in 2020 but life just got in the way.
Edward But thought his son could run the truck but now But is putting the call out to people to send him business proposals to “take this food truck with run with it” next summer.
But is calling this Coyote’s Den. It will operate like the TV show Dragons’ Den, and similar to how the City of Yellowknife runs the Wildcat Cafe.
Once But selects the winner, he will help them based on his experience of owning and running several businesses in Yellowknife to learn to run the food truck for one season.
“Normally, (someone) going and jumping on a venture like this would probably have to buy a food truck for about $20,000 or $30,000,” But said. “It’s tough to get ahead here already with our cost of living. I want to give a chance and opportunity for somebody to do this… every year, it could be a different vendor or it could be the same person, if it works well.”
He said he will help “dress up” the food truck, ensuring all of the elements are in place. His help will come with a fee and a cut of the profits.
“I’m going to see if I feel that we can do business together and give them an opportunity,” he said.
He said he has received many emails and private messages on Facebook already, but he wants to let the people think about it for a few days and get them to draw up a plan, not want somebody telling him: “I want to do a taco truck.”
“If you want to win this, follow the rules, draw up a business plan, make an appointment with me and sell me on the pitch, then we got a deal,” But said. “The more ironclad their business proposal is… the better chance that they have of winning.”
In the business proposal, But said he wants the food truck to have a name, the kind of food the proponent will serve and how they will run the food truck.
“I can help them with the vendors with all the food purveyors but I want to know how they’re going to prepare the food, who’s going to cook the food, who is going to be the one taking the money and who’s going to be the one in the front taking the orders… I want an ironclad business plan,” But said. “I think this can be a really good opportunity for some young entrepreneur that has a little bit of passion for food and (the) energy to take a bull by its horns and go make some money,” he said.
He said he has 30 years of restaurant experience from being a food and beverage manager at the Explorer Hotel 27 years ago, as well as owning a pizza shop and a coffee shop. Then he opened the first location for Coyote’s Bistro by Range Lake Road.
Then six years ago, there was a fire at that location and But “lost everything.”
In a month and 10 days, he moved Coyote’s Bistro downtown to its current Franklin Avenue location.
“I have the fastest record of opening up any restaurant in town,” he said.