While nothing can ever be certain, the last half of 2021 has given me hope that next year will bring new opportunities and a revival of community gatherings and events. Will you join us for the ride?
If the theme of 2021 was rebuilding, then the theme of 2022 is new beginnings—and we can’t wait to take the leap. But first, I want to reflect on where we’ve been.
Like many small businesses in the event and hospitality industries, the pandemic took a toll on us. It was a sobering moment that opened up a world of opportunities we never knew existed. Within that trying time, we were nimble and flexible. As a result, we figured out a way to survive in our new normal and capitalize on our strengths.
On one end, we harnessed our networks of food providers and turnkey catering infrastructure to create our Food Responders program—a solution to community feeding programs that keep entire economies afloat by connecting local food businesses to those in need. This program fed approximately 10,000 people last year and brought a total of nearly $17.2 million back to local businesses.
On the other end, we recognized that as a mobile food and events platform, we have exactly what people are looking for—safe, fun and easy ways to gather and eat outside. We saw a return of folks to our food truck markets and leaned back into a culture of community gatherings with special events, music and entertainment. We threw ourselves behind causes that were important to our greater community, including Stop Asian Hate and the fight to end Alzheimer’s.
We also launched our first-ever insiders program and hosted a handful of Off the Grid Fans for Friendsgiving at our Levi’s Plaza market.
I’ve realized that what made Off the Grid and our team so successful over the past year was a renewed focus on what we’re here to do. We listened to feedback from our fans and catering clients, we were attentive to new needs, and we worked tirelessly to proactively make changes. We became accustomed to operating in a state of not knowing what was coming next, and we succeeded—we thrived.
In short, the pandemic stripped us back down to the core of why we started—creating and connecting with our community over a shared love of food—and we’re so grateful to be here. The future is indeed bright, and I’m excited to share what we expect for next year.
Off the Grid is Back, Baby! (We’ll Just Look a Little Different.)
We’re off again. Throughout the year, we’ll be reopening our community markets across the Bay Area, reconnecting with folks in each space as we go. We’ll be discovering new vendors to bring into the Off the Grid family of food trucks, and helping small businesses within our network that have struggled over the past two years to get back on their feet. We’ll also be bringing back business lunches for those returning to work downtown, and creating lots of opportunities for our fans to experience street food in new and exciting ways.
In the world of catering, we’re building partnerships with new vendors and reviving connections with old. Together, we’re finding creative, fun ways to party responsibly indoors, outdoors and in hybrid ways.
The most important thing as we launch into the new year and our new normal is not losing sight of all the learnings we pulled from navigating the past two years. We have a renewed focus on human connection, a clearcut understanding of the value we bring to communities and an open line of communication with the small businesses we work with. We’re not going to let those things go.
To sum it all up, we want to create the best food truck experiences (ever) and we would love for you to come along for the ride. Let’s grow back together.
Lex Scala, Off the Grid President