Food truck initiative boosting business, providing jobs during virus freeze

Food trucks placed in local neighborhoods to boost business

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - With Ohio’s stay-at-home order officially in place, local restaurants considered “essential," including food trucks, are trying to keep business steady through carry outs and deliveries.

Food truck owners, like restaurant and bar owners, have been feeling the effects of Ohio’s stay-at-home order.

Large-scale events and catering orders have been cancelled, resulting in a big decrease in cash flow.

“Ever since the stay at home order, we’ve slowed down," Ty Velez, who owns AJ’s Cheesesteaks food truck, said. “But for the most part, the community has actually kept us in business.”

To help, the Queen City Mobile Food Truck Association is partnering food truck owners with homeowners associations and private property owners.

They are pinpointing central locations in Cincinnati area neighborhoods and are placing the trucks there for pickup orders or deliveries.

Diane Creech owns the Pit to Plate BBQ food truck, which is currently stationed in Mt. Healthy. She she says the initiative is working.

“We’ve had a steady stream of customers since the first day," Creech said. "A lot of my old time guests are happy to see us come back for the time we’ll be here.”

Not only is it boosting business, the association’s president Anthony Lange says it’s also giving families another meal option during this chaotic time.

Each truck, Lange said, is offering special low-budget menus.

“It’s a nice opportunity, especially given right now, given this time period where almost everything is shut down," Lange said.

Velez believes it is also an opportunity to help others who have been temporarily unemployed.

“We have been trying to hire some of the local people in our community that have lost jobs, that have been laid off, to do deliveries and come down here and work with us," Velez said.

The hope, for them, is that word will continue to spread, and before long, there will be food trucks perfectly positioned in every Greater Cincinnati neighborhood.

“Our goal is to try and help all the food trucks in this market get into neighborhoods and set up as a kitchen until this is all over," Lange said. "Once this is all over, then we hopefully go back to normal, whatever normal might be at that point.”

According to Lange, there are more than 100 food trucks in the Cincinnati area. He says the association also helps business owners through food truck fabrication, which is essentially renovating a truck into a mobile kitchen.

Any food truck owners or property owners interested in participating can learn more on the association’s website. There, people can also find out how to apply for open positions.

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