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Pandemic slows the peak summer season for the food truck industry

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:29 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - It’s been one cancelation or postponement after another. Many festivals, markets, and events that typically host food trucks have all been canceled because of virus concerns.

“It’s been crazy ...”

Summer is usually a peak season for food trucks, but the pandemic has brought on new challenges.

“It’s been tough, obviously with the fair being closed down, the Masters not having any patrons out there. It has been difficult to find events,” Matthew Papaiani owner of Beefed Up, said.

Papaiani opened his food truck just two months ago.

“The whole idea was that a food truck in this pandemic would work well with the customers being outside, it helps with the social distancing,” he said.

But with fewer event opportunities, the Beefed Up food truck is cooking out of parking lots

“It would definitely be a lot busier. If it wasn’t with all that’s going on,” Papaiani said. But it hasn’t been all bad.

“We’ve been able to find a few, obviously it hasn’t been as lovely as it would be without the virus going around, but here and there, we have been able to stay steady,” Papaiani said.

And just like restaurants, food trucks are also operating under new COVID-19 safety measures

“There’s been a whole slew of new regulations from the health department since the pandemic. Such as having your hand sanitizer out, making sure we’re wearing masks when we’re on the truck. So, the cost increased with the virus, having to have more supplies and products to make sure we’re keeping everybody safe,” Papaiani said.

Being mobile still comes with some stability, in a time, where Matthew says, it’s needed most.

“Obviously the restaurants have been having a tough time with having to socially distance visitors with their dining rooms and dining areas. I think the food trucks is a great benefit because everybody could be outside. We have cars that just drive up to the window, they can sit in their car and eat,” Papaiani explained.

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