Dayton-area food truck to close at end of October

Credit: Natalie Jones

Credit: Natalie Jones

After nearly five years in business, Smokin’ Inferno BBQ & Catering food truck is permanently closing at the end of this month.

“I love what I do, but it has taken so much time and it’s becoming increasingly hard to really be profitable,” said owner Dante Roe. “I think it’s time to step away because I’m exhausted myself.”

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Credit: Alexis Larsen

Roe had never worked in the restaurant industry prior to starting the food truck. He found his passion for smoking meats after buying a smoker on sale for $100 at Home Depot.

He started the food truck out of the pure enjoyment of playing with flavors and seasonings, but over the past year it has been a struggle. Roe said it takes a lot to do what he does. He is a one man team when it comes to shopping, prepping and cooking the meats and sides. It typically takes 70 to 80 hours a week, which leaves little time for him to spend with his family.

In addition, the food truck has struggled to be profitable. Setting up at breweries were previously their bread and butter, but in recent years it hasn’t been as beneficial. This year they tried to take a different path by setting up at large events, but Roe said it didn’t really work.

“I’m sure we could probably make it work if I were to raise prices, but the one thing I always said was I always wanted to give people food at a fair price,” Roe said. “Even though the cost of materials and supplies were always higher, I always wanted to be fair to people.”

Customers have loved the food truck’s BBQ Sundaes featuring cornbread, beans, mac and cheese and smoked meat layered in a cup in addition to their ribs and brisket street tacos.

“There’s nothing that feels better than to have somebody that you serve who walks away, eats their food, and then comes back and tells you how much they enjoyed it.”

Roe’s favorite memory was winning Best Wings at the 2022 Kickin’ Chicken Wing Fest in Kettering.

“Honestly, it was completely unexpected,” Roe said. “I didn’t see it coming. We were just three guys trying to pump out wings as fast as we could to maintain our line.”

Roe would like to give a humble thank you to the customers that continued to support them year after year.

“Without them we wouldn’t exist,” Roe said. “We would have never had the run that we did.”

Smokin’ Inferno will be at Southern Ohio Brewing in Beavercreek from 5 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, Friday the 13th in Fairborn from 4 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 and Pumpkin Fest at Austin Landing from 1 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14.

The food truck’s last event will be Saturday, Oct. 28 at Southern Ohio Brewing. Roe said he’s not exactly sure what’s next, but plans to take some time to figure it out.

For more information and updates, visit the food truck’s Facebook page (@SmokinInfernoBBQ).

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