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Food trucks moving to neighborhoods to stay afloat during pandemic

“We wouldn’t work too much during the week, but we’d be slammed all weekend. Now we’re working seven days a week, trying to make the same money that we were, but we’re blessed because we are very busy,” said Metzger.
Kenji's Food Truck Restaurant
Kenji's Food Truck Restaurant(KOLO)
Published: Oct. 19, 2020 at 3:20 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Food trucks had been popping up all over RVA - it was a booming business here. But now with the pandemic, festivals are canceled, many people are working from home and that’s been a recipe for trouble for many food truck owners. But some of them are changing how they do business in order to survive: choosing to set up shop inside neighborhoods.

“The neighborhoods have been great because we just set up in front of them and then the neighborhood associations just tell them when and where we’re gonna be and they just come out and they have supported us,” said Billy Metzber, owner of Curbside Creations, as well as the President of the Richmond Food Truck Association, a group of about 50 food trucks.

Metzger says his truck alone has gone to more than 50 neighborhoods across the region, including Pebble Creek in Mechanicsville and RounTrey in Midlothian. He says they used to do a bulk of their work at festivals on the weekend, but that has changed.

“We wouldn’t work too much during the week, but we’d be slammed all weekend. Now we’re working seven days a week, trying to make the same money that we were, but we’re blessed because we are very busy,” said Metzger.

He says his truck is making a little less than usual but is pretty close to a regular year. But not everyone is as lucky.

“I think it’s 50-50, the ones that have adapted and changed, they’re doing well, the ones that didn’t I think they’re struggling right now,” he said, “we’ve had a lot of trucks that just, the stress of it, they couldn’t handle it so we have lost a few trucks this year.”

Metzger says at this point in the pandemic, about three or four food trucks in the Richmond area have stopped running.

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