Flores Food Trucks: Feeding Souls and Filling Hearts

Aug 15, 2023

Chef Austin Flores owns and operates two Flores Food Trucks – one inside Buffalo Stamping Plant (BSP), and one outside Lima Engine Plant (LEP) – but his presence within the plants is so much more. Ford employees not only rave about Flores’ food – authentic quesadillas, street tacos, homemade empanadas, fresh paella – but the dining experience itself, which is all part of Ford’s $1 billion, five-year commitment kicked off in 2022 to upgrade the workplace experience for employees.   

A graduate of the renowned Culinary Institute of America (CIA), widely recognized as the most prestigious culinary school in America and among the best in the world, Flores credits the experience he offers his customers to the years he spent in food service at the exclusive Ritz Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico. (The Reserve is described as offering, “a distinctive personality that blends together the culture, history and heritage of its setting; a relaxed, casually elegant atmosphere; and an exceptional level of individualized service.”) 

I want to transport Ford employees to a wonderful place – Mexico City, Lima, Madrid – through delicious, authentic food. I want to feed their souls and fill their hearts.
Austin Flores

“The Reserve truly left an impression on me. It shaped the customer-centric ideals and principles that I strive for every day in my own business,” explains Flores. “I want to transport Ford employees to a wonderful place – Mexico City, Lima, Madrid – through delicious, authentic food. I want to feed their souls and fill their hearts.”

But it’s not just his cooking chops and his commitment to employees that have made Flores successful at Ford. Flores’ Ford roots run deep. His grandfather, Bargaining Union Rep Pedro Johnson Flores, was a 26-year Ford employee, as is his father – 30-year Lima Engine Plant toolmaker Marcos Antonio Flores. And we mustn’t forget Aunt Rosie “Rosario” Flores, who works at Kentucky Truck Plant with Flores’s cousin; Aunt “Soli” Soledad Irene Hoskins who’s at Livonia Transmission Plant; and Uncles Carlos and Miguel Flores who were team members at the former Milan and Saline plants.

Ford is family and being here is like cooking for family, which makes the food and the experience that much better.
Austin Flores

“We love making food and taking it in different directions, and we love making people happy. We’re so fortunate to be able to do both here at Ford,” said Flores. 

Forever true to his customer-centric principles, Flores wanted to make the dining experience for the Ford manufacturing team easily accessible. Understanding the plants are massive and breaktime limited, Flores had the idea to enable employees to order food on demand and scheduling delivery – via golf cart – right to their spot on the line. 

“We wanted to bring the experience to all workers. With advance ordering, we can deliver hot, fresh and delicious food to workers, on demand. We have, in fact, turned the factory into one giant restaurant – and brought new meaning to the moniker, Insta Cart,” said Flores.

Team members at Louisville Assembly Plant (LAP) recently got a first-time taste of Flores’s food at the plant’s Family Open House …

Flores’s smash burger – seared inside and out – is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.
Mike Parker
LAP’s facilities maintenance planner

Mike’s wife, Julie Parker, LAP inspector, raved, “I don’t usually eat ice cream, but the chocolate ice cream is to die for!” 

Hungry? Chef Flores and his Flores Food Truck and Catering food trucks will be “feeding souls and filling hearts” at nearly every Open House location this summer. Bon appetite!