Across the nation restaurants from fast food to fine dining have been surviving on drive-thru and curbside take out. Will people risk spending an hour in a higher risk environment? Or is there a better solution?
Last week we discussed how smaller retail businesses could potentially move into experiential trailers and vehicles to survive during the pandemic. This week we wanted to discuss restaurants. States are opening up so we are about to get hard evidence of how willing people are to risk Covid-19 for a good meal.
To enter a restaurant in the Covid-19 era is considered by some to be a risky endeavor. You are surrounded by tables of strangers, you have a stranger that interacts with you along with other tables. This particular stranger then interacts with the strangers preparing your food. Add to that air being blown around by the air conditioning system and you have an environment where one sneeze could infect most of the restaurant. That better be a darn good biscuit.
A logical solution that not only addresses the issues outlined above but also allows restaurants with a good brand that have already been forced or are in the process of closing down to survive is Food Trucks. Ironically in a Covid-19 world food trucks might be the more sanitary that restaurants. Customers don’t have to go inside where they rely on table spacing. Patrons remain in an open air environment and you limit the cross contamination of a waiter interacting with patrons and cooking staff.
Food trucks are a simple solution for local favorite restaurants to exist during the pandemic.
Food trucks are already seeing a surge in use around hospitals and other essential services. There is the story of a food truck catering to truck drivers at a rest stop when restaurants in the area closed. Taco Bell started a drive-thru for truckers or Truck-Thru.
It is possible that there is a food truck boom this summer allowing people that aren’t comfortable eating in a restaurant to have a good meal out and who doesn’t like a good picnic.
Do food trucks get tapped for experiential as well. It is probably too early to tell but the potential is there. An increase in food trucks would also be a relief for companies that make and lease those vehicles creating jobs and company solvency.