The Pandemic Has Spurred a Food Truck Turf War at Construction Sites

Any weekday morning following 9 a.m., near Union Current market, Navy Lawn, or where ever a superior-rise condominium is heading up in D.C., you can come across just one or two aluminum-paneled catering trucks arriving to serve building staff on the career. In Navy Yard, one particular honks its horn as it passes and staff flip to abide by. The products they are immediately after are just about completely Central American staples, like tamales or pupusas.

These trucks fly less than the radar when compared to their flashier counterparts who serve the downtown lunch crowd. It’s been like this for yrs. That is, until finally the pandemic despatched downtown foods vehicles hunting for new prospects. Now, the two groups of foods trucks locate by themselves having absent at every single other’s enterprise, prompting a food items truck turf war.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, D.C.’s inhabitants would swell all through daytime several hours by as much as 87 percent thanks to the 250,000 commuters who appear from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland, and another 100,000 who come from Fairfax County, Virginia. Nowadays, most of these individuals are still teleworking and that’s remaining the some 900 food stuff vans that made use of to feed them through the District in a hole.

A constant stream of downtown staff drew Graciela to the food truck enterprise two decades back. “There ended up so several men and women,” she suggests, “so numerous folks who employed to arrive operate in those people structures.” Graciela discovered the enterprise from her father, whose meals truck was a accomplishment. She remembers when she would do more than $1,000 in sales just at lunch.

Like her father, she sells fried chicken cutlet sandwiches on hoagie rolls topped with chopped lettuce, tomato, and chipotle sauce. They come with a aspect of fries. Now she provides in 30 p.c to 40 per cent of what she made just before. “The real truth is,” she suggests, “I’m not earning what I was, but [it’s] greater than absolutely nothing.”

Barbara J. Miriam

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