Shark Tank – Chi’lantro BBQ Food Truck Owner Drives A Hard Bargain

Shark Tank - Chi'lantro BBQ Food Truck Company Drives A Hard Bargin
Shark Tank - Chi'lantro BBQ Food Truck Company Drives A Hard Bargin

This week on Shark Tank, Austin, Texas entrepreneur Jae Kim pitches his Chi’lantro BBQ restaurant food truck company to the Sharks in episode 809. Chi’lantro specializes in Korean-Mexican fusion cuisine.


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Kim auditioned three times before receiving a green light from produces to make his big pitch in the Shark Tank.

He wrote the following message to fans on his company’s Facebook page:

This was my third attempt at trying out for Shark Tank. It meant so much more because I kept trying and trying just to have the opportunity to share my vision and passion with the sharks and millions of people around the world.

Jae Kim launched his Korean BBQ food truck business in 2010 and now boasts four brick-and-mortar restaurants in the Austin area with a fifth opening soon. The name Chi’Lantro is derived from the words kimchi and cilantro, two distinct cultural staples, aiming to reinvent traditional Korean and Mexican cuisine. The restaurant became famously known locally for its Kimchi Fries. The dish is available in five varieties, including Spicy Pork, Spicy Chicken, Soy-Glazed Chicken, Tofu and Ribeye Bee.

Feeding The Sharks

This week, Jae Kim is in the tank with five sharks, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and Chris Sacca.

The Ask

Jae Kim offered 15 percent of his business in exchange for a $600,000 investment.

  • Sales last year (2015): $4.7 million
  • Food Truck Sales: $300,000 to 400,000
  • Brick-and-mortar restaurant sales: $1 million to $1.5 million

Did The Sharks Bite?

Yes, Barbara Corcoran offered Jae Kim $600,000 for 30 percent of his business. Jae Kim countered with 20 percent. Corcoran accepted the offer. Jae Kim drove away with $600,000 and 20 percent less of his business.

A Closer Look

Here’s a video from Eat St. featuring Chi’lantro BBQ

Chi’Lantro BBQ, a mobile truck serving Korean-Mexican inspired tacos, burritos, quesadillas and burgers in Austin, Texas, zests things up with a little cilantro in nearly every dish.

The Reviews Are In

If and when available, we always like to take a look at online reviews of the businesses featured on Shark Tank. Over at Yelp, reviews for Chi’lantro are very positive. In fact, you’ll have a hard time finding a negative review. Below you will find excerpts from recent reviews.

Positive Reviews

  • it is ALL about the kimchi fries. If you haven’t tried them, get out from under that rock you’ve been living under. They are the bees knees
  • Kimchi Fries is the reason I go back to Chilantro. I also love their spicy chicken burger with a fried egg on top.
  • I never knew what I was missing until I tried kimchi fries during ACL. Now, I crave them.
  • Love love love this place. I love the food. It’s in a great location as well.

Negative Reviews

  • Super understaffed when we came. No one in line in front of us, yet it still took 30 minutes for our rice bowl kimchi fries to come out.

Shark Tank Episode 809 airs Friday, November 11, at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Images – ABC/Disney