Coronavirus puts brakes on Omaha-Metro food trucks
The coronavirus threat has forced Omaha-Metro area restaurants to change the way they do business and that change is hurting many dine-in establishments, it's also hurting food servers who work in the Metro’s four-wheeled diners.
Downtown Omaha was a hot spot for local food trucks.
Food truck operators had something cooking downtown and at other locations in the Omaha-Metro.
Then came the coronavirus threat followed by work at home orders from Omaha companies, taking away traffic from downtown streets and sidewalks.
Kelly Keegan is one of the founders of the Omaha Food Truck Association.
“You don’t have that concentration of people like the downtown food truck Thursdays were a tremendous boon for us and a lot of our trucks count on that to keep their doors open. But with nobody going downtown there isn’t a reason to post up down there,” Keegan said.
There are some food trucks out there in the Metro and they are doing some business. Keegan hopes things will get better when we get a handle on this virus.
“This has torpedoed our business. Our business for most of us right now once we get ahead of the curve, we’re hoping to really to go out and take advantage of the opportunities that are out there,” Keegan said.
Some food truck operators find other ways to make money during the winter months -- but Keegan says the virus also closed that avenue for his truck.
“In the winter we do catering at the Catholic schools. No school, no catering. So we’ve been dead in the water for almost a month,” he said. “Everybody is like in a crisis right now -- but thankfully we’re still standing.”
Joana Flores Cortez is working at her south Omaha restaurant. The dining room is shut down but they do deliver and they have a drive-thru.
They also have a food truck they’re doing all they can do to survive this crisis.
“Thankfully, we still have work you know. Maybe like a few little hours but at least it's something you know,” she said.
Omaha Food Truck Association officials are discussing the possibility of setting up a major event with all the food trucks in one venue.