How Food Trucks Are Coping With Coronavirus

g's taco spot on wheels hands out meals at Dream Center

We checked out what all the Foodtruckrs on our Facebook groups to see what they were doing during this unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic.

What we found is a mix of reactions. Many trucks have voluntarily closed down for the time being and reassessing each week based on how their state and local government are reacting. Other trucks have closed down simply to protect the public and their own families, especially if they have family members that are immune-compromised.

“We took the difficult decision to close [at the moment] over here in the UK! To be fair had we stayed open we probably would have been so busy but and this is the crux with an illness that spreads this quickly and hurts so many and yet can also be without symptoms I’d rather lose money and struggle and know I haven’t spread this thing or contributed to it’s spread so trying to wait it out!”

But some trucks believe that selling in a safe manner is a necessity to support local communities. After all, with so many restaurants closed, people have fewer options. Especially individuals and families that depend on buying hot meals and cannot easily prepare meals for themselves.

“We have residence in our communities that rely on restaurants for meals due to various reasons that are often out of their control. We are marked essential for a reason. It’s important that those who can serve the communities that they live in do so. We will stay open as long as we possibly can. We are taking lots of measures to social distance when not at work and use extra precautions while shopping and such.”

Below are quotes from some food trucks that are choosing to stay open and serve the public safely. (We’ve kept them anonymous)

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1. Almost all trucks are being extra safe and cautious.

“We’re taking extra precautions. Nothing on the outside shelf. People seem to be distancing themselves by my truck and are very nice and working with me.”

“Just being xtra cautious of course. Seriously considering delivery next week too.. Our customers have been respectful of each other’s space so far it’s been thankfully going well. Also we posted a public service announcement of our safety measures.”

2. Some food trucks are experimenting with different payment models.

“Just an idea guys. We have gone to a pay what you can model and I’ve got to tell you it has worked out amazing.”

3. Ways food trucks are finding clients.

“Highly recommend reaching out to HOA’s, Churches, YMCA’s etc… people at home will need access to food and getting as close as possible will help with that. You basically have to require online ordering based on what we’ve seen.”

“I have been calling the businesses (within 10 miles around me) that are still open and that has worked very well for me.”

“Hi guys and gals just wanted to share some info with y’all. Yesterday my father and I made a few rounds at some local businesses to try and drum up some business particularly some catering. We have been successful in doing our local Lowe’s these folks are hungry and if you haven’t noticed very busy with this virus going on. Needless to say reach out to them we have been lucky enough to serve all their employees for the past two Friday’s. We also got hooked up with our local Sam’s club. Remember these places have shut down there snack bar so no food for there employees just wanted to share with you all. God bless be safe.”

“Hit up big neighborhoods and apartment complexes. You will be blown away how many people want to help you out to stay in business. We are killing it”

“We’re 3.5 years old and constantly growing. People look for us! We make pizza, both wood fired and New York style with 2 rigs. The last couple weeks we’ve had a lot of requests from people/groups/neighborhoods asking us to come to them and we’re turning them down because we just can’t cover it. We’re in Southeast Virginia.”

4. Using apps, marketing, and doing delivery.

“I’m still doing family pack orders through Street Food Finder.”

“Our state (Colorado) just went into “Shelter in Place” as of this morning. We’ll be heavily promoting social media since everyone is at home and on their phone. My friend who has a pizza truck is doing like $15k a week (3 weeks now). He said his business has been killing and rarely did deliveries. 90% of his business is delivery.”

“We’ve added delivery to our services and prepaid option using food truck pub app”

“We have only delivery. So they have to text us the order and prepay. So no contact.”

“I think every region is a bit different. Our daily sales have been slightly above average due to the support local push in our communities. Our nearest big city even has a group connecting businesses with customers and they’ve had several food truck threads.”

“No-contact delivery only:

  • Customers text order, I invoice them. They pay, we deliver. -Pre-orders are encouraged because we are trying to deliver all over the city.
  • My drivers wear gloves and change gloves between each delivery.
  • When orders are in and ready to go, I load their car up (backseat) so they don’t even get out and have no contact with me.
  • No curbside, no walk ups at all.
  • Also for prep, we rotate 1 person at a time to be on the truck. Every 4 hrs, counters and handles are sanitized. Using scarves as mouth guards while prepping.

It’s more work but absolutely worth it 🙏🏾 it’s so important that we and the customers have peace of mind!”

“I am doing curbside pick up from home, correct cash. All pre orders.”

Conclusion

As things continue to develop, it’s clear that every city, county, and state is at a different stage in their response. Food trucks in the middle of the country are dealing with things differently than food trucks in major coastal cities.

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The one thing that is clear is that most food trucks are trying to do the right thing. No one wants to spread the virus but some feel a responsibility to go out and sell. Others feel that it’s better to stop operations and wait out the pandemic.

We hope everyone is able to get through this time and come out healthy and with their business intact.

 

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