SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Warmer weather means it’s once again food truck season in KELOLAND, but like many other local businesses, this industry is seeing some big changes because of the pandemic.
“We had graduation parties and schools and different caterings, we had something with Sanford, all of that has been cancelled,” Dakota Snow and Sub Zero Desserts owner Jessica Rooney said.
Food truck operators spend their summers going where the people are, but now many of those large gatherings are cancelled.
“We lost all of our events throughout the year pretty much, except there are some in August yet that haven’t cancelled,” Big Orange Truck owner Dean Marshall said.
Rooney says those special events account for at least half of their usual summer business.
“So we took a big hit with that, but at the same time, since we’ve gotten this one open, the community has been a major support this year,” Rooney said.
“It smelled so good because I’ve been staying at home, eating at home, the same foods over and over again,” Big Orange Truck customer Lisa Burghardt said.
The Big Orange Food truck is also seeing more foot traffic from daily customers stopping by for lunch or dinner, wherever they set up shop.
“I got an idea to to create my own events and work with local businesses so we can cross promote,” Marshall said. “We want people to come out and still support local business.”
These food trucks are getting creative with where they go to reach customers this strange summer season.
“Since we know our trailers aren’t able to move and cater. We have set up at 10th and Bahnson Sioux Falls, we’ve got one of the trailers and we’re also putting a trailer out at Thunder Road… Sub Zero is not moving and Dakota Snow at Thunder Road is not going to move,” Rooney said.
And whether mobile or stationary, their customers are coming out in droves to support them.
“When we get to a time when we can be out and about again, we want those businesses there,”
Food trucks are also dealing with other pandemic impacts, the Big Orange Truck known for its Chislic is really feeling the impact of the beef shortages and price hikes.
Dakota Snow and Sub Zero Desserts invested in a blast freezer so their products can now be delivered on Grub Hub without melting.