With restaurants having to shut down dine-in areas, takeout has become a savior to hungry residents who have tired of cooking at home. During the pandemic, food trucks have been in a unique position to prove their inherent mobility and flexibility, adapting to the current state of the food industry. In addition to their ability to move to high demand areas and reach large populations of hungry patrons, they’re being ranked as one of the safest takeout food options, according to experts.
Although you may only be inside a restaurant for a few minutes when picking up your takeout, it’s now well known that virus droplets can survive longer in confined spaces. With food trucks serving outdoors, you’re naturally less susceptible to contract the coronavirus due to the considerable amount of open space.
“Eating anything from a food truck is as low risk a scenario as you’re going to get,” says Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease physician at Toronto General Hospital. “As long as you’re outside with very little crowding as you’re waiting.”
At Off the Grid, we’ve made sure that picking up food from a food truck is unlike anything you may have experienced pre-COVID. Gone are the days of cramped lines that snaked for blocks—now all trucks enforce strict social distancing with markers on the ground and space themselves adequately from any other food truck in the same area.
One of a food truck’s fortes during the pandemic is their low staff requirements. Most food trucks are able to operate with only two people, limiting the number of person-to-person interactions. This is a very different scenario from larger restaurants where they may have a handful of additional cooks rotating in and out of shifts, increasing the likelihood of bringing the virus indoors.
Less Customer Contact
In addition to the added space and window separating a truck operator and their guests, many food trucks are also moving toward online ordering systems, which allows them to limit interactions at the pickup window.
Off the Grid is excited to be in our beta testing phase of our brand new Experience app, that will allow guests to preorder from any of our food truck experiences. Interested in ordering food from the comfort of your couch and becoming an early adopter of our new app? Sign up here.
Adapting with Additional Safety Protocols
In addition to the strict safety standards that were in place prior to the pandemic, the mobile food industry has increased their practices to ensure that not only their staff but all their guests are being as safe as can be. Enhanced safety practices include:
• Taking regular temperature checks of staff and enforcing that staff stays home if they’re feeling under the weather
• Removing all shared or self-serve utensils and condiment stations and replacing them with takeaway packets
• Providing sanitizer for customers and staff
• Appropriately spacing out parking areas from nearby food trucks to avoid crowding
• All workers preparing, handling, and/or serving food or handling money must wear nitrile gloves and masks at all times
• Wiping down surfaces hourly with disinfecting wipes, including all guest areas, internal truck surfaces, and payment portals, pens, and styluses
• Accepting contactless payments
Food trucks were not left unscathed as COVID-19 struck the Bay Area, but instead of throwing in the towel, owners have found ways to be innovative and adjust how and where they operate—providing a much-needed break from cooking for local residents. Next time you’re in need of a break from the kitchen, consider picking up a tasty meal from one of our local food truck spots. View our schedule here.
Did you know you can now have Off the Grid delivered to your employees at home? Show your appreciation for their dedication through themed, drop-off at home meals (breakfast, lunch, happy hour, or dinners) with Off the Grid At Home.