WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — After more than a year of strict capacity limits, food truck fests are making a comeback, and two local food truck owners say they are excited to serve their signature dishes again.
The owners of the Bread Sled Café and Smokin’ Diner food trucks say the pandemic brought business to a screeching halt last year. Now, things are getting back to normal, and they’re expecting business to speed up too.
“I opened at the end of 2019 doing part-time,” Micah Cook, owner of the Bread Sled Café said. “it was great and then the pandemic happened.”
Cook was a full-time paramedic while he was running his food truck on the side. When the pandemic hit, he was deployed to New York by FEMA for three weeks to help fight the coronavirus and was forced to shut his truck down temporarily.
Randy Duncan is the owner of Smokin’ Diner. He says the pandemic pushed him to work a little harder to make up for fewer customers and no large-scale events.
“If you work for three or four hours, you have to put in the same effort, but you don’t make as much money,” Duncan said. “We had to work twice as hard last year.”
Cook says his income from the food truck was about as much as he would’ve brought in working a regular part-time job, but even that money was cut in half because of the pandemic.
“It wasn’t worth it to where you’re losing money going out so I just decided to close the doors,” Cook said.
Now, he’s running the food truck full-time and is grateful to be back at work.
“I own the food truck so I don’t have any loans,” Cook said. “I’m very fortunate. There’s been a lot of business owners that haven’t been and had to close.”
Duncan had to let some of his staff go when business slowed. He and his wife Lil had seven employees, and he’s ready to call them back to work.
“Business is booming and to be able to look out and see the long lines again,” Duncan said. “Man, that’s a thrill when you look out and see 100 people in line.”