Just how hard is it to run a food cart?
Back in July, OPB News ran an article about food carts around the Northwest. One of the questions that caught my attention is whether food carts owners are living the dream, or realizing after six months, that the business model may not be all it is cracked up to be. From the article,
Squish Durawa owns Wy’East Pizza in Portland, turning out artisan pies from a 64-square-foot trailer. He tells me he loves what he does, would never go back to his old job at the tile store.
But living the dream?
“No. I work roughly 12 hours a day,” Durawa says. “Twelve, fourteen, sixteen -— it doesn’t matter after twelve,” he said laughing.
And it’s not just the hours that are rough. Durawa deals with rain that drives his customers away, and drafts that keep his dough from rising.
And he shares this small space with an 800-degree oven.
“People say we’re living the dream,” Durawa says. “There are moments where it feels like we may be living a dream — I don’t know if it’s the dream we set out for.
Perhaps it is intentional that this foodcart related article follows a blurb concerning a food pathogen alert relating to a strawberry field in Washington County. Living the foodcart dream is about one or two instances away from nightmare status due to the likelihood of a salmonella or e coli outbreak traced to some poor hygiene practiced by a foodcart vendor or two. Then the restaurant owners who see foodcarts as having an unfair advantage (much less expensive infrastructure costs) will demand and probably get some very comprehensive and tight regulations from the licensing authorities like Mult. County, City of Portland and Dept of Agriculture. My guess is most foodcart operators will not be able/willing to comply.
Food Dude says
I hate it when people figure out my plans for world (and foodcart) domination!
Nicholas Maggi says
For me I just started out and I hope to open a brick and mortor resturant but for now it’s all about building a name and learning the ropes per say. It’s mainly the fun I just love it!!
carla muratore says
I knew a boy in High School whose father owner a food truck. I understand he took over or expanded the business and was wondering if you are the same Nick. From Staten Island – my first love. Carla
Evan Tenenbaum says
Funny I just ran across this article. I just produced an audio piece on working in the food cart industry, for Organic City Sounds, an audio project based here in Portland. It basically asks this exact question!
Check it out: http://www.OrganicCitySounds.com